Universiteit Leiden

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New Students

If you’re intending to come to the Netherlands to study at Leiden University, you may need a visa and/or a residence permit. Check out the list below to see the rules that apply to you.

Do I need a visa or residence permit?

Citizen of:  Staying less than 90 days Staying more than 90 days
EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland No visa or residence permit required No visa or residence permit required

Japan, Monaco and South Korea, United States and Vatican City

No visa or residence permit required No visa required. Residence permit is required
Australia, Canada or New Zealand No visa or residence permit required No visa required.
Residence permit or Working Holiday Permit/Scheme required
Albania, Antigua & Barbuda, Andorra, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Hong Kong (SAR & BNO passport holders), Honduras, Israel, Macau (SAR passport holders), FYR Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldavia, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, San Marino, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, (West) Samoa, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Timor-Leste, Trinidad & Tobago, Tonga, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vanuatu and Venezuela No visa or residence permit required Visa and residence permit required
All other countries Short stay visa required Visa and residence permit required


You can ask Leiden University Admissions Office to apply for a visa/residence permit on your behalf, once you have:  

  • been admitted to a full-time study programme
  • been allocated a place on the study programme (numerus fixus programmes only)
  • met all conditions of admission - with the exception of 'admission on condition of graduation', in which case submit evidence that you will soon graduate, i.e. a recent original degree transcript, or proof that you have met all requirements for your high school diploma.

To be eligible for a visa/residence permit you must: 


The deadline for submitting your visa/residence permit application and fee is: 

  • 1 June for programmes starting in September
  • 1 December for programmes starting in February 


Please provide us with the following information, items and fee, so we can request your visa and/or residence permit.

Degree student: you will receive instructions to submit the items and information digitally in your online application.

Study Abroad/Exchange student: you will be asked to email the items and information to your International Programmes Officer.

1. Copy of your valid passport - all pages with personal data, visas or entry/exit stamps

2. Indicate where you wish to collect your entry visa (if applicable): 

  • You may only collect your visa in a country where you legally reside.
  • If there isn’t a Dutch embassy that can issue visas in your country, you may have to travel to another country to collect your visa. See www.netherlandsandyou.nl

3. Signed Antecedents Certificate (under 2.2, leave the section 'V-number' blank) 

4. Proof of sufficient funds for tuition fees and living expenses: 

  • Carefully read the separate section on ‘Proof of sufficient funds below. Note that in some cases, original hard copies of financial documents must also be sent by post.

5. Copy of other EU residence permits (if applicable)

6. Pay the visa/residence permit fee of €171 (2019)

  • Online payment is the quickest and easiest method of payment. Degree students will be invited to pay via the online application system. Study Abroad/Exchange students can pay via Paylogic.
  • Alternatively, you can pay by bank transfer to Leiden University’s bank account. In the payment reference please state 'VVR fee', followed by your student or application number. For example: VVRfee S123456 (if you are a degree student); or VVRfee A123456 (if you are a non-degree student).   

Please note that:

  • The visa/residence permit fee is set by the Dutch immigration department and is subject to annual change.
  • Nationals of Israel and San Marino are exempted from the visa/residence permit fee  in accordance with the Benelux agreement.


Once your documents and fee have been received, the Admissions Office will forward your visa/residence permit request to the Dutch immigration department (IND). If all documentation is found to be in order, you will be notified four to six weeks later that your visa/residence permit has been provisionally approved. If you require a visa, allow an additional one to two weeks for arranging and attending your visa appointment at the consulate.

Note that you should not enter the Netherlands on a tourist or short-stay visa while awaiting approval of your student visa. This can have negative consequences for your student visa application. 

Some non-EU/EEA nationals are required to take a TB test as part of their residence permit formalities. If this applies to you, you will be asked to undergo a TBC X-ray at a local health centre shortly after your arrival in the Netherlands. The Admissions Office will notify you of the date and time of your TB test appointment shortly before the start of your studies. 
Refer to this list of nationalities to find out if you are required to undergo a TB test after arrival.  

I have requested a visa and residence permit

Once your visa request has been provisionally approved, you will receive notification from the Admissions Office. Shortly after, you will be invited by the Dutch consulate/embassy to have your biometric data recorded (photo and fingerprints) and your visa sticker placed in your passport. You will receive information from the consulate/embassy on the exact procedures to follow. 

Residence permit
You will be invited to collect your residence permit from the Dutch immigration department (IND) shortly after your arrival in the Netherlands.

I have requested a residence permit only

Shortly after arrival in the Netherlands, you must have your biometric data (photo and fingerprints) recorded by the Dutch immigration department. You can schedule an appointment in Leiden or elsewhere, depending on your arrival date and preferred location. 

Please make a biometric data appointment as soon as possible via one of the links below:

A few weeks after your appointment, you will receive an invitation to collect your residence permit, either in Leiden or The Hague. 

Short-stay visa

You can apply for a short-stay visa at the Dutch consulate/embassy in your home country. For more information, visit the website of the Dutch immigration department. Make sure you tell the consulate/embassy that you are coming to the Netherlands for a short period of study. Once you have been admitted, Leiden University can issue you with an invitation letter for short-stay visa application purposes.

