Information for Prospective students

This section is intended for all international students who are considering applying to VU Amsterdam, who are in the process of applying or who have already been admitted. As you are trying to complete your application and enrolment, we know that you might be facing some hurdles due to the current circumstances. Below you will find updates regarding application deadlines, submitting your English language test results and certified copy of diploma, visa and housing and other relevant topics.

Admission and application

Education

What will education look like in the academic year 2020-2021? (updated)
All programmes at VU Amsterdam follow the same time-table structure. The academic year starts in the first week of September and is divided into two semesters. Each semester consists of three periods of 8+8+4 weeks.

For period 1 and 2 this is now known:

• All lectures will be taught online
• All exams will take place remotely
• The Biomedical Sciences programme offers some classes on campus (location-bound education). It is therefore not possible to follow this programme fully online in the first semester
• All other educational activities are available online, but on campus when possible

A decision for education in period 3 will follow in October.

Admitted students will receive further information from their Faculty and/or programme by email. Information regarding the format of education can also be found in the course schedule.

Do class schedules take into account the time difference?
The university has not yet made a final decision in this matter, however it is highly likely that all classes and exams will be scheduled on Dutch standard time. This means that if you live in a different time zone, you may have  your classes and exams at unusual hours (early morning, late evening, or night time).


My application

I have applied for a Bachelor’s programme, but I haven’t received a response yet.
At the moment the International Office works remotely, following the guidelines of our National Institute for Public Health and Environment. We do our best to process your application as soon as possible, but it might take a bit longer than usual.

Will the application deadline be extended for Bachelor’s programmes?
All deadlines of the application round for the cohort 2020-2021 have now passed. We look forward to receiving your application for the cohort 2021-2022 from October 2020 onwards.


My secondary education final exams have been cancelled. Can I still be admitted to a Bachelor’s programme?
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is aware that the corona virus is causing problems for many secondary education students who are supposed to graduate this year. We are staying on top of the latest developments regarding cancellations of final exams and will do our best to support you in these extraordinary circumstances.
We will, in principle, be accepting secondary education diplomas - if accredited by an official accreditation body - as being on an equivalent level as the regular diplomas listed here. This includes IB diplomas and A-levels. In case specific exam grades are required to meet the admission requirements we will assess your qualifications on a case-by-case basis. If you have any concerns make sure to contact your International Student Advisor.

My diploma will be awarded after September 1st. Can I still enroll this year? 
Unfortunately, Dutch law prohibits students to enroll in a Bachelor’s programme if the official graduation date of previous education is after August 31st. If your diploma is issued after August 2020, you will have to defer your application to next academic year. 

I might not be able to send in a certified copy of my diploma on time.
If you remain to have difficulties with handing in your certified copy of diploma before the deadline of August 31st, please contact your International Student Advisor about this matter as it may complicate the commencement of your studies. If you won’t be able to submit in a certified paper copy of your diploma, we now also accept digital certified copies. You can send a clear scan of your original diploma (front and back) to [email protected], including your full name and student number in your correspondence to verify your previous education.

I have sent a certified copy of my diploma to VU Amsterdam, but I have not received a confirmation of receipt/verification.
Our staff remains to work remotely for the most part. However, documents are processed on a weekly basis. We will do our best to verify your documents as soon as possible and update your VUnet applications status.

My conditional admission letter stated I need to take an entrance examination for admission in the Netherlands. What will happen if I won’t be able to take this test in time? 
If you have applied for the Psychology Bachelor’s programme and you only need to take the mathematics entrance exam, an online test has been made available. Please contact [email protected] if you would like to take part in this exam.
If you have applied for any other Bachelor’s programme and need to take exams in mathematics or history, in many cases you can take these tests online (please check the application website of your programme or your admission letter about the test options). If you have to take a test in a different subject (e.g. Biology, Physics, etc.) you might be able to take these tests online through Boswell-Bèta and CCVX if you are facing travel restrictions to the Netherlands. Please contact your International Student Advisor for more information.

Please note that the deadline for submitting test results has been extended to July 1st for non-EU/EEA students who need to apply for a study visa.  If you are planning to arrive in the Netherlands later in the academic year, it might be possible to submit your results until August 31st. Contact [email protected] if this situation applies to you. For EU/EEA students the deadline remains August 31st. For questions you can contact your International Student Advisor.

I’m a prospective Psychology student and I won’t be able to meet the July 15th enrolment deadline. Can this deadline be extended? 

