Travel and Visa Requirements for International Students in Holland

Studying in the Netherlands requires careful paper work and documentation. Accommodation is readily available for students in Holland who come from international destinations. Students require vis and/or residence permit for studying in this country. There are various processes which need to be followed for entrance into Netherlands for higher studies. 

For entering Holland for higher studies, one needs visa or residence permit. Whether you need a visa depends on factors such as nationality, duration of the stay as well as its purpose. For students who want to study or complete a preparatory year, students need to follow a certain process. Other than that, students can also contact the  the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service/IND for these requirements. You also need to check the kind of visa which is needed on the visa application wizard.

Those who want to enrol in a study programme should contact the host institution to know more about the application procedure. You can also ask for help from the department which deals with international student mobility. This is generally the international office of the institution. Commence with preparations early and you will get the visa documentation done within time. Generally, the processing of the application can be conducted within the 2 weeks. Start planning for the visa work within 3 months following entrance to Holland. It takes time to collect all the relevant data.

Visa Application Wizard for International Students

One needs to use visa application wizards to choose if they need a student visa or permit. Students whose country is not listed can select Other Countries at the list’s end. The outcome of the wizard will display procedures for getting a visitor’s visa for the country of your origin. 

You may require a visa for travelling in the country as well, based on your nationality. For stays lasting for a duration of around 90 days, a Schengen or short stay visa can be obtained. For longer stays, students need the entry visa and the residence permit or the MVV and VVR.

Schengen visa allows students to travel throughout the country in the certain areas. This includes visa limited to single nations or a few nations. In the case, the visa enables students to travel through and stay in particular country/countries. Short stay visas are limited to a total of 90 days within a period of 180 days. Once you have been in a Schengen area for 90 days, you can only return there following an interval of 90 days. AN entry visa is valid for only the duration of 90 days and it is followed by residence permits for longer time periods. 

Multiple and single entry visa are perfect for those who want to travel in as well as out of the Schengen area during the time for which the visa is valid.  Single entry visa allows students to only travel within the Schengen area, once you have left it, you cannot return for a short stay or a return visa for a long stay.

Residence permits are needed if students are citizens of non EU/EEA nations or Switzerland. Also you can only stay in Netherlands for a period greater than 3 months if you have a residence permit.  Residence permit is issued for the duration of the stud programme with the contention that students obtain 50% of study credits per annum. Within 5 days of reaching Netherlands, host institutions have to apply for residence permits for their students. Should you be unable to get 50%, you should contact the student counsellor.

Students can also find out with their counsellor regarding whether  their reasons are valid enough to be excluded from the 50% credits rule. If the counsellor agrees that there are valid reasons for not meeting the 50% requirements, students may be provided an extension. Students can only apply for extension via their host institution’s international office.

Those who are staying in Holland for a period which is greater than 4 months need to check with the city council and undergo registration as a new resident of the town where they will be studying. Registration regulations are also different for each council. Contact your higher education institution or council to know more including documents etc.

NUFFIC Certificate for International Students From China

Students from the People’s Republic of China are required to obtain a NUFFIC certificate for getting a Dutch entry visa and enrolling in English medium study courses. This does not hold true for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. A NUFFIC certificate ensures that you are qualified to pursue studies in Holland and it includes assessment of English proficiency as well as authenticity of educational degrees as well as diplomas.

Certificates can be used for residence permit application in Holland and they are sent digitally to the Dutch higher education institution that has been selected. It will be forwarded to Dutch immigration authorities for entry visa application purposes. 

Students should submit their application online through the NCAS or NUFFIC Certificate Assessment System and submit the required documents. Read more about the verification process at the Study in Holland official portal. 

Healthcare Insurance for International Students in Holland

Students in Holland must have insurance for medical expenses. In the Netherlands, there are 3 different types of cover namely Dutch public healthcare insurance, EU health insurance card or private insurance.  If you are form EU/EEA or Switzerland and younger than 30 years, you need to take the EU Health Insurance Card. Those who are not from these nations should take out a private healthcare insurance. 

EU Health Insurance Card: The Netherlands has numerous health insurance treaties with several nations. This includes EU nations plus Switzerland. Whether you are an EU/EEA or Swiss national pursuing studies in Holland, yet not working or completing an internship, national health insurance policy in the home nation covers the stay. The insurance company will issue the European Health Insurance Card provided students do not pursue work or internship in Holland. Information on the European Health Insurance Card can be found on the  website of the European Commission.

Private Healthcare Insurance: This is for those students who are not EU/EEA or Swiss nationals and they are not working or completing an internship as part of their studies. Existing private insurance covers may cover the stay in the Netherlands, whilst there may also be an international treaty with Holland for insurance purposes. Special insurance is provided for students from the organizations IPS and AON Students Insurance etc.

Housing for International Students in Holland

Students generally do not reside on campus in the Netherlands. This country does not have a tradition of on-campus accommodation. Many students stay in or near university towns. Many opportunities exist for arrangement of accommodation yet you have to start searching for these as soon as you can. Those on an exchange programme or completing an international course can have rooms arranged for them. Check with the university if they can arrange a room for you.

An average room in the Netherlands for student accommodation can cost anywhere between 300 to 600 Euros within a month. Before taking on the room, check to see if the bills are included within the rent as this can dent the budget. You are required to make separate payments for amenities and facilities such as gas, electricity, TV and Wi-Fi. Rental contracts run for about 6 months or a year when one is enrolled within the course.

Ensure that you read the rental contract before signing it. If you need help with any aspect of housing, you can check with the housing officer or accommodation coordinator. Some of the best housing accommodations you can find on official Study in Holland official portal (


Housing and visa documentation in the Netherlands are very systematic and well organized. The health insurance processes are also well established and are based on the requirements and needs of the students as well as their differing profiles. There are many private players in the insurance and accommodation sector in Holland which are suitable for international students.         
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