Before you arrive

There are various practical matters that must be dealt with before beginning your Master’s degree programme.

There are various practical matters that must be dealt with before beginning your Master’s degree programme at VU Amsterdam.

  • Accommodation: Information on accommodation at VU Amsterdam.
  • Visa/residence permit: Find out whether you require a visa/residence permit and the procedure for arranging this. You can find the information below the accommodation section.
  • Pathfinder: Fill in the Pathfinder and you will find all the relevant practical information for your situation.

Accommodation

The International Office offers accommodation to participants in international Master’s programmes. There are furnished and unfurnished rooms with private or shared facilities. The number of rooms available is limited, so we cannot guarantee accommodation for every student, but the International Office will do its utmost best to find suitable accommodation for everyone. In order to improve your chances of obtaining accommodation you are strongly advised to apply as soon as possible. 

In our Rules and regulations you can find more information on the rental periods and the application and refund procedure.

All students who have been accepted (conditionally and otherwise) receive an invitation to confirm their participation in VUnet. Once your participation has been accepted you will also be able to apply for accommodation in VUnet. You can only apply for accommodation from VU Amsterdam as an international Master’s student with a nationality from outside the Netherlands. 

The deadline for accommodation applications is 1 June 2017. Please indicate if you want VU Amsterdam to help you find accommodation and the maximum rental price that you are prepared to pay as an indication. (please note that this preference will not limit your options)

We strive to accommodate all students who apply for accommodation in VUnet and pay the housing fee before the deadline of 1 June 2017. Should we not be able to accommodate you directly after June 1st you will be offered accommodation based on availability or you will be placed on the waiting list and will be informed when there is a cancellation immediately.
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More information on how to navigate in VUnet.

If you wish to obtain accommodation through from VU Amsterdam, then you must pay a fee. The housing fee is charged to cover our costs in providing housing services to international students. For Master’s students the fee is €400 for the entire academic year. You can pay this fee online in VUnet or by bank transfer. Please make sure the fee is in our account by 1 June 2017 at the very latest. Applications for accommodation will not be dealt with until the university has received this sum. In case you apply and/or pay after the deadline, you will be placed on a waiting list. 

Refund
If you cancel your application before 11 July 2017 your housing fee can be refunded. We will need your address and bank account details in a form. You can request the link to the form by email: studentaccommodation@vu.nl.  A refund of your housing fee after the deadline of 11 July  is only possible if you did not receive an offer for accommodation, regardless if you accept or decline the offer.

Accommodation consists of furnished  or unfurnished (single) rooms with private or shared facilities. It is common that men and women live together in the same student house. Given the shortage of good accommodation, you may find the room you get is rather small and not of the standard you had expected. Accommodation in Amsterdam is not only limited, but can also be more expensive than at home. Thinking about these things in advance could help avoid unpleasant surprises later. We are trying to manage your expectations.

For our 1 year Master programme students, we have reserved Accommodate rooms.
For our 2 year Master programme students, we have reserved Campus Contract Rooms.

Rental prices

The rental prices mentioned are per month and services costs (water, electricity, cable internet etc.) are included in the price. All prices mentioned are subject to change, and as such you cannot derive a right from these prices. You can find the (range of) rental prices for each accommodation in the types of accommodation documents listed above.

Rental period

The rental period will depend on the type of accommodation you choose:

Housing cooperation
Type of accommodation
Type of contract
Rental period
DUWO
Accommodate (furnished)
Fixed
18 August 2017 – mid August 2018
Extension not possible
DUWO
Campus Contract (unfurnished)
@ Spinoza campus
Flexible
Start date: August 2017 (start dates can differ)
Minimum one month
Maximum until graduated
Student Experience
Campus Contract (unfurnished)
@ RavelResidence
Flexible
Start date: August 2017 (start dates can differ)
Minimum 12 months
Maximum until graduated
The Student Hotel
Furnished, high level service
Fixed
1 September 2017 – 30 June 2018
Extension not possible

Have you arranged your accommodation with VU Amsterdam and you are staying in a room from DUWO? You can collect your keys as of Friday 18 August 2017 or Monday 21 August 2017 during the arrival days, or after that date during DUWO office hours.

