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Immigration procedures

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

  • Residence wizard

    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 visa procedure applies to you via the Euraxess Visa Wizard.

  • Short-stay visa

    For stays of up to 90 days you might need a short stay visa to enter the Netherlands. This depends on your nationality. A short stay visa is called a Visum Kort Verblijf in Dutch (VKV). Use the Residence Wizard of the IND to see if this type of visa applies to you. If it does, you will have to apply for a VKV yourself at the nearest embassy or consulate of the Netherlands 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 will mention information such as the expiry date of the visa, the maximum number of days you are allowed to stay and the countries you have been granted access to. 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 .

    Euraxess visa wizard

  • Entry visa

    The Entrance Visa, Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf (MVV) allows you entry to the Netherlands. Not all nationalities need to apply for this type of visa; check the Residence Wizard of the IND to see if the MVV applies to you. If so, 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.

    After entering the country you will need a residence permit (VVR) to obtain lawful residency. Application for the VVR goes through the university as well.

    Euraxess visa wizard

  • Residence permit

    If your stay in the Netherlands will last longer than 90 days you might need to obtain a residence permit or VVR. Not all nationalities need to apply for this type of visa;  check the Residence Wizard of the IND to see if the VVR applies to you. If so, your HR officer or the Staff Immigration Office will submit the application on your behalf.

    The residence permit is a plastic card 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.

    Euraxess visa wizard

  • Legalisation of documents

    For your visa or permit application you may need one or more legalised documents. A birth certificate is normally required. If you plan on bringing your spouse and/or children, you may need other legalised documents as well.

    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 has to take place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country of origin as well as at the Dutch embassy or Consulate General in that same country. It can take up to several weeks to collect all the necessary stamps and signatures, so start early! Please contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the country of issue for details on the exact legalisation procedure.

    Legalisation or apostille?

    In certain cases, the simpler ‘apostilisation’ formality can replace the more complex process of legalisation. If your country of origin has signed the Apostille Convention, your document does not require legalisation by the Dutch embassy or consulate. Affixing an apostille, issued by the designated authority in the country of issue, will suffice. Contact the designated authority for further information on how to obtain an apostille. Further information is also available on the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

    Apostille authorities

    Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • 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 UvA 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 must come over at once. Even if applications were submitted at the same time, family members can still choose between traveling to the Netherlands together with you, or at a later stage.

    You have to add the following additional documents to visa applications for family members:

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

    IND information on sufficient finances

    Single status certificate

    If you are unmarried, it is still 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 may not be older than six months and must be correctly legalised or apostillised.

  • Work permit

    Scientific researchers and knowledge migrants are generally exempt from the requirement to get a work permit. Should a work permit still be necessary in your case, the UvA will submit an application on your behalf. The procedure takes about five weeks, and you are not allowed to work until the permit application has been approved.