Visa/residence permit

Visa and residence permit

When you are a citizen of a non-EU country, you need to complete the immigration procedure before you can start your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. So it is very important to have that matter settled! Luckily our International Office at VU Amsterdam will apply for the required immigration documents on your behalf.

On this website you will find all the information you need in order to complete it smoothly. Therefore please read the website carefully for it contains very important information.


There are two types of immigration procedures:

  • Residence permit (VVR) procedure
  • Long stay entry visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR) procedure

Which procedure applies to you depends on your nationality. Please check the Frequently Used Terms and Frequently Asked Questions below for more information about the difference between a visa and residence permit. In the overview below, you can see the procedure that applies to you. When you click on the link of the procedure you need to follow, you will be redirected to the page containing all relevant information with regards to the procedure and the required documents.

Required procedure
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • United States of America
  • Vatican City State
Residence permit (VVR) procedure
  • All other non-EU countries

Long stay entry visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR) procedure
  • All other non-EU countries but in possession of valid residence permit of another Schengen country

Residence permit (VVR) procedure
  • All EU countries
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Switzerland

No procedure required


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will apply for a visa and/or residence permit when you have been (conditionally) admitted. First, you need to confirm your participation in the Exchange programme in VUnet before you can upload your documents in VUnet. The visa/residence permit application procedure will open in VUnet on 1 April 2020 for the Fall semester 2021/2022. The deadline for completing the visa and/or residence permit application procedure is 1 July. The application procedure takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks. In order to apply for a visa and/or residence permit, you need to upload some documents in VUnet. Please check above under the procedure applicable to you, what documents you need to upload and the requirements they need to meet.

1 April (first semester)/1 October (second semester)
From this date on you can start the entry visa and/or residence permit application procedure in VUnet.
2 weeks
We aim to check your documents within 2 weeks. When they are all correct and when we have received the visa fee, we will submit the application to the Dutch Immigration Service (IND). In case some documents are insufficient, we will let you know by e-mail. So keep an eye out for any notifications!
2 to 4 weeks
It takes approximately 2 to 4 weeks before we receive the approval from the IND - in the busy summer period it is more likely that it takes up to 4 weeks. We will inform you when the IND has approved your entry visa and/or residence permit application and we will provide you with detailed information about the next steps you need to take.
1 to 3 weeks
You make an appointment with the Dutch representation to collect your entry visa in case you require one. How soon you can get an appointment depends on how busy the Dutch representation is. Keep in mind that it may take longer during the summer months. After the appointment, it may take up to 3 weeks before you will receive the visa.
August (first semester)/January (second semester)
You travel to the Netherlands. We will schedule an appointment for you with the IND so that you can collect your residence permit or provide your biometrics (fingerprints and photo needed to issue the residence permit). If applicable, we will also schedule an appointment for the TB test. You can find more information about the TB test in the sections about the procedures.
September (first semester)/February (second semester) 
Collect your residence permit at the IND.


The IND checks the applications of citizens from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Nepal and Pakistan more thoroughly. As a result, the timeline as outlined above is not applicable to you when you are a citizen of one of these countries. Please note that the IND takes three months to make their decision when you are a citizen from Bangladesh, Nepal or Pakistan. Therefore it is advisable to complete the procedure well in time; otherwise you may not receive your entry visa in time for the start of the academic year.