If you will stay in the Netherlands for more than four months, then you need to register with the local authorities, the municipality. After registration the municipality office will send a social security number (BSN) to your Dutch address. During the arrival days on Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 August, it will be possible to register with the municipalities Amstelveen or Amsterdam at Vrije Universiteit. You can find more information under ‘When you arrive’.

Required documents

  • Passport or European ID card
  • Rental agreement for your Dutch address (if you do not have a rental agreement then you must bring a written statement of approval signed by the main tenant and a copy of his/her passport).
  • Birth Certificate (legalized)* - please note that this is only required if you are staying for longer than one year in accommodation outside of Amsterdam or Amstelveen. If your birth certificate is not in Dutch, English, French or German, then you must supply a sworn translation into one of these languages.

Students who are married will also need to bring their marriage certificate (legalized).*

* The legalization method depends on the respective country. The Dutch missions in other countries are responsible for legalizing foreign documents for use in the Netherlands. The documents must first have been legalized by the country’s own authorities, usually the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country where the document was issued.


    • VU Amsterdam Campus   
    • Housing corporation DUWO Amstelveen
    • Accommodation at Spinoza Campus
    • Accommodation at Ravel Residence
    • Accommodation at Amstel Home

Finding a place to live in Amsterdam is not easy, as there is a serious shortage of accommodation for students. Although the International Office of VU Amsterdam will do its utmost best to arrange suitable accommodation for everyone, in the following cases VU Amsterdam may not provide accommodation:

    • If you will bring your family or pet;
    • Housing requests that have been received after the deadline might not be granted but placed on a waiting list; 
    • If your preferences do not need the accommodation on offer from VU Amsterdam

If you fit in one of these categories, we strongly advise you to have a look at the following accommodation alternatives. There are various Dutch websites that offer housing in Amsterdam and they provide useful information on finding accommodation. 

Be aware that when responding to adverts offering accommodation, there may be some fraudulent operators around. Please look out for scams. VU Amsterdam cannot be held responsible for the services delivered by any provider of alternative accommodation. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you have any questions about accommodation please check our FAQ or if you cannot find the answer, please send an email to studentaccommodation@vu.nl.

In case you would like to meet up with us to discuss your accommodation, please call T +31 (0)20 59 84691 or schedule a phone call in our online tool.

Could you please show me your room?

Visa and residence permit

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will apply for a visa and/or residence permit on your behalf after you have been (conditionally) admitted, and when you have confirmed your participation in the Bachelor’s programme. 

The deadlines for completing your visa/residence permit application is 1 June.  In case you wish to bring your partner and/or child(ren), please see Bringing Family Members below for detailed information.

The deadlines for completing your visa application are 1 June (1st semester) and 1 December (2nd semester).

Before we can start the visa and/or residence permit procedure, we need to have received the visa fee (€350).

There are two types of immigration procedures:

•    Residence permit (VVR) only;
•    Entry visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR).

Which procedure applies to you, depends on your nationality. Please check your nationality and the accompanying procedure below:

Country of originVisa/residence permit needed?
  • EU countries
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Switzerland
No visa or residence permit required
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • United States of America
  • Vatican City State
Visa (MVV) not required, residence permit (VVR) required
  • All other countries
Visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR) required

When you are traveling to the Netherlands with the purpose of study and the intention to stay here longer than 90 days, and you are a citizen of one of the countries below, you are required to have a residence permit (VVR) but not an entry visa (MVV). This means that you can enter the Netherlands with just your passport.

    • Australia
    • Canada
    • Japan
    • New Zealand
    • South Korea
    • United States of America
    • Vatican City State

If you are neither a citizen of the above countries nor an EU/EEA student, please see Visa required, residence permit required.