If you are not able to submit the required documents (certified copy of diploma, test results, or tuition fee payment) before July 15th, please send an email to [email protected] to ask for an extension. In this email, please explain which requirement(s) you can’t meet on time and why. The student desk can then extend the deadline for you until August 15th. If the August 15th deadline is also not feasible for you, please contact [email protected]


The deadline for visa has passed but I have not obtained my English test results yet. 
The deadline to submit your visa application was 1 July. However, in the following cases we might be able to make some exemptions for students:
1. If you are waiting on English test results and you’re planning to arrive later in the semester.
2. If you cannot travel to the Netherlands until January and you will follow your study programme remotely from your home country.

We advise you to contact your Immigration advisor at [email protected] if this applies to you to discuss whether or not the deadline can be postponed in your case.

If your visa procedure has been postponed, we apply the following deadlines:
- 1 September for students who still need to complete tests or have to wait for test results as part of their admission procedure.
- 1 November if you are not able to travel until January 2021.


I’m not able to take the English language test in my country because test centers are closed (updated)
EU students have until August 31st to obtain their English test results. Therefore there are no exemptions for this group yet. For non-EU students, the deadline to submit English language test results has been extended to July 1st. However, in case of travelling to the Netherlands later in the semester, you might be able to hand in your English test results before September 1st. We are now also accepting the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition. The test is available everywhere that TOEFL iBT testing is normally available, with the exception of Mainland China and Iran. Students from Mainland China can now participate in the TOEFL ITP Plus for China to meet the English language test requirements.

I’m a Chinese national and have to apply for the Nuffic certificate, but am not able to take the English test.
At the moment you can apply for the certificate without your English test results. Once you obtain the results of your English test you can send it to your International Student Advisor and add them to your Nuffic application.

I would like to defer my studies to next year. What should I do?
Please contact your International Student Advisor about the possibilities regarding deferring your studies.


International travel

I might not be able to travel to the Netherlands for the start of the academic year 2020-2021 due to the current situation. Is it possible to arrive later?

We understand that the decision of travelling to Amsterdam at the moment can be subject to many personal circumstances. Some of you may choose to fully follow the online programme for the first two periods from their home country, others who are able to travel might want to start their adventure in Amsterdam as soon as possible. Once travel restrictions have been lifted, you can decide to already join us in Amsterdam to get settled in and enjoy limited study facilities at our campus, even if on campus activities of your programme have not started yet.

 

Other questions

Is your question not answered here?

General emails can be sent to [email protected]. If you are already in the process of applying, please get in touch with your International Student Advisor. Their contact details can be found here.

Education

What will education look like in the academic year 2020-2021? (updated)
All programmes at VU Amsterdam follow the same time-table structure. The academic year starts in the first week of September and is divided into two semesters. Each semester consists of three periods of 8+8+4 weeks.

For period 1 and 2 this is now known:
• All lectures will be taught online
• All exams will take place remotely
• All other educational activities are available online, but on campus when possible

A decision for education in period 3 will follow in October.

Admitted students will receive further information from their Faculty and/or programme by email. Information regarding the format of education can also be found in the course schedule.

Do class schedules take into account the time difference?
The university has not yet made a final decision in this matter, however it is highly likely that all classes and exams will be scheduled on Dutch standard time. This means that if you live in a different time zone, you may have  your classes and exams at unusual hours (early morning, late evening, or night time).


My application

I have applied for a Master’s programme, but I haven’t received a response yet.
At the moment the International Office works remotely, following the guidelines of our National Institute for Public Health and Environment. We do our best to process your application as soon as possible, but it might take a bit longer than usual.

Will the application deadline be extended for Master’s programmes?
All deadlines of the application round for the cohort 2020-2021 have passed. We look forward to receiving your application for the cohort 2021-2022 from October 2020 onwards.

I’m not able to submit the required documents for application because my school/university is closed.
Please contact your International Student Advisor for advice about your specific situation. Please note that at the moment of applying, you do not need to hand in your English test results and copy of your diploma. We also accept an unofficial transcript of records for the application procedure.

I sent a certified copy of my diploma to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, but I have not received a confirmation on this.
Our staff remains to work remotely for the most part. However, documents are processed on a weekly basis. We will do our best to verify your documents as soon as possible and update your VUnet applications status.

My exams are postponed until further notice. I might not be able to send my diploma in time. (updated)
You don’t need to send in your diploma during the application process. If you have difficulties with handing in your certified copy of diploma before the deadline of August 31st, please contact your International Student Advisor about this matter as it may complicate the commencement of your studies. If you are a student from within the EER, please also take a look at your programme page under the header Corona crisis: From a Bachelor’s to a Master’s

At the moment you can send a clear scan of your original diploma (front and back) to [email protected], including your full name and student number in your correspondence to verify your previous education.
If you remain to have difficulties with handing in your certified copy of diploma before the deadline of August 31st, please contact your International Student Advisor about this matter as it may complicate the commencement of your studies.

