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Visa and residence permit

Whether you need a visa and a residence permit depends on your purpose of stay, the length of your stay and your nationality. If you are going to study in the Netherlands as a foreign student you may need a visa (MVV) and/or a residence permit (VVR).

Required Steps

  1. Check if you need a visa and/or residence permit here
  2. Read the visa / residence permit application instructions
  3. Collect the required documents and make sure you have sufficient funds to cover your living costs and tuition fees
  4. Submit your visa/residence permit application before 15 May 2021 in the online application portal if you wish to start your studies at LUC The Hague

Student visa and residence permit requests are processed by the Visa department of Leiden University. As the programme at LUC starts earlier than regular programmes of Leiden University, you need to submit your application for your visa/residence permit earlier too.

Please note:

  • You can only start the visa/residence permit process after you received an offer to start your studies
  • The visa/residence permit section opens on 1 March 2021
  • You need to submit your application and the required documents before 15 May 2021
  • You need to meet all requirements for admission to LUC before your visa/residence permit application can be submitted to the Dutch Immigration Department (IND). This includes meeting the English proficiency requirement.
  • The process of visa/residence permit approval takes approximately 8 weeks
  • Students who require a visa need to collect the visa in their home country before arriving in the Netherlands
  • The Dutch Immigration Department (IND) needs to approve your request before you move to the Netherlands
  • That an approved visa and/or residence permit is a requirement for official registration at Leiden University

On the following website you can find all the information regarding which documents you need to submit and the contact information of the Visa department.

Biometric data appointment

If you have requested a student residence permit, but not a visa, you must schedule a 'post-arrival' biometric data appointment as early as possible. Read more about it and make an appointment here.


Please contact the Visa Department of Leiden University: visa@sea.leidenuniv.nl

The Visa Department of Leiden University will inform you via email once the IND approves your student visa. At approximately the same time the Dutch embassy will send you an invitation to collect your visa.

You should then contact the embassy directly to make an appointment to collect your visa (a sticker in your passport). We advise you to ask the embassy exactly which documents you should bring along to your visa collection appointment. Please check whether it is necessary to bring a second identification document. This is because, for security reasons, some embassies request that you leave an identification document at the reception when entering the building. 

Please note that there can be a delay between Leiden University receiving notification of your visa approval and the Dutch embassy receiving the same notification. Therefore there is no need for concern if you contact the embassy and are informed that they have not yet received the notification. Simply wait a day or two and contact the embassy again. You can find the contact details of all Dutch Embassies through the website of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Once your visa has been approved you must collect it within 6 months. However please note that your visa is only valid for the study programme and start date stated in your Offer of Admission.

For legal and practical reasons, you are advised not to arrive earlier than one month before the start date of your study programme. You do not have grounds for legal residence before this period.

Once your visa and residence permit application has been forwarded to the Dutch Immigration Department (IND) and your documentation is found to be in order, we expect that your application will be approved in approximately 2 to 4 weeks’ time.

You may only collect your visa in a country in which you have legal residency. Please note that legal residency means that you have a valid residence permit, not a short-stay or tourist visa.

If there isn
t a Dutch embassy that can issue visas in your country of residence, you may have to collect it elsewhere. See www.netherlandsandyou.nl for further information.

Note that you may not change your collection location after submitting your visa application.

In order to fight the worldwide spread of tuberculosis, nationals of many non-EU countries who will stay in the Netherlands for three months or longer must be tested for tuberculosis. 

You can find out if nationals of your country are required to undergo a TB test on the Dutch immigration department website. 

If a TB test is required, you will receive an invitation to undergo a test within one month of commencing your studies. 

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