* One year Master students with the Australian, Canadian, South-Korean and New-Zealand nationality have the possibility to apply for the Working Holiday Permit (WHP) or Working Holiday Scheme (WHS). See our information sheet for more details.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

We will need the following documents from you in order to process your residence permit application. You will need to submit all these documents in VUnet. Please note that we only accept PDF files. We will reject the documents if they are uploaded in any other type of format.

Required stepsWhen required
  • Transfer the Visa fee via the online payment tool in VUnet
  • Upload in VUnet the Antecedent Certificate and TBC form
  • Upload in VUnet a copy of your passport (ID page and all pages that have been stamped)
  • Upload in VUnet your Proof of financial means (with a minimum of € 900 per month for living expenses and additional proof that you have funds to pay tuition fees)
  • 1st semester - before 1 June
  • 2nd semester - before 1 December
When you submit the documents after the deadline, then it may be the case that your residence permit will not be ready by the time your programme starts. The procedure usually takes 4 weeks, although this can be considerably longer during the summer months. As soon as we have received the decision of the Dutch Immigration Service (IND), we will send you an e-mail with detailed information about the steps to take after you have arrived in the Netherlands. 

During the Arrival Days we will make an appointment for you with the IND to give your biometrics (fingerprints, photograph etc.) which is needed to order the residence permit card. It takes approximately 2 to 4 weeks before you can collect your residence permit at the IND office in Amsterdam at Stadhouderskade 85.

VISA FEE
  • Residence permit (VVR) costs €350
  • Change of Purpose costs €350. Please note that a change of purpose is only applicable when you currently have a Dutch residence permit with a different purpose than study that needs to be changed to a study permit, e.g. when you have a residence permit as a spouse but you are separating while you are studying here.

In any case, the visa fee is €350 and only needs to be transferred to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam once per application.

These fees are valid as of 1 February 2016 and are subject to change.

You need to transfer this amount to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam before we can start the residence permit application procedure. Payment details will be included in the email that you will receive from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam after you have accepted your participation in VUnet. We strongly recommend that you use the online payment tool in Vunet to transfer the visa fee. In case the email does not reach you and you wish to transfer the fee the old-fashioned way, the bank details are as follows:

Account name:Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Name of bank:Deutsche Bank
Address of bank:De Entree 99-197, 1101 HE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
IBAN:NL49DEUT0488004470
BIC:DEUTNL2N

Please state your name and S+ student number (e.g. s1234567). When paid from abroad, all banking costs are to be paid by the applicant. You can pay your visa and housing fee in one transaction.

CHANGE OF PURPOSE OF STAY

If you already have a residence permit for some other purpose (for employment, stay with partner, asylum, au pair or study at another Dutch university), VU Amsterdam needs to define if we need to apply for a study residence permit for you. Please upload a copy of your current residence permit (front & back). Questions can be send to studentimmigration@vu.nl.

TUBERCULOSIS TEST
A tuberculosis (TB) test may be part of your application for a residence permit. Please read the TB form carefully to see if you need to be tested upon arrival in the Netherlands.

If you need to be tested, then this must be indicated on the TBC form. It is important to have yourself tested as soon as possible upon arrival in the Netherlands. Please note that it is not necessary to have yourself tested in your home country. You do not need to make an appointment when you go there yourself, but to facilitate our students we will make appointments during the Arrival Days. In case you cannot make it to any of the proposed days, you can visit during consulting hours at the address and hours below. You will be tested immediately. Please make sure you visit the GG&GD within 3 months of your arrival.

GG&GD
(TBC test) 
Nieuwe Achtergracht 100 
Time: Monday & Tuesday: 13.00-15.00.