The deadline for visa has passed but I have not obtained my English test results yet. 
The deadline to submit your visa application was 1 July. However, in the following cases we might be able to make some exemptions for students:
1. If you are waiting on English test results and you’re planning to arrive later in the semester.
2. If you cannot travel to the Netherlands until January and you will follow your study programme remotely from your home country.

We advise you to contact your Immigration advisor at [email protected] if this applies to you to discuss whether or not the deadline can be postponed in your case.

If your visa procedure has been postponed, we apply the following deadlines:
- 1 September for students who still need to complete tests or have to wait for test results as part of their admission procedure.
- 1 November if you are not able to travel until January 2021.


I’m not able to take the English language test in my country because test centers are closed (updated)
EU students have until August 31st to obtain their English test results. Therefore there are no exemptions for this group yet. For non-EU students, the deadline to submit English language test results has been extended to July 1st. However, in case of travelling to the Netherlands later in the semester, you might be able to hand in your English test results before September 1st. We are now also accepting the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition. The test is available everywhere that TOEFL iBT testing is normally available, with the exception of Mainland China and Iran. Students from Mainland China can now participate in the TOEFL ITP Plus for China to meet the English language test requirements.

I’m a Chinese national and have to apply for the Nuffic certificate, but am not able to take the English test.
At the moment you can apply for the certificate without your English test results. Once you obtain the results of your English test you can send it to your International Student Advisor and add them to your Nuffic application.

Can I commence my studies in February 2021? (new)
Not all programmes offer a starting date in the second semester. Please check the programme page or enquire with your International Student Advisor if this is possible.

I would like to defer my studies to next year. What should I do? 

Please contact your International Student Advisor about the possibilities regarding deferring your studies. 


International Travel

I might not be able to travel to the Netherlands for the start of the academic year 2020-2021 due to the current situation. Is it possible to arrive later? 
We understand that the decision of travelling to Amsterdam at the moment can be subject to many personal circumstances. Some of you may choose to fully follow the online programme for the first two periods from their home country, others who are able to travel might want to start their adventure in Amsterdam as soon as possible. Once travel restrictions have been lifted, you can decide to already join us in Amsterdam to get settled in and enjoy limited study facilities at our campus, even if on campus activities of your programme have not started yet.

 

Scholarships

I have been selected for a scholarship (VUFP, HSP, OTS), but I am not sure if I should accept. I don’t know yet if I can come to the Netherlands.
If you are planning to start at VU coming September, please confirm your selection in VUnet for now. Please let us know if you need to cancel your study programme at VU by sending an email to: [email protected]

I need to cancel my scholarship offer (VUFP, HSP, OTS). Can I defer my scholarship to 2021/2022?
No, it is not possible to defer your scholarship offer (but you can of course apply again next year). 


Other questions

Is your question not answered here?
General emails can be sent to [email protected]. If you are already in the process of applying, please get in touch with your International Student Advisor. Their contact details can be found here.


Questions about the Fall 2020 Semester and Online Courses

What will education look like during the 2020-2021 Academic Year? 

All courses at VU Amsterdam will be planned according to the normal timetable structure. The academic year starts in the first week of September and is divided into two semesters. Each semester consists of three periods of 8+8+4 weeks.  Please see www.vu.nl/exchange for more information.

Main Lectures - Fall 2020 Semester (September 2020 until January 2021): All main lectures (HC) will be provided online during the first semester of the upcoming academic year. Lectures are usually held for bigger groups and are less interactive. To avoid large gatherings, main lectures will not be held on campus until circumstances change to make this possible.

Other Educational Activities (work/lab groups) - Periods 1 and 2 (September to December 2020): Seminars/working groups/tutorials are held in smaller groups and are more interactive. As work/study groups are made up of smaller groups of people, we hope to start offering these on campus again soon. They will be held in a hybrid form: online, but when possible on campus. If work groups are offered (partly or fully) on campus, but you are unable to come to VU Amsterdam, you can follow an online alternative. Note that location-bound education, for instance courses that require lab work, cannot be offered online. 

Examinations: All examinations during the Fall 2020 semester will be conducted remotely.

Do class schedules take into account the time difference?
The university has not yet made a final decision in this matter, however it is highly likely that all classes and exams will be scheduled on Dutch standard time. This means that if you are a non-EU student not currently in Amsterdam, you will most likely have your classes and exams at unusual hours (early morning, late evening, or night time).

How will the Introduction programme be organized in Fall?
The Introduction programme will be organized online from 24-26 August. Detailed information will be provided in our newsletters.

How will the Buddy programme be organized in Fall?
The Buddy programme will be organized in an alternative online way, however the details still have to be worked out. You will be informed by e-mail as soon as we have more information.

When will the exchange study guide 2020/2021 be published online?
You can find both the minor list and exchange study guide for 2020/21 online.

