Visas and permits

Visas and permits for studying in Holland

When you confirm an unconditional offer at the Holland International Study Centre, the next step for most students is to apply for a visa.

The universities in Holland will start the visa application process for all students. Below is an overview of the process but please note that this may vary by university. 

Once you have confirmed your place with the Holland International Study Centre, you will be sent a post confirmation guide by our Admissions department. This guide will show you the next steps in order to start the visa procedure. 


When you have a conditional offer for a study programme at a Dutch University, the university will contact you regarding your visa and residence permit application. You will be informed about the documents needed from you and will need to send these to the university as part of your visa application. When the university has received all documents and processed your application, the application will be sent to the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND).

The university will keep you updated during the application process.

Please note that visas for all Foundation students will be applied for in the summer.

When the application is approved by the IND, you can make an appointment at the Dutch Embassy or Consulate General in order to collect your MVV (Provisional Residence Permit) visa. The MVV visa allows you to enter the Netherlands and is a sticker that will be put in your passport.
The MVV needs to be picked up within three months after the approval of your application and from the day you collect the MVV it is valid for three months. If you do not enter the Netherlands within three months your MVV cannot be used any more. It is not possible to extend the validity of your MVV.

When you go to the embassy for collecting your MVV visa, your fingerprints and photo will be taken and sent to the IND for the production of your residence permit card. Shortly after your arrival you can pick up your residence permit card at a local IND office. The Holland International Study Centre will provide you with more information once you are in Holland.

The residence permit card will be valid for the total duration of your degree or exchange programme plus three more months. This means it is valid from the start of the International Foundation Year, plus your chosen studies after. It is not necessary to return to your home country in between or extend the visa manually.

If you fall behind in your studies but you pass enough classes to continue your programme, your residence permit card will probably expire before you finish your programme. In that case you have to contact the international office at your university in order to apply for an extension of your residence permit card.