Working Holiday Permit (WHP)/Working Holiday Scheme (WHS)

Exchange and Study Abroad students from Canada, New Zealand and Australia who will study in the Netherlands for one semester can apply for a WHP (Canada) or the WHS (Australia, New Zealand) instead of a student residence permit. For more information about these schemes, please refer to this factsheet. If you are eligible for one of these schemes, the Admissions Office will provide you with information and assistance after admission. 

Residence permits are issued for a specific ‘purpose of stay’. Do you have a Dutch residence permit issued for a purpose of stay other than ‘study’? Will that purpose of stay no longer apply when you start your studies at Leiden University? Or is your permit going to expire soon? If so, you can request that the purpose of your stay be changed to ‘study’. To do so, take the following steps at least three months before you begin your studies or your permit is due to expire.

1. Submit the necessary documents to the Admissions Office

2. Pay the residence permit fee of €171 (2019 – subject to annual change)

*Turkish students need only pay €57

3. Familiarise yourself with your rights and obligations

Read the section on Residence permit: validity and conditions carefully.

Do you have a student residence permit obtained via another Dutch university that is valid until the end of the next academic year? And are you switching your place of study to Leiden University? Once you discontinue your previous studies, your former university will notify the immigration department. It is therefore essential that you ask our Admissions Office to notify the IND that you are changing your place of study to Leiden University. Make sure you take the following steps at least two months before you start your studies with us: 

1. Submit the necessary documents to your contact person at the Admissions Office

  • Copy of personal details page of your passport 
  • Copy of both sides of your current residence permit 
  • Copy of your current health insurance policy
  • Proof of sufficient funds for tuition fees and living expenses

2. Familiarise yourself with your rights and obligations

Read the section on Residence permit: validity and conditions carefully.

Note: if your residence permit from another Dutch university is about to expire, you should instead follow the procedures for ‘extending your student residence permit’

When applying for a student visa and/or residence permit, you must demonstrate that you have sufficient funds at your disposal for both your tuition fee (if applicable) and living expenses.

All requested documentation should be submitted digitally. However in some cases, we may also request original hard copies by post

Sufficient funds for tuition fees

You can demonstrate sufficient funds for tuition fees by submitting the following two items:    

  1. A statement issued by the person/organisation paying your tuition fee, for example, you, a parent, a scholarship provider or an employer. This statement must confirm that you, or the third party in question, is willing and able to pay. 
  2. Proof that you, or the third party in question, has the means to pay the tuition fee, for example a bank statement or scholarship letter. Note that Chinese certificates of deposit cannot be accepted.

Sufficient funds for living expenses

You can demonstrate sufficient funds for living expenses via one of the three methods listed below.

How much is ‘sufficient’?
The standard minimum amount for living expenses, as set by the Dutch Ministry of Justice, is €900 per month / €10,800 for one year (2019). If you also wish to apply for a permit on behalf of your partner and/or children, you will need a minimum of €1,417.32 per month (2018). These amounts are subject to annual change. Please note that these minimum amounts do not include tuition fee costs.

1. Transfer of funds (preferred/quickest option)

Transfer sufficient funds to cover your living expenses for the duration of your stay to Leiden University’s bank account. If you will stay longer than twelve months, you need only transfer sufficient funds for your first year at this stage. State your name, application number and ‘living expenses’ in the transfer. Be aware that you are liable for any bank charges incurred. 
After arrival, submit this refund form to notify us of your Dutch bank account details and request that the funds be returned to you. 

2. Bank statement

Submit a bank statement, in your own name, that meets all the criteria below. Be aware that if your statement does not meet all criteria, we will ask you to submit a new one.

  • Bank account holder, number, balance and currency type must be clearly stated.
  • Funds must be readily available (not in the form of shares, investments or trust funds).
  • Must be an original document (no copies, scans or internet print-outs), with an original signature or stamp.
  • Must be issued in English, Dutch, French or German on letterhead paper.
  • Must be less than three months old, with the date of issue clearly stated. 
  • Must include the bank's address, phone number and contact person (preferably one who speaks English).
  • Account must be in your own name – not in the name of a parent or sponsor. If someone else is sponsoring you, they must transfer the funds to your account.
  • Chinese ‘certificates of deposit’ cannot be accepted.

3. Scholarship letter

Submit a scholarship letter that meets all the criteria below. Be aware that if your letter does not meet all criteria, we will ask you to submit a new one.  

  • The amount of money you will receive per month or the total amount of the scholarship awarded, plus the currency type, must be stated.
  • If the scholarship amount is less than official amount required for your living. expenses, please transfer the additional funds required to our bank account
  • Must be issued in English, Dutch, French or German on letterhead paper.
  • Must be an original document (no copies, scans or internet print-outs) with an original signature or stamp.
  • Must include your full name and date of birth.
  • Must include the exact name, address and telephone number of the scholarship organisation.
  • Must clearly state the exact start and end date (day, month and year) of the scholarship.

Visa/residence permit consulting hours

If you have a question about your visa or residence permit after your arrival, please come by during our ‘Visa/Residence Permit Consulting Hours’:

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