When does course selection and registration start?
Course registration for the 1st period of the Fall semester started on July 20th. You have been informed about the procedure by e-mail.

I need to have documents signed, such as my learning agreement. Is this possible?
You can send your documents to [email protected].

If travel restrictions are lifted, is it possible for me to travel to the Netherlands and follow courses online while living in the Netherlands?
Yes, as long as the travel regulations from both your home country and the Netherlands permit it, you can spend the semester in Amsterdam following courses online. However, please be aware that the Netherlands is still currently subject to a high number of restrictions. You may not have the opportunity to meet other international students like you would in a normal situation. Nightlife, festivals, and other large events have been banned until at least 1 September.

Is your question not answered here?
Please send an e-mail to the incoming exchange team ([email protected]) or visit the exchange website: www.vu.nl/exchange.

General Questions

Am I a prospective Semester in Amsterdam student?
Semester in Amsterdam is a specific study abroad programme which serves as the alternative to the Exchange Programme at VU Amsterdam. If you have been nominated by your home university to participate in Exchange at VU Amsterdam and your university has an official partnership agreement, please see the answers for Incoming Exchange instead.  

Questions about the Fall 2020 Semester and Online Courses

What will education look like during the 2020-2021 Academic Year? 

All courses at VU Amsterdam will be planned according to the normal timetable structure. The academic year starts in the first week of September and is divided into two semesters. Each semester consists of three periods of 8+8+4 weeks.  Please see the Semester in Amsterdam website for more information.

Main Lectures - Fall 2020 Semester (September 2020 until January 2021): All main lectures (HC) will be provided online during the first semester of the upcoming academic year. Lectures are usually held for bigger groups and are less interactive. To avoid large gatherings, main lectures will not be held on campus until circumstances change to make this possible.

Other Educational Activities (work/lab groups) - Periods 1 and 2 (September to December 2020): Seminars/working groups/tutorials are held in smaller groups and are more interactive. As work/study groups are made up of smaller groups of people, we hope to start offering these on campus again soon. They will be held in a hybrid form: online, but when possible on campus. If work groups are offered (partly or fully) on campus, but you are unable to come to VU Amsterdam, you can follow an online alternative. Note that location-bound education, for instance courses that require lab work, cannot be offered online. 

Examinations: All examinations during the Fall 2020 semester will be conducted remotely.

Do class schedules take into account the time difference?

The university has not yet made a final decision in this matter, however it is highly likely that all classes and exams will be scheduled on Dutch standard time. This means that if you are a non-EU student not currently in Amsterdam, you will most likely have your classes and exams at unusual hours (early morning, late evening, or night time).

Can I still apply to the Semester in Amsterdam Programme?
No, the deadline for the Fall 2020 Semester has passed.  We will begin accepting applications for the Spring 2021 semester on 1 September.  

If travel restrictions are lifted, is it possible for me to travel to the Netherlands and follow courses online while living in the Netherlands?
Yes, as long as the travel regulations from both your home country and the Netherlands permit it, you can spend the semester in Amsterdam following courses online.  The Semester in Amsterdam housing will remain open.  However, please be aware that the Netherlands is still currently subject to a high number of restrictions. You may not have the opportunity to meet other international students like you would in a normal situation. Nightlife, festivals, and other large events have been banned until at least 1 September. 

How will the introduction programme be organized this Fall?
The introduction programme normally takes place in the last two weeks of August. This year no physical activities in Amsterdam are planned and instead we will organize an alternative online introduction. You will be informed as soon as we have a schedule.

How will the Buddy programme be organized in Fall?
The Buddy programme will probably be organized in an alternative online way, however the details still have to be worked out. 

Will there be a social programme this fall?
We are currently looking into what is possible.  If government restrictions allow, we would like to plan outside activities with small groups of students so that you still have opportunities to interact and get to know each other.  We will incorporate online activities as well.

When does course selection and registration start?
Course registration for period 1 has already started.  Please check your e-mail for more information.

Do class schedules take into account the differences in time zones?
Instructors will try to be accommodating when possible, but we cannot guarantee that your course times can be changed.  This means it can happen that you are only able to follow your courses in local Amsterdam time.  If you are in another country, this may mean following courses in the middle of the night.
   
Visa-Related Questions

What happens if I already paid for my visa but government restrictions make it impossible to come to VU Amsterdam?
The visa fee of 250.00 is non-refundable after 1 June if you wish to arrive in Amsterdam in August or September.  Once you submit visa documents to immigration and we apply for your visa, the visa fee is non-refundable. No other cancellation fees will be charged until after 15 July.

Questions about the Required Documents

I have sent a certified copy of my diploma or transcripts to VU Amsterdam, but I have not received a confirmation of receipt/verification.
Our staff is currently working remotely. This results in a longer processing time of hard copy documents. We will do our best to verify your documents as soon as possible.

