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Changes to residence visas for international students in Holland

Question and Answers 2 August 2013, 14:23

The Dutch government’s Modern Migration Policy has come into effect as of June 1st, 2013. The new procedure is meant to benefit students by speeding up the processing times of applications, providing them with an extended and more flexible visa, and creating less paperwork for them in the long run. However, these benefits come with more responsibilities for educational institutions as well as some extra conditions for students.

Flower market in AmsterdamThe Dutch government’s Modern Migration Policy has come into effect as of June 1st, 2013. It is meant to provide a more direct application procedure for those wishing to come to The Netherlands for more than three months, including full-time non-EU/EEA/Swiss international students that want to study at a Dutch institution.

The new procedure is meant to benefit students by speeding up the processing times of applications, providing them with an extended and more flexible visa for the duration of the study programme up to 5 years and 3 months, and creating less paperwork for them in the long run. However, these benefits come with more responsibilities for educational institutions as well as some extra conditions for students.

Changes for new students

One of the main changes Amsterdamthat will occur will be to the sponsor-applicant relationship. New full-time students will now be required to send all of the documents necessary to apply for a residence visa to their school. The educational institution will then forward these along with the completed application to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND).

This change will cut down on the number of stops an application must make at various offices, ensuring that applications will be processed at a much faster rate than previously (as quickly as within two weeks, up to a maximum of three months). A faster processing rate then translates into the student being able to receive their residence visa immediately upon arriving in The Netherlands, as opposed to having to wait sometimes up to six weeks with the previous procedure.

In turn, this helps students get settled right away as they can open bank accounts and sort out any other issues as soon as they arrive. In order to ensure an application is processed in time, students should send all required information in proper format to their educational institution as quickly as possible.

Changes for current students

Amsterdam, The NetherlandsStudents that already have a residence visa can also benefit from the implementation of the new policy. More flexibility is included in the new procedure so that students may now change programmes or adjust their study without needing to submit a change of purpose application to the IND. This saves paperwork and the potentially high costs that the previous procedure required of students.

Another benefit of the Modern Migration Policy is that the duration of a valid residence permit has been extended to a maximum of five years. New students will receive a residency that covers their study plus an extra three months for a maximum five year period in case adjustments to the duration of their study need to be made. Current students can apply to have their visa extended for the same period (including the time already spent in The Netherlands).

This replaces the old procedure in which visas were only granted for the duration of a study (meaning that a one year Master’s program would only grant the student a one year visa) which would then need to be extended or renewed each year as necessary.

More responsibilities for sponsoring institutions and students

The new policy will also create some administrative changes for the educational institutions Royal Palace at the Dam Square, Amsterdamsponsoring international students. Sponsors can now apply for the Admission and Residence Procedure (TEV) which includes both the regular provisional residence permit (MVV), for those that require it, and the regular residence permit (VVR) application.

Only institutions that have been recognised by the IND are able to apply on their students’ behalf and applications are only available for full-time students. Sponsoring institution will be required to update a student’s file with any changes that may be relevant to the visa conditions. This will mean more direct responsibilities for both institutions and students.

Another new condition is that students will now be required to complete at least half of the credits of a full-time student each year in order to be able to maintain their residence visa status. This means that students will need to have at least 30 credits at the end of each year. The educational institution will be required to update the IND on any students that fail to achieve this condition and the residence visa for the student may be revoked.

Find complete information about the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV), MVV and VVR visas, their requirements, duration, and fees on the 'student visas and residence permits'  page.

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