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Visas and immigration

Find out more about the immigration procedures that you must follow when moving to the Netherlands.

  • Which visas and permits do I need?

    Depending on your nationality, you may have to obtain an entry visa (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf, MVV) and/or a residence permit (Vergunning tot Verblijf Regulier, VVR) to be able to enter the Netherlands. The kind of visa or permit required depends on your nationality and duration of stay. You can check which immigration procedures apply to you using the Euraxess visa wizard.

  • Short-stay visa

    For stays of up to 90 days, you might need a short stay visa (Visum Kort Verblijf or VKV) to enter the Netherlands, depending on your nationality.

    Consult the Euraxess visa wizard to see if you need a VKV. If you do, you will have to apply for the VKV yourself at the nearest Dutch embassy or consulate in your country of origin or the country where you are lawfully residing.

    A VKV is issued as a sticker in your passport. The sticker gives information such as the expiry date of the visa, the maximum number of days you are allowed to stay and the countries to which you've been granted access. The VKV normally allows you to enter all countries in the Schengen area.

    This type of visa is limited to a maximum of 90 days within a period of 180 days, which means that once you have been in the Schengen area for 90 days you may not return until another 90 days have passed.

  • Entry visa

    The Entrance Visa (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf or MVV) allows you to enter the Netherlands and apply for a Dutch residence permit.

    Before entering the Netherlands

    Not all nationalities need to apply for this type of visa; check the Euraxess visa wizard to see if you need an MVV. If you do, your HR officer or the Staff Immigration Office will submit the application on your behalf. The MVV will be issued by the Dutch Embassy in your current country of residence as a sticker in your passport.

    Please note: You need to collect the MVV within three months of its being issued. You can enter the Netherlands up to three months after the MVV was issued.

    After entering the Netherlands

    After entering the country, you will need a residence permit (VVR) to obtain lawful residency. The UvA will help you apply for the VVR as well.

  • Residence permit

    If your stay in the Netherlands will last longer than 90 days, you might need to get a residence permit (VVR). Not all nationalities need to apply for this type of visa; check the Euraxess visa wizard to see if you need a VVR. If you do, your HR officer or the Staff Immigration Office will submit the application on your behalf.

    The residence permit is a plastic card, about the size of a credit card. It serves as proof of your identity, nationality and lawful residency in the Netherlands. It allows you to enter and exit the Netherlands and travel through the Schengen area. Your stay in other Schengen countries is limited to a maximum period of 90 days. For a longer stay, always contact your HR department or the Staff Immigration Office.

  • Work permit

    Scientific researchers and knowledge migrants generally do not need to get a work permit.

    If a work permit is necessary in your case, the UvA will submit the application on your behalf. The procedure takes about five weeks, and you are not allowed to work until the permit application has been approved.

  • Visa application for family members

    You may want to bring your partner and/or children with you to the Netherlands. Or perhaps they will join you at a later stage. Either way, be sure to mention your plans to your HR officer or the Staff Immigration Office as early as possible. This way we can give you the best advice on how to deal with all the necessary paperwork.

    It is usually more efficient and cheaper to submit your family members' applications together with your own. This does not mean that all family members have to come to the Netherlands at the same time.

    Please note: if the applications were submitted together, family members will need to follow within three months of the visas being issued.

    Provide the following additional documents for visa applications of family members:

    • Proof of sufficient finances. For the exact amounts, see the IND website for information on sufficient finances.
    • A marriage certificate or a single status certificate (see below), correctly legalised.
    • A birth certificate for each child that will be with you in the Netherlands, correctly legalised.

    Single status certificate

    Even if you're unmarried, it's possible to apply for a residence permit for your partner. Instead of a marriage certificate, you and your partner both have to submit certificates proving that neither of you are married (Single Status Certificate/Affidavit). These certificates must not be older than six months and must be correctly legalised or bear an apostille.

  • Legalisation of documents

    For your visa or permit application you may need to get one or more documents legalised, such as a birth certificate. If you plan on bringing your spouse and children, additional documents may need to be legalised.

    Get a document legalised

    Legalisation is the verification that a document has been issued by the relevant authority and that the signature on the document is that of the signatory. Once a foreign document has been legalised, the Dutch authorities consider it to be legally valid in the Netherlands.

    Legalisation takes place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country of origin and at the Dutch embassy or Consulate General in that same country. Contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the country where your document was issued for details on legalisation procedures.

    Please note: It can take several weeks to collect all the necessary stamps and signatures, so start early!

    Get an apostille

    In certain cases, getting an apostille can replace the complex process of legalisation. If your country of origin has signed the Apostille Convention, your document need not be legalised by the Dutch embassy or consulate. Instead, you can get an apostille, issued by the competent authority in the country of issue.

    For more information on how to obtain an apostille, contact the competent apostille authority