I’m not able to submit the required documents for application because my university is closed.
Please contact us for advice about your specific situation. Please note that you are NOT required to submit English language test scores or a certified transcript with your application. We will accept an unofficial transcript of records for the application procedure.

I’m not able to take the English language test in my country because test centers are closed.
English language test results are not required for Semester in Amsterdam bachelor-level applicants. You only need to submit English language test scores if you wish to follow Master-level courses.

EU students have until 31 August to obtain their English test results. Therefore, there are no exemptions for this group yet. For non-EU students, the deadline to submit English language test results has been extended to 1 July.  We are now also accepting the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition. The test is available everywhere that TOEFL iBT testing is normally available, with the exception of Mainland China and Iran.

Questions about Housing 

Do I get my housing costs refunded if I decide to cancel my Semester in Amsterdam application due to the coronavirus?
Housing costs are refundable until 15 July. After 15 July, housing costs are non-refundable.

Questions about Cancellation

I might not be able to travel to the Netherlands for the start of the Fall semester due to the current situation.
You might be able to defer your Semester in Amsterdam to the spring semester (starting the end of January). You are also free to cancel with no fees until 1 June. Between 1 June and 15 July, only the non-refundable visa fee applies.  If you cancel after the official cancellation deadline of 15 July, a 1000.00 euro fee will be charged between 15 July and 15 August.  No refunds will be provided after arrival.  If you decide to continue with online courses at VU Amsterdam in your home country, we will not be able to provide any refunds after 30 August 2020.

What is the cancellation deadline of the Semester in Amsterdam Programme?
The deadline for cancellation is 15 July.  

Do I get a refund if I decide to cancel my application for the Semester in Amsterdam after the cancellation deadline of 15 July?
A cancellation fee of 1000.00 euro will be charged between 15 July and 15 August.  No refunds will be provided after arrival.  If you decide to continue with online courses at VU Amsterdam in your home country, we will not be able to provide any refunds after 30 August 2020.    



Accomodation and Immigration

Is there a deadline for housing applications via VU Amsterdam?
There is no deadline for applying for our housing service, as we process on a first paid, first served basis. The option to apply will become visible in VUnet once you are eligible, i.e. you don’t have any remaining deficiencies. If we do not have accommodations available when you apply, we will place your application on the waiting list and offer housing if it becomes available.

Cancellation and refund VU housing fee
You can cancel your housing reservation until 1 August 2020. The deadline closes at midnight (CET). Only if you cancel before this date/time, you can get a refund of the housing fee.
Be aware that housing providers might calculate administration costs if you cancel a signed contract, there are different conditions per housing provider.

How can I cancel my housing reservation and get the VU housing fee refunded?
You need to send the VU housing team an email to cancel your housing reservation: please send your message to [email protected]
To receive the refund of the VU housing fee, please email us. We will then send you a form in which you can include your bank details.

What happens to my housing application if I wish to make use of International Office housing but I cannot travel to Amsterdam in August/September?

Postponement of housing contract

In case you are not able to travel to the Netherlands as per August/September or decide to travel to the Netherlands at a later stage, it is possible to postpone your housing starting date to one of the following dates:

1. 12 October 2020 (2 weeks before the start of Period 2)
2. 18 January 2021 (2 weeks before the start of Period 4/second semester)

-   For housing provider DUWO, WASA, The Student Hotel: we would like to receive your decision for the start date before 1 August 2020 (midnight, CET).
-   For other housing providers: The deadline has passed.

Together with the housing providers, we will amend the start date of your contract accordingly. If you already transferred your payments to the housing provider, the payments will be carried over to the new rental period.

Conditions Postponing housing contract

- You need to inform us before1 August (DUWO, The Student Hotel, WASA) if you want to postpone the starting date of your housing contract to 12 October 2020 or to 18 January 2021. For other housing providers the deadline has passed already).
- You will start paying rent from the date your contract starts: Mid-August 2020, 12 October 2020 or 18 January 2021.
- It is not possible to change the start of your housing contract after you have sent us your final starting date. 
- You need to pay the advanced payments before 1 August 2020 for all housing start dates.
- In case you choose for a later starting date we are entitled to change your room reservation to a similar room (same rental price range and room type: shared or private facilities) in case necessary in order to provide as many students as possible with a suitable home.
- After 1 August, we will give priority in the allocation of housing to students who want to start the rental contract in August. 

Deferments to 2021/2022 and VU housing fee
- If you decide to defer to 2021/2022 before 1 August, you can choose to hold the housing fee for next academic year or to get it refunded.
- If you decide to defer to 2021/2022 after 1 August, we will automatically transfer your payment of the housing fee to next year.