Public Transport: Take tram 51 from Boelelaan and alight at Weesperplein. From there the GG&GD office is within walking distance

STRICT REQUIREMENTS OF THE IND

As an educational institution, we are entitled to apply for entry visas and residence permits on behalf of all our international students (with the sole purpose of study). 
Although we apply on your behalf, we are bound by the strict and specific requirements set by the Dutch Immigration Services (IND). Not meeting these requirements means we will not submit your application as it may be rejected. If we have submitted your application and it is rejected by the IND, or you decide to no longer study at VU Amsterdam, your fee will not be refunded. So please make sure that your application is both valid and complete!

AFTER ARRIVAL

After your arrival in Amsterdam you need to go the Dutch Immigration Service to have your biometrics (photo and fingerprints) taken. We will make appointments for this during the Arrival Days. Your residence permit will be ready in approximately two weeks to four weeks after your first visit to the Dutch Immigration Office. We will inform you when your residence permit is ready.

When you are travelling to the Netherlands with the purpose of study with the intention to stay here longer than 90 days, and you are a citizen of a country for which a visa is required, you are required to have an entry visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR). In case you hold a residence permit of another EU Schengen country, you are exempted from an entry visa in which case you only need to apply for a residence permit (VVR). Please indicate this in VUnet and/or contact us at studentimmigration@vu.nl.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS AND INFORMATION

We will need the following documents from you in order to process your residence permit application. You will need to submit all these documents in VUnet. Please note that we only accept PDF files. We will reject the documents if they are uploaded in any other type of format.

Required stepsWhen required
  • 1st semester - before 1 June
  • 2nd semester - before 1 December

Additionally, please indicate the embassy or consulate of your preference in VUnet:

  • Country and city in which you will collect the entry visa
  • Before you submit your choice, please check whether your embassy or consulate is entitled to issue visas (MVV)

When you submit the documents after the deadline, it may be the case that your entry visa and residence permit will not be ready by the time your course starts. The procedure usually takes 4 weeks, although this can be considerably longer during the summer months. As soon as we have received the decision of the Dutch Immigration Service (IND), we will send you an e-mail with detailed information about the steps to take to receive your entry visa (MVV). During the Arrival Days we will make an appointment for you with the IND to collect your residence permit card.

VISA FEE

  • Residence permit (VVR) costs €350
  • Change of Purpose costs €350. Please note that a change of purpose is only applicable when you currently have a Dutch residence permit with a different purpose than study that needs to be changed to a study permit, e.g. when you have a residence permit as a spouse but you are separating while you are studying here.

In any case, the visa fee is €350 and only needs to be transferred to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam once per application.

These fees are valid as of 1 February 2016 and are subject to change.

You need to transfer this amount to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam before we can start the residence permit application procedure. Payment details will be included in the email that you will receive from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam after you have accepted your participation in VUnet. We strongly recommend that you use the online payment tool in Vunet to transfer the visa fee. In case the email does not reach you and you wish to transfer the fee the old-fashioned way, the bank details are as follows:

Account name:Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Name of bank:Deutsche Bank
Address of bank:De Entree 99-197, 1101 HE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
IBAN:NL49DEUT0488004470
BIC:DEUTNL2N

Please state your name and S+ student number (e.g. s1234567). When paid from abroad, all banking costs are to be paid by the applicant. You can pay your visa and housing fee in one transaction.

APPROVAL OF YOUR ENTRY VISA

Your contact person of the Services team at the International Office will inform you when your entry visa has been approved by the Dutch Immigration Service (IND) and will inform you about the next steps. You need to contact the Dutch Embassy or Consulate in your country (or third country if you have a valid residence permit for another country) to make an appointment for your entry visa. Please bring a valid passport and a photo (see requirements) to the appointment. In some cases you will receive your entry visa immediately. It may also be possible that you need to hand in your passport. In the latter case it may take up to 2 weeks before your entry visa will be ready.

TUBERCULOSIS TEST
A tuberculosis (TB) test may be part of your application for a residence permit. Please read the TB form carefully to see if you need to be tested upon arrival in the Netherlands.

