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The following steps are a useful checklist upon arrival. Please note that some of these steps are mandatory.
  • Step 1: Arrange your health insurance

    Dutch law requires all international students to have appropriate health insurance for their entire stay in the Netherlands. Allow enough time to do research on this topic, especially when you have pre-existing conditions.

    Before coming to the Netherlands

    • Check whether your current insurance will cover your total stay and what type of coverage it consists of.
    • Make sure you have health insurance coverage from the moment you arrive in the Netherlands.

    Note: The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) available for EU-students may not cover all you need.

    More information
    You'll find more information about EHIC and the pros and cons of different insurance options on the page about health insurance for international students.

    If you have questions about your health insurance and whether it offers enough coverage, check out these frequently asked questions from the zorgverzekeringslijn, an organisation specialising in health insurance for international students.

    Webinar Zorgverzekeringslijn

    To assist you with all possible health insurance related questions, the zorgverzekeringslijn hosts a webinar for international students. This is a great start to tackling this important to-do on your checklist.

    Webinar Zorgverzekeringslijn for all International students
    4 July 2024, 15:00 CEST.
    Register for this webinar

    Webinar Aon Student Insurance

    To provide more information about their Student Insurance in particular, Aon hosts webinars for both EEA students and non-EEA students.

    Upcoming webinars:

    Previous webinars:

  • Step 2: Transport when you arrive in Amsterdam

    Amsterdam has an extensive public transport system, including trams, busses, trains, metros and ferries. The GVB operates most public transport in Amsterdam, and the NS operates most of the trains in the Netherlands.

    As of 2023, the public transport companies of the Netherlands have introduced a new way for commuters to check in and out while travelling. You can now check in and check out of public transport the way you prefer with your contactless debit card, credit card or mobile phone (including Apple Pay or Google Wallet). You choose what suits you best. You can find out how this works on the OVpay website.

    OV chipcards
    The GVB in Amsterdam and the Dutch National Railways (NS) are not the same operators. If you do not wish to use the OVpay function, you can buy single tickets, but travelling using an OV chip card is easier. With this card you can travel by train, bus, tram and metro - one card covers all possibilities!

    An OV chip card is a smart card which you load with travel credit. You can buy one at the ticket office of major train stations or at the yellow ticket machines. These ticket machines accept payment by debit and credit cards (V-Pay, Maestro, Mastercard, Visa and American Express) using a PIN or contactless. The machines do not accept banknotes.

    To travel by train, your OV-chip card needs a minimum credit of €20. For other public transport, no minimum amount is required.

    Student mobility
    Student Mobility is an independent organisation (not related to the UvA) offering a customised public transport card (+ an ISIC Student-ID) with special discounts to international students! You can use this card for all forms of public transport in the Netherlands: train, tram, metro and bus. Furthermore, upon arrival in the Netherlands, Student Mobility offers you a train ticket at a reduced rate. And finally, they also have a programme to rent or buy a bike.

    Plan your route
    Need some help planning your route? Visit to see what route is best! This website covers all modes of transport. The Google Maps and Apple Maps apps have also integrated Dutch public transport timetables if you wish to use those.

  • Step 3: Collect your keys for UvA housing

    If you have arranged housing through the UvA, our housing partners will personally welcome you to your new home.

    Rental contracts start on Friday, 16 August 2024. From this day on, you can collect your key and move in. Some partners offer a room check-in service directly at your new address, while other providers hand out the room keys near the location of your new address or at their office.

    Your housing provider will inform you about the details in due time. You can also check the details here:

    Please note:

    • You are obliged to collect your room key in person. You cannot have someone else do it for you.
    • Announce your arrival date and time at your housing provider (find contact info via the links above).
    • Changed travel plans or delays? Inform your housing provider (find contact info via the links above).
    • Key pick-up is possible during specific hours, mainly during office hours on weekdays. You might need to stay in a hostel or hotel at your own expense if you arrive outside these hours.
    • Some housing providers do no longer hand out keys, but offer keyless rooms (access by mobile device). Your housing provider will inform you about this if this is the case for your room. Check-in at a keyless room is possible from 15:00 CEST on 16 August 2024, not any sooner on that day.
    • Most buildings offer Resident Assistants or an active (online) community. Check with the housing provider for details.
    • Familiarise yourself with official rules for waste collection in the Netherlands. Check this waste guide made by students.

    No housing yet? Check out our tips and tricks.

  • Step 4: Register with the municipality

    As an international student, you must register as a resident if you plan to stay in the Netherlands for longer than four months. In addition, you must register in the town where you are going to live.

    Important for Non-EU students in possession of a residence permit on the basis of study:
    If you do not register with the municipality, you risk losing your residence permit.

    Citizen service number (BSN)
    Once you've registered, you'll be given a citizen service number (burgerservicenummer, BSN). A BSN is required for many things in the Netherlands, including opening a bank account, visiting a doctor or getting hospital treatment.

    Registration arriving students September 2024

    Information about the registration process for the upcoming academic year will be posted here as soon as it becomes available. Please keep in mind that registering with the municipality is a mandatory step in your arrival checklist and should not be forgotten. Check back here regularly to keep up to date.

  • Step 5: Open a Dutch bank account

    Once in the Netherlands, it’s helpful to open a Dutch bank account. There are several reasons to do so:

    • International money transfers are usually costly and take several days to process.
    • Credit cards are not widely accepted. The debit card you receive when opening a Dutch bank account is easy and free of charge to pay at supermarkets, cafes, and restaurants.
    • A Dutch bank account offers the option to pay through the iDeal payment method, used in Dutch webshops and to pay energy bills, payment requests etc.