How does it work if I you receive a housing offer from VU Adam after 1 August 2020?
- The housing fee will not be refunded if you want/need to cancel.
- You will have 1 week to pay the advanced rental payments. (Also applicable for later start dates in October or January)
- You have to inform us within 2 days after you received the offer, if you want to change the starting date of your rental contract until 12 October or 18 January.

What if I choose a later start of the rental contract, is it still possible to cancel it without costs?
No, it is not possible to cancel later and get the housing fee and the rent you paid back. 
VU Adam is very flexible in offering different housing start dates in case you need to start the study programme online. We guarantee you an accommodation on 3 different start dates. For this reason you can only cancel your room without costs if you cancel before 1 August 2020 (midnight CET).

What if I am still in doubt about the starting date of my rental contract?
You can:
1.    Cancel your tenancy agreement and look for another room (on the private market) as of the date you expect to arrive in The Netherlands. The housing fee will only be refunded if you cancel before 1 August (midnight CET).
2.    Keep your room and pay the rent and you are assured of a room when you will arrive in The Netherlands.

I am on the waiting list for accommodation, what are my chances of getting a room via VU Adam?
The housing team needs some time to process all cancellations the coming two weeks, so we ask you to have a little patience. Although we cannot give any guaranties, we expect to have enough rooms available for students on the waiting list.

Contact
Email: [email protected]
Phone: Please schedule an appointment in our online tool

 

I am a non-EU student and need a study visa / residence permit

General information for all non-EU students
We strongly advise you to start/complete your immigration procedure a.s.a.p.
The deadline for submitting your immigration procedure for programmes starting in September was: 1 July 2020 (see also the topic ‘ Deadline’ below). You can find information about the immigration procedure here.
This deadline is also applicable if your study programme starts online in September and you will arrive later in the academic year in the Netherlands.

Payment of the Visa fee
You need to transfer the Visa fee also before 1 July. We will not send your documents to the Immigration Authorities without fee payment.

Cancellation of immigration procedure
It is always possible to cancel your visa / residence permit application. As soon as you can travel to the Netherlands again, we will submit a new visa application for you to the Dutch immigration authorities (IND). You might have to pay for the visa fee again in this case.

Visa /residence permit Fee
If the University has already applied for your visa/residence permit when you cancel your application, the visa fee is non-refundable. The fee is refundable in the following situation:

• Immigration fees are refundable if you cancel your application before the University submits your visa/residence permit application to the Dutch immigration authorities (IND).

• If you decide to defer your study to the academic year 2021/2022, your payment will be transferred to next year. You do not have to pay again for the visa fee.

Extra information for Students who need an Entry Visa (MVV) to travel to the Netherlands
Due to the Corona crisis and measures in your country, you may experience the following problems with your Entry Visa:

• If you are unable to collect your entry visa from the Embassy / Consulate, you can extend the period of collecting your Entry visa (MVV) with 3 months. Please contact the Embassy / Consulate for information.

• If you have collected your Entry Visa (MVV), but you cannot travel to the Netherlands, you can extend your MVV with another 3 months. Please contact the Embassy / Consulate where you collected your MVV for information.

In both cases, it may be an option for you to start in September online with your courses and travel later to the Netherlands. We advise you to keep an eye on the information provided by your programme on the website if this is possible for your study programme: Bachelor.vu.nl or Master.vu.nl.

Information for Exchange students who are staying less than 90 days in the Netherlands
If you are an exchange student and you will be for a maximum period of 90 days in the Netherlands due to the fact that your programme is 4/5 months and you will follow the first period online from your home country, you might not need an entry visa /residence permit for study. It might also be possible to apply for a short stay visa. Please contact your immigration officer for more information.

Deadlines
VU Amsterdam will apply for a visa/residence permit when you have been (conditionally) admitted.

The deadline for uploading the documents for your visa and/or residence permit application procedure was 1 July for the first semester. However, we can make some exceptions for students applying for the first semester in the following situations:

Students who still need to apply for their visa/residence permit application
  • If you are waiting on test results, e.g. your English test, Mathematics test and so on. Please send us the required immigration documents as soon as you’ve obtained access to the visa section in VUnet. 
  • If you cannot travel to the Netherlands until January and you will follow your study programme remotely from your home country. We advise you to contact your Immigration Officer ([email protected]) to discuss your options if this applies to you. 

We apply the following VISA deadlines if your visa procedure has been postponed: 

  • 1 September for students who still need to complete tests / have to wait for test results as part of their admission procedure. 
  • 1 November if you are not able to travel until January 2021.  