If you need to be tested, then this must be indicated on the TBC form. It is important to have yourself tested as soon as possible upon arrival in the Netherlands. Please note that it is not necessary to have yourself tested in your home country. You do not need to make an appointment when you go there yourself, but to facilitate our students we will make appointments during the Arrival Days. In case you cannot make it to any of the proposed days, you can visit during consulting hours at the address and hours below. You will be tested immediately. Please make sure you visit the GG&GD within 3 months of your arrival.

GG&GD
(TBC test) 
Nieuwe Achtergracht 100 
Time: Monday & Tuesday: 13.00-15.00.

Public Transport: Take tram 51 from Boelelaan and alight at Weesperplein. From there the GG&GD office is within walking distance

STRICT REQUIREMENTS OF THE IND

As an educational institution, we are entitled to apply for entry visas and residence permits on behalf of all our international students (with the sole purpose of study). 
Although we apply on your behalf, we are bound by the strict and specific requirements set by the Dutch Immigration Services (IND). Not meeting these requirements means we will not submit your application as it may be rejected. If we have submitted your application and it is rejected by the IND, or you decide to no longer study at VU Amsterdam, your fee will not be refunded. So please make sure that your application is both valid and complete!

AFTER ARRIVAL

During the Arrival Days we will make an appointment for you with the IND to collect your residence permit card. In case your residence permit is not yet ready, your contact person of the Services team at the International Office will notify you when your residence permit is ready to be collected.

Please send an e-mail to studentimmigration@vu.nl when you wish to bring your partner and/or child(ren). In order to prepare the application, we need the following documents:

• Copy passports (ID page and all the stamped pages);
• Antecedents statement (see attachment) signed by your partner and child older than 12 years;
• TBC statement if needed (please check in the appendix if you are exempted according to your nationality), signed by your family members;
• Proof of financial means (proof of scholarship, bank statement showing own means, etc.). The norm amount set by IND for families is 1.675,73 euro net per month.
• One appendix Authorization and sponsorship declaration for every family member signed by you. With this you authorize Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam to apply for your family members on your behalf;
• Copy of your marriage certificate, legalized and translated by a sworn translator in Dutch, French, German or English.
• Copy of your birth certificates legalized and translated by a sworn translator in Dutch, French, German or English.

Please note that we only accept PDF files. Send each document in a separate PDF file to studentimmigration@vu.nl and we will process the application as soon as possible.

List of frequently used terms

VARIOUS TYPES OF VISAS

What is the difference between a visa and a residence permit?
A visa (MVV) is used to enter the Netherlands and a residence permit is a document that gives you the right to stay here legally (see section List of frequently used terms). Citizens of certain nationalities cannot just travel to the Netherlands; these nationalities require a visa sticker (MVV) in their passport which allows them to enter the Netherlands. A visa sticker is collected at the Dutch embassy or consulate in your home country (or a third-party country if there is no Dutch representation in your own country). Conversely, all Non-EU citizens need a residence permit. This is an ID card which you will receive in the Netherlands.  

My visa is only valid for three months, what should I do?
There is nothing to worry about. If your nationality requires a visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR), we will apply for both. You will collect the visa at the embassy or consulate in your home country. This is a sticker that is placed in your passport. The visa is always valid for three months. This is due to the fact that a visa is only used to travel to the Netherlands. From the moment you have collected the visa, you have three months to travel to the Netherlands. The residence permit, on the other hand, is an ID card that you will pick up in the Netherlands. This is the actual document that allows you to stay legally in the Netherlands during your studies here.

Can I study here using a short term/tourist visa (VKV)?
No, this is not possible. You can only stay in the Netherlands for 90 days on a short stay visa. The study programmes at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are longer than 90 days*. It is not possible either to enter the Netherlands on a short stay visa and obtain a residence permit. You can only obtain a residence permit in combination with a long stay entry visa (MVV)**.
    *   The only exception to this are Summer School courses.
    ** This only applies to nationals who require a visa to enter the Netherlands. 

