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University of Applied Sciences

Student visa and permits

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As an international student, you must check beforehand whether you require a student visa for the Netherlands. The International Office at Stenden University of Applied Sciences will help you apply for your visa through an accelerated process. We will tell you exactly which documents you require and how to obtain these documents.

Who needs a student visa?

All foreign students (except residents of the EU*/EEA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Monaco, USA and Switzerland) staying in the Netherlands for more than three months require a student visa to enter the country.

You must apply for what is known as the ‘Schengen Visa’. This allows you to enter the Netherlands and travel freely within the Schengen area or it may be limited to the Netherlands only (single-entry visa).

* EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Sweden.

Visa fees

The fees for a visa to study in the Netherlands are non-refundable and currently total 317 Euro. Fees are reviewed twice a year and are subject to change.

Please note that you may incur additional expenses to have documents authenticated/notarised in your home country.

Required visa documents

Once you have completed your application, the International Office will apply for your visa on your behalf. To enable us to apply for your visa we will need the following documents:

A copy of your passport

Your passport will have to be valid for at least one year after your arrival to the Netherlands.

Proof of sufficient financial means

As a student from outside the European Union, you are obliged to provide Stenden with proof that you will be able to finance your stay in the Netherlands. You may do so in one of the following two ways:

  • A money transfer of € 10.750 to Stenden's bank account, which will be refunded upon your arrival after you have opened a Dutch bank account.
  • Proof of a scholarship amounting to at least € 10.750.

Note that this amount covers living expenses only and does not include the annual tuition fees and visa application fee. The above-mentioned rates are for informational purposes and subject to change twice a year.

Antecedents Certificate

This document will be sent to you by the International Office and is also available from the website of the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). You must print it out, sign it and submit it along with all other visa documents.

Nuffic Certificate

Chinese students must apply for a Nuffic Certificate. You can apply online at . Please visit the following website for more information:

Chinese students residing in Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macau are exempted from this requirement.

You must submit the application for the Nuffic certificate at least four months prior to your arrival in the Netherlands.

The Nuffic certificate is sent directly by Nuffic after you have attained a positive test result.


Visa Application Process

After receiving all documents and fees, Stenden will apply for your visa to the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). You must state in your application in which country you wish to collect the visa, your country of official residence, and your marital status. The International Office will keep you updated and will notify you when you can collect your visa. This usually takes around six weeks.

TBC examination
Depending on your country of origin, you may have to undergo a tuberculosis exam after entering the Netherlands and (if required) undergo treatment to qualify for the residence permit.

Residence permit

If you are a student from a non-EU country and are spending more than three months in the Netherlands in order to study, you will need a residence permit. This is a little credit card-sized document confirming that you may legally stay in the Netherlands.

Residence permits are issued by IND at the Leeuwarden campus in October of each year. If you start your course in February or if you require the permit sooner, you can schedule an appointment to collect it from IND yourself.

The residence permit is typically issued for the entire duration of your studies in the Netherlands. The expiry date is printed on the front of your residence permit.

In order for you to keep your residence permit, you must earn at least 50% of your study credits each year and furnish proof that you have enough financial means to support yourself for the year.

Please note that you cannot renew the permit yourself. You must visit the Istudy site or send an email to as Stenden needs to renew it.

If you have any questions regarding visa-related issues, please visit the Istudy site or send an email to

Stenden University of Applied Sciences
Attn: International Office
Rengerslaan 8
8917 DD Leeuwarden
The Netherlands

Stenden University of Applied Sciences and NHL University of Applied Sciences are merging. Would you like to start your studies in February? Then continue your application process on

Would you like to start your studies in September 2018? Then continue your application process on the new website You can apply now for academic year 18/19!