Students who already applied for their visa/residence permit application 

If you have already sent us your visa application (or if your application has already been sent to the IND), please pay attention to the following: when you need an entry visa (MVV) to enter the Netherlands, be aware that you have to collect this within 90 days – with a possible extension of 90 days. Once you’ve collected your MVV, the entry visa in your passport will be valid for another 90 days. Consult the web page of your Dutch representation to see if it is possible to make an MVV appointment. This page will be updated as soon as the consular services and appointment options change. Non-EU citizens who do not need an entry visa (MVV)* can enter the Netherlands with their passport (and a valid Schengen permit, if applicable) once this is possible. Please check the Corona page on the website of the IND regularly.


* Traveling from a country to which the entry ban applies
Do you live in a country to which the entry ban applies? For example the United States? Then you may only travel to the Netherlands if you have a vital function or need. This is the case if you have received the IND approval letter (in Dutch: “kennisgeving”) stating that you will receive a residence permit as:
• Student (college, university)
• Family member of a highly skilled migrant or student

Then your flight to the Netherlands must be direct (no transit). You must bring the following documents with you when traveling to the Netherlands:
• For students: The letter stating that you will receive a residence permit (kennisgeving).
• For a family member of a highly skilled migrant or student: If you are not traveling together, your family member will need a copy of the letter stating that you will receive a residence permit (kennisgeving).

Is the airline not allowing you on the flight because they don't find the letter (kennisgeving) enough evidence? Send an email to [email protected].

Contact
Email: [email protected]
Phone: Please schedule an appointment in our online tool

The Netherlands and COVID-19: Measures for travelling, living, and quarantine

During your stay in the Netherlands you must follow the rules that have been imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These rules apply to everyone in the Netherlands. We advise you to check the following website regularly as measures may change.

In short:
• Maintain a distance of 1.5 metres (approx. 2 arm’s lengths) from other people.
• Wash your hands frequently.
• Don’t shake hands with others.
• Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
• Avoid busy places. Leave if you notice it is becoming difficult to keep a distance of 1.5 metres.
• Face masks are compulsory in public transport
• Self-quarantine is necessary if you travel from orange /red areas

You might also want to check this page of the Dutch government for instructions.

 

 

 

In order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the Netherlands the Dutch government has decided to implement measures for passengers travelling to the Netherlands from areas with many coronavirus infections by means of a health declaration form and self-quarantine.

What measures do I need to take before travelling to The Netherlands?
- Check the status of the area you are traveling from here. We advise you to consult this page regularly for updates.
- Students and staff coming from red or orange areas are advised to take extra care two weeks prior to their departure to the Netherlands and are avoid (risky) social activities. This includes visiting bars, (departure) parties and large gatherings. Do not travel if you have any symptoms!
- Buy/ make face-masks to use in public transport / taxi etc. after arriving in The Netherlands
- Fill out and print a health declaration form. You need to show it upon request on the airport.
- Apply for a health insurance for your stay in the Netherlands: see the information page about insurance in The Netherlands. If you apply in advance, the insurance will also cover the travel days.
- We advise you to bring a valid credit card so that you have access to money as long as you do not have a Dutch bank account.
- For more information, check here.

What should I do when I arrive at the airport in the Netherlands?
- On the airport maintain a distance of 1,5 meters from others, also at the luggage belt.
- Mor Information about the COVID-19 rules at the airport is available here.

How do I go to my student accommodation from the airport or train station?
• You will have to arrange your transport to your accommodation yourself. Route descriptions for public transport will be available soon. It is also possible to make a reservation for a taxi in advance. 
• To travel to your accommodation from the airport, you can use a taxi or the public transport. For both, you will need a non-medical face mask.

Do I need to wear a face mask in the Netherlands?
When travelling by public transport, taxi, coach or car, you must wear a face-mask. A non-medical face mask that does not have a filter and is made of a material such as cotton is enough. These types of face mask are sold in places like supermarkets and pharmacies. You can also make your own.
You may not use a scarf, face shield/visor, snood, bandanna, the collar of a jacket, or a non-medical face mask made from a sock, for instance. Gas masks should also not be used.
All passengers aged 13 and over are required to wear a non-medical face mask. The fine for not wearing a non- medical face mask is € 95.
Information how to use a non-medical face mask can be found here.

How do I get the key of my room?
- If you rent an accommodation via VU Adam, the housing providers will inform you how and where you will receive the key of your room.
- If you rent an accommodation on the private market, you will have to make arrangements with your landlord yourself.

 

Should I go into self-quarantine?
Students travelling from red or orange areas (check here) need to go in self- quarantine for 2 weeks after arriving in the Netherlands.
It does not matter whether an area has an orange /red travel advice or if this changes during the first weeks after you arrived in the Netherlands. In both cases you must self-quarantine for 2 weeks after arriving in the Netherlands. If a country has an orange travel advice for reasons other than health, you do not need to self-quarantine.