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

My sponsor does not have a passport, what should I do?
In case your sponsor does not have a passport, you can provide any other form of legal identification (such as an ID card). If this type of identification is only issued in your native language, then you will need to have the document translated into Dutch or English by a sworn translator.

Do I need to bring a birth certificate?
No, you do not need to bring a birth certificate if you will be living in Amsterdam or Amstelveen.

TRAVELLING

I wish to travel through Europe, can I do this with my Dutch entry visa and residence permit?
Yes, you can travel to Schengen member states only. Before you travel, please check whether the countries of your destination are Schengen states. Your entry visa (MVV) allows you to travel through Schengen countries for a maximum of 90 days. Please check the Schengen calculator to check how many days you still have left.

The MVV is also referred to as a type D-visa. The D-visa is valid for 90 days from the commencement date stated on the visa sticker that is placed in your passport. You can use the D-visa to enter and leave the Netherlands (and other Schengen countries). The residence permit for study allows you to live and study in the Netherlands, and to travel to all the Schengen countries and back to the Netherlands as often as you like while the permit is valid. Please note though that the maximum amount of days you can spend uninterrupted in another Schengen country is 90 days.
Also note that some countries require that your Dutch residence permit continues to be valid for a specific period of time (either three or six months) after your arrival in their country. This may have a significant effect on your travel plans, particularly during the summer months. Please remember this when you are planning to travel outside the Netherlands and check about any such requirements before you book any travel tickets.

PRACTICALITIES (BSN number, municipalities)

What is the municipality and a BSN number, and is this related to my residence permit?
The municipality is the local government of a place. Depending on where you live, you fall under the municipality of Amsterdam or Amstelveen. It is necessary to register with the municipality in order to keep the right of your residence permit. When you have registered at the town hall, you will receive your BSN number within a few weeks (both Amsterdam and Amstelveen municipalities are present during the Arrival Days and you can register then as well). 

A BSN number is a social security number needed to arrange all sorts of practical matters such as opening a Dutch bank account. Students often mistake the BSN number for their residence permit, and the municipality for the Dutch Immigration Service (IND). However, these are two separate institutions. The IND handles immigration matters and the municipality arranges the registrations in the town hall. You do not receive your BSN number when you have picked your residence permit at the Dutch Immigration Service (IND), but once you have registered with the municipality. So the IND and the municipality are not related. Please also note that it does not matter in which sequence you complete these practicalities; that is, you do not need a BSN number to collect your residence permit nor do you need to have your residence permit already in order to register with the municipality. Please check List of frequently used terms as well.

WORK AND INTERNSHIPS

I would like to work while studying. Is that possible?
In case you hold a non-EU nationality, you need a work permit to be able to work. Your employer needs to apply for a work permit at the UWV. Even with a work permit there are still restrictions. As a student, you are allowed to work a maximum of 10 hours a week. Please visit this website for more information about rules and regulations. 

Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Korea are eligible to apply for a special type of residence permit called the Working Holiday Programme/Working Holiday Scheme (WHP/WHS). WHP/WHS allows you to work and study here without needing a work permit.

I would like to go to an internship placement in another EU country, can I do this with my Dutch residence permit?
If you are an EU national, you are free to participate in an internship in any Schengen country. It is not so simple if you are a non-EU national.
    When the internship is part of your degree programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the internship will last no longer than 90 days, you can stay in the other Schengen country for 90 days. Please note that you do need to check with the authorities of that country whether you need a work permit to carry out your internship.
When the internship is part of your degree programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the internship will last longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for a residence permit of the country of placement as well. Again, you also need to check whether you need a work permit.
    If you wish to do an internship after you finished your studies here, you will need to apply for a residence permit and a work permit. 

Can I do an internship in the Netherlands?
 This depends. If you have a residence permit for study in the Netherlands, and when the internship is relevant to your studies here or in your home country (in case you are an exchange student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) then you can participate in an internship. You do need to complete the following internship agreement and send it to studentimmigration@vu.nl.
    In case the internship is not relevant to your studies and/or when you do not have a residence permit for study, you require a work permit.