    Read more about which banks to choose from, and how to open an account

  • Step 6: Collect your student card

    How to apply for your student card
    First, upload a picture of your student card. When your student card is ready for pick-up, you will receive an email where to collect it. You need to bring valid proof of identity (ID card or passport) when collecting your card.

    Go to the Student ID card page for more information about your student card.

  • Step 7: Make an appointment to have your biometrics taken

    Update 25 June 2024:

    Instructions for students starting their programme in September or students returning after a gap/study break:

    The IND requires a passport photo, fingerprints, and a signature to produce your residence permit card. Students that have submitted an MVV application will provide their biometrics at the embassy when collecting their MVV/entry visa. Students that have submitted a VVR application provide their biometrics at any IND office location in the Netherlands once they have arrived.

    If your residence permit application has been approved and you have not provided your biometrics yet or have been asked to do so again, you can make an appointment* through this link for students only. Please note any students that attempt to book a biometrics appointment through the IND’s regular online reservation system will have their appointments cancelled. Students are being requested to only use the link provided here.

    * The student biometrics appointment link will only be active between 15 July and 30 September 2024. If you visit the website outside of these dates, there will be no visible available timeslots. Please wait until 15 July 2024 to make an appointment once your permit application has been approved (VVR students).  

    Please note when submitting your biometrics that it is very important to submit an ID-photo that fulfills all the IND's strict requirements, which can be found here. Failing to do so will delay the process of collecting your permit as you will most likely need to submit your biometrics to the IND again. The IND has specifically asked us to remind students to submit a proper ID-photo as this is the most common cause of delays in the residence permit collection process.

    You can check if the IND still needs your biometrics to make your card by logging into your MyIND portal with your DigiD and checking the status of your permit there once the Immigration office has informed you that your application has been approved. You may provide your biometrics at any of the location in the Netherlands with a bookable time slot, but you will only be able to collect your permit card following the most recently updated instructions below in Step 8.

    Instructions for sitting/enrolled students that submitted an extension application:

    Often, the IND can use the same biometrics which you provided to them the first time you applied for a permit. In some cases, though, the IND will require for you to provide your biometrics again for them to be able to produce your extended permit.

    You can check if the IND needs your biometrics again by logging into your MyIND portal with your DigiD and checking the status of your extended permit there once the Immigration office has informed you that your extension application has been approved. If needed, please make an appointment to provide your biometrics again. You may provide your biometrics at any of the location in the Netherlands with a bookable time slot, but you will only be able to collect your permit card at the IND office in Amsterdam.

  • Step 8: Collect your residence permit

    Updated 25 June 2024:

    Instructions for all incoming non-EU students starting/returning in September 2024 that will apply/have applied for a residence permit for the purpose of study:
    The Immigration and Naturalisation Service of the Netherlands (IND) will be organising centralised collection days again this year for students that will begin their studies/return to their studies after a break in September 2024. These collection days will take place at the Jaarbeurs (Beatrixgebouw) in Utrecht. The address is Jaarbeursplein 6, 3521 AL Utrecht. The collection days will take place on the following days between 10:00–17:00 CET:

    • Saturday, 24 August 2024
    • Saturday, 14 September 2024
    • Saturday, 5 October 2024

    The IND has announced that they have created their own reservation system and will request for students to book a time slot during one of these collection days once your residence permit application has been approved this summer.

    UvA students will have to book a time slot using the red calendar (for Amsterdam area students) in the drop-down menu of the reservation system. After selecting a time slot, the IND will send a confirmation email which will include a confirmation code. You will be required to take your valid passport, the confirmation email, and the confirmation code to the selected collection date.

    The IND will be sending the Immigration Office a list of students whose permits are ready and who can therefore make a time slot reservation two weeks before each collection day. We will not place the link on this page and will only send the time slot reservation link to students who are on the IND’s lists before each of the three collection days. Please do not email the immigration office to ask us if you can make a time slot reservation if you have not been sent the invitation link yet, we will contact you as soon as the IND says your card is ready.

    Important: The time slot reservation system will only open two weeks before each collection day. This means that students will be able to start reserving a time slot for the first collection day (24 August 2024) on 9 August 2024. The available time slots for the second collection day (14 September 2024) will be available from 30 August 2024, etc.

    Finally, as noted above in the instructions for biometrics appointments, any students who attempt to collect their permits through the regular collection appointment link on the IND website will have their appointments cancelled. Incoming students must collect their permits during one of the central collection days in Utrecht.

    Instructions for all enrolled non-EU students that applied for a residence permit for the purpose of study (including Extension applications) before 1 May 2024:
    The Immigration Office will not send you a separate notification to inform you when your residence permit is ready to be collected. As a general rule, your residence permit should be ready for collection about three weeks after submitting your biometrics to the IND, either at the embassy (MVV students) or at the IND office in Amsterdam (VVR students). Therefore, you will have to make an appointment at the IND office in Amsterdam to collect your permit three weeks after having provided your biometrics. It is important to be aware of your applications status.

    Check the status of your residence permit card using the MyIND portal:
    If you are registered with the municipality and you have a BSN number, you can check the status of your residence permit yourself by checking your MyIND account:

    1. To access your MyIND, you need a DigiD account
    2. To obtain a DigiD account, you need your BSN number (which is your Dutch citizen service number; check Step 3 of this checklist for more information)
    3. Go to to apply for your DigiD account with your BSN number
    4. Once your Digid account is activated, you can login to MyIND
    5. Check what your permits’ status is
    6. Either provide your biometrics (again) of required or make an appointment to collect your residence permit in Amsterdam

    Please note that you have legal residence in the Netherlands even if you have yet to collect your residence permit (and your MVV has expired).