What are the general rules for self-quarantine?
The rules on self-quarantine are published here by the Dutch government.

In short:
- We expect you to have to stay in your room for 2 weeks after arriving in The Netherlands
- During the self-quarantine period do not travel or go to another location in the Netherlands.
- You may not return to your country of origin
- You cannot go to a grocery store for food.
- If you need medical assistance do not go to your General Practitioner or the hospital, but phone the doctor instead.
- Nobody may visit you (except a medical doctor)
- You can sit outside if you have a garden or balcony.
- If you do not develop any symptoms that could be caused by COVID-19, you can end the self-quarantine after 14 days.

How do I get groceries in self-quarantine?
For delivery options of supermarkets, you can check the following websites:
- Jumbo:
o Jumbo website (translate via Google)
o payments via debit card/ IDEAL/ Credit card

 - Albert Heijn:
Albert Heijn website (translate via Google)
o only payments with a debit card / IDEAL

Can I go to the municipality to register and get a BSN number during the quarantine time?
Make sure to plan your appointment at the municipality as soon as your self-quarantine ends. For more information, see here.

Can I go to a bank to open a bank account during the quarantine time?
You can not go tot the bank office during quarantine time. But alternative options are possible, check here

How do I get in contact with the university during the quarantine time?
The International office is available for questions. Please check here how you can contact us.

How do I get in contact with other students during the self-quarantine period?
- A Facebook group or other platform will be created for help from other students with groceries etc.
- If you live in student housing, we advise every unit to set up a WhatsApp group to connect with your flatmates!
- In some accommodation buildings, Residence Assistants will be available to chat with or to ask questions.
- More information will follow

What about quarantine if I live in a room with shared facilities?
Students who reserved a room in a building with shared bathroom and shared kitchen, or only a shared kitchen might have challenges with social distancing and keeping with the rules of self-quarantine. Be aware that not all students on your floor will come from orange /red countries, so quarantine will not be necessary for everyone.

However, we ask all students for their understanding, respect, cooperation and solidarity towards each other and hope that you will find a way all together to make it possible maintain social distancing and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

We advise you to make agreements with your floormates about the following topics:
- Limit the use of shared spaces as much as possible, so stay in your room!
- Protect yourself and each other by keeping  1,5 meters distance in common areas
- Create a WhatsApp group with your flatmates to keep in contact with each other
- Make schedules for cooking, use of bathroom. The maximum number of students must be restricted so everyone can keep the 1,5 meters distance
- Check out how you can help each other with groceries
- Make schedules for cleaning the common areas
- Use of face-masks in common areas
- Do not invite students from other flats
- It is not allowed to organise parties during quarantine time
- Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups or eating utensils
- Follow the general rules on hygiene: wash your hands frequently and cough and sneeze into your elbow.
- Check on your flatmates in quarantine and ask if you can help them

I have COVID-19 symptoms, what can I do?
Anyone with complaints related to the COVID-19 virus can call the following telephone numbers for an appointment to be tested between 8.00 AM and 20.00 PM.
- National number: 0800 – 1202
- If you are calling from abroad: +31- 850659063
You can only make an appointment if you have one or more symptoms of COVID-19, such as:
- a stuffy nose
- a runny nose
- sneezing
- a sore throat
- a cough
- fever
- or sudden loss of smell or taste
You can find more information about the COVID-19 testing in general and locations where it is offered here.

What are the costs of a COVID-19 test?
Your health insurance will cover the costs of the COVID-19 test. If you did not apply for your insurance before arrival, we advise you to do this as soon as possible. You can find more information here.

How can I contact a doctor to discuss my medical situation?
In the Netherlands, the General Practitioner (GP) is the first contact in case you need medical assistance. We advise you to register with a General Practitioner as soon as possible after arrival. If you would need medical assistance, the GP is the first to contact. As a student of VU Amsterdam you can register at the University General Practice in the VU Medical Centre. You can also choose a GP close to your accommodation.

In life- threatening situations always call 112.

I need psychological help, what can I do?
  • Please send an e-mail to the student psychological counsellors via [email protected]. They will contact you and discuss with you the type of help they can provide.
  • You can also contact your GP directly to discuss a referall to a psychologist.
  • You may want to look for an online treatment by a psychologist. There are online treatments available (E-health), and several psychologists offer online treatment. I-practice offers a telephone consultation hour for questions about mental health and COVID-19 (www.ipractice.nl).
  • Another possibility in Amsterdam is InterBeing, a group of international psychologists who are specialized in supporting international students in the Netherlands. They are also offering online sessions.

In case you are already receiving treatment for your issues, or have received treatment before, contact your (previous) therapist or GP.
If you have thoughts about death or suicide, or worry about somebody you know, call 0900-0113, or visit www.113.nl/english for help with suicide prevention 24/7.