FAMILY

I will be a student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and I would like to bring my partner and/or child(ren). Is this possible?
Yes, we can apply for a visa (if applicable) and residence permit on behalf of your family members. Please visit the section Bringing Family Members for the required documents. 

When you have a residence permit for study purposes, you are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward your degree requirements for each academic year in which you are enrolled, and to be in good standing (i.e. you must pay tuition fees on time and meet other university requirements).

Basic Standard for Satisfactory Performance
You must meet the following requirements for minimum satisfactory performance each academic year:

    • A minimum completion rate of at least half of the ECTS credits (50% of 60 ECTS in an academic year equals 30 ECTS).
    • There is a maximum time frame determined by the Dutch Immigration Service (IND) in which you must complete your studies. If you have studied in the Netherlands before, or if you take longer to complete your studies, then you should be aware that this may affect the maximum amount of time     that you can legally reside in the Netherlands.

Relevant courses
Credits that are relevant for this regulation are the credits that are an obligatory part of the curriculum; credits that are obtained outside the curriculum do not count. Exceptions can be made should you be ahead of the nominal schedule or when you take extra courses instead of exemptions. For a course that is repeated, credits can only be counted for once. A failed course does not earn any credits.

Withdrawal of residence permit
When you do not meet the requirements for satisfactory academic progress, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam must report this to the Dutch Immigration Service (IND). The IND will subsequently proceed to withdraw your residence permit. The consequence of this is that you will not be able to continue studying at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam during the following academic year.

What if you have not passed enough courses or believe that you will not pass enough courses?
If you have failed components of your study program, the International Office advises you to investigate the reasons for not passing the examinations as soon as possible. Your Academic Advisor(s) may be able to help you with this and prepare a realistic study plan together with you.
The International Office advises you to do so, especially if personal circumstances (see below) are the reason that your performance is below the required standard. You can make an appointment for this with one of the Academic Advisors and/or the Student’s General Counsellors at the study and career centre. Please do not wait until May or June to visit the Academic Advisor; make an appointment as soon as possible.

The following  personal circumstances are considered to be are considered to be excusable reasons: illness, disability, pregnancy, exceptional family circumstances, board membership activities. For detailed information, see article 2.1 of the implementation decree of the Higher Education and Research Act (WHW).

TIME SCHEDULE

May each academic year
The International Office will check the study results of all students with residence permits for study. We will send this list to the Academic Advisors (and to the Student General Counsellors). Students will be informed about the outcome by e-mail. In case you do not meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress, you will be informed that you will receive a negative advice regarding continuation of your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for the next academic year in case you do not obtain at least 30 credits by 23 August.

May–23 August:
You are advised to consult your Academic Advisor about the reasons for not passing the courses. It may be possible, for example, that not all acquired credits have been processed in the student information system. You may also have a valid reason for not having passed the examinations. In both cases, the Academic Advisor or Student’s General Counsellor will inform the International Office (without violating your privacy). As a consequence, the International Office will not report the negative advice status to the IND and your residence permit will not be withdrawn. The Academic Advisors can advise and help you to make a realistic study plan before the deadline of 23 August in case you do not have a valid reason and all credits are registered. It is not necessary to make a  new appointment when the Academic Advisor has already been informed at an earlier stage.

23 August each academic year:
You must have completed 30 ECTS credits before 23 August. You cannot re-register for the next academic year if you fail to do so. Consequently, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam must report your status to the Dutch Immigration Service (IND), who will proceed to withdraw your residence permit. The International Office will inform you when you have been reported to the Immigration Authorities (IND).
Appeal Process
Appeals against cancellation of the Residence Permit can be made with the Dutch Immigration Service (IND). Please be aware that retroactive registration is not possible at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

FAQ Satisfactory Academic Progress
Answers to specific questions can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions on Satisfactory Academic Progress.

