Visa information

If you are staying in the Netherlands for more than four months you will need to go to the city council and register as a new resident of the town where you are living. Registration regulations may vary from one council to another.

When registering with your local council, you are automatically issued a BSN. BSN is short for Burger Service Nummer, which translates as ‘citizen service number’. The BSN is equivalent to a social security number: a unique registration number for every citizen, used in contacts with any government service. Various people may ask for your BSN. If you have a job, your employer will need to know your BSN. When you open a bank account the bank will also ask for your BSN.

Some study departments arrange the appointment for international students. Please check with your study department if you need to make the appointment yourself or if they will arrange it for you.

Bring the following documents to the appointment

  • A valid passport;
  • Original birth certificate or original legalised true copy of the birth certificate (not older than six months). If your birth certificate was not issued in the Dutch, English, French or German language, you will also need to submit a sworn translation. Additional stamps, from the government of the country which issued the birth certificate, might be required. In order to confirm which legalisation you are required to have, you must contact the Dutch Embassy or Consulate in your own country. Please check to find details of your local Embassy or Consulate;
  • Proof of civil status only in case you are married, divorced or a widow(er). In Venlo it’s always necessary to bring a proof of civil status;
  • Rental agreement for your room in the Netherlands;
  • Declaration of acceptance by Fontys University of Applied Sciences;
  • Print of the approval letter of the Dutch Immigration Service (IND);

      If you are going to change your address or move to another city do not forget to inform the municipality. If your study period ends and you want to leave the Netherlands, you have to deregister.

      Note: The landlord of your room can ask you for proof of deregistration at the municipality as a condition to get your deposit back.

      Extra information for students from China

      Chinese students are required to bring the following documents in addition:

      • Legalized notarized declaration* which includes family name, given names, date of birth, place of birth, name of father and name of mother and a notarized certified true copy of the document or documents on which the notary has based his statement regarding the birth and the data of the parents.

      Documents that will be accepted:

      • Hukou of the parents in which the birth of the child is registered and a declaration of the hospital which explicitly states that this statement can be used for the registration of the birth in the Hukou registry;
      • A statement from the Public Security Bureau where the requested data prove out;
      • Notarized certified copy of the updated and complete Hukou of the child itself.
      This should be done as soon as possible, as the legalisation process can take a number of months.

      Information about legalisation of foreign documents for use in the Netherlands.

      Start your preparations early

      The Fontys University of Applied Sciences has an agreement with the Dutch Immigration & Naturalisation Service (the ‘IND’) to apply for Entry Visas and Residence Permits on behalf of its students. The required procedure will be commenced before you travel to the Netherlands. Although the ‘IND’ generally processes applications within two-three weeks, we recommend that you start the process early, i.e. approximately three months before you plan to enter the Netherlands, as it may take some time for you to gather all of the required documentation. You will find more information in this brochure: Coming to study in the Netherlands.

      Residence Permit (‘VVR’)

      All those who enter the Netherlands with or without an Entry Visa (‘MVV’) and who wish to stay for a period of longer than three months, are obliged to apply for a ‘Verblijfsvergunning regulier’, or ‘VVR’ (a Residence Permit). Fontys Team International Students will send the application to the Dutch Immigration & Naturalisation Service (‘IND’) on your behalf. Your Residence Permit will be ready soon after your arrival in the Netherlands.

      To enter the Netherlands for the purpose of studying, you may require a visa and/or a residence permit, depending on the following factors

      • Your nationality, i.e. as stated in your passport.
      • The duration of your stay, i.e. for less or more than three months.
      • The purpose of your stay, i.e. we assume that you intend coming to the Netherlands to study, or for a preparatory year.

      Entry Visa / Authorisation for Temporary Stay (‘MVV’)

      All non-EU/EEA students entering the Netherlands will require an Entry Visa (‘MVV’), except nationals from Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, South Korea, the UK, the USA and Vatican City State. This Entry Visa is a sticker that is placed in your passport and is issued by the Dutch embassy or consulate in your country of origin.

      Additional conditions for students of the following nationalities:

      Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Cameroon and Nigeria.

      Students of these nationalities have to be aware they have to transfer the full refundable amount of the living expenses to the bank account of Fontys. Proof by financial documents you have access to this amount will not be accepted.