1. When do I need to extend my residence permit?
Holding a valid residence permit is your own responsibility. You are responsible for ensuring that your residence permit is extended on time. If you do not know whether you need to extend your permit, please contact your programme coordinator. He or she will know whether you are expected to finish your studies by the end of the current academic year. In case your student residence permit is not valid until the end of next academic year, we will apply for an extension in the following situations:

    • You do not expect to complete your study programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in time;
    • Your current residence permit is valid until 1 December and you will not finish your study before 1 December;

Note: you need to apply for an extension of your residence permit for study via your VUnet account in case you will apply for a new degree programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam when you have finished a study programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam or another Dutch University (Bachelor, Master or Exchange). In which case you first need to confirm your participation to the study programme and complete the visa page in VUnet indicating that you need a residence permit.

Note: you can only apply for an extension of your residence permit when you have obtained at least 50% of the required ECTS credits per academic year (see for more information Satisfactory Academic Progress). 

Note: if you currently hold a student residence permit obtained via another Dutch university, but this permit is not due to expire before the end of next academic year, please follow the procedure in VUnet.

2. How can I extend my residence permit?
We will apply for an extension of your residence permit after you have submitted the extension request, e-mailed a copy of your passport and the antecedents certificate to studentimmigration@vu.nl, and when you have transferred the fee of €175 to the bank account of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Please fill out the application for the extension of your residence permit and press SUBMIT. Do not forget to include a copy of your current residence permit (front and back side).

3. Payment
For the extension of your residence permit you need to transfer €175 to the bank account of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam:

Account name:Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Name of bank:Deutsche Bank
Address of bank:De Entree 99-197, 1101 HE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
IBAN:NL49DEUT0488004470
BIC:DEUTNL2N

    • Do not forget to state “S” + your student number (e.g. S2533077).
    • Keep in mind that you are responsible for the payment of any foreign bank charges associated with the transaction(s). Ensure that the bank charges are added to the amount to be transferred.
    • Inform studentimmigration@vu.nl once you have transferred the fee.

4. How to collect your new residence permit
We will inform you when the extension has been approved. After you have received confirmation from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam that your new residence permit is ready, you can go to the IND office to collect the new residence permit. You do not need to make an appointment. Please do bring your passport and current residence permit.

IND Office Amsterdam
Stadhouderskade 85
1073 AT Amsterdam
Tram 16 and 24 (direction central station); stop Stadhouderskade
Opening hours: Monday – Friday 9.00- 12.30 hours and 13.00 - 16.00 hours

5. What else do I need to know?
Holding a valid residence permit is your own responsibility 
You are responsible for ensuring that your residence permit is extended on time. If you do not know whether you need to extend your permit, please contact your programme coordinator. He or she will know whether you are expected to finish your studies by the end of the current academic year.

The IND may request proof of financial resources 
If necessary, the IND is authorised to request documentary proof of your financial situation. In this case, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds per months at your disposal (€900,- per month).

Inform the municipality of any address changes 
The IND will send all correspondence to the address at which you are registered with your local municipality (Basisregistratie Personen, BRP). Always make sure that you inform the municipality of any change in your address.

You cannot re-enter the Netherlands with an expired residence permit 
If you plan to go abroad but your new permit has not yet been issued, make sure you return before your current permit expires. If this is not possible, you will need to request a return visa before leaving the Netherlands. Please call the IND (0900 1234561) and make an appointment to arrange a return visa.

Extending your stay after graduation 
If you plan to stay in the Netherlands after graduation, you have the possibility to apply for a residence permit under the ‘Orientation Year for Graduates Seeking Employment’.

Biometrics
As of January 2014, all non-EU students who need a visa and/or residence permit need to have their photograph and fingerprints taken for their residence document.

6. Contact
Please contact studentimmigration@vu.nl should you have any questions.

Pathfinder

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