For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.

Checklist for international students

upon arrival in Amsterdam

The following steps are a useful checklist upon arrival. Please note that some of these steps are mandatory.

  • Step 1: Transport when you arrive in Amsterdam

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

    OV chipcards
    The GVB in Amsterdam and the Dutch National Railways (NS) are not the same operators. 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.

  • Step 2: 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 Wednesday, 1 February 2023. 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 15:00hrs on 1 February 2023.
  • Step 3: 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.

    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.

    Municipality of Amsterdam

    Registration arriving students February 2023

    The UvA has made specific arrangements with the municipality of Amsterdam for easy registration of our students in February 2023. These days are reserved especially for UvA students, to whom as an exception the BSN will be given immediately. You will be registered (in some cases retrospectively) from the date your rental contract starts.

    To ensure quick and efficient registration, we ask you not to make a regular appointment with the municipality.

    Registration days

    You can choose to go to the municipality of Amsterdam on one of these specific dates between 9:00-16:00hrs without making an appointment:

    • Wednesday to Friday 1-3 February, 2023
    • Monday to Friday 6-10 Februay, 2023

    If many students arrive at the desk at the same time, queues could occur. Early mornings and 2 and 3 February are less crowded.

    You need to bring:

    • your valid passport (or European Union ID card)
    • a printed copy of the identity details pages (personal details & photo) of your passport or copy of your EU ID card.
      If you have more than one nationality and more than one passport, you are required to bring all your passports.
    • a printed copy of your rental contract
    • Your student ID card or proof of enrollment at the UvA
    • NOTE: You do NOT need to bring your birth certificate, despite the fact that this is mentioned on the official website. Our students are exempted from this.

    Please note that if you do not print out the rental contract or bring a copy or your passport, you cannot be registered that day and you will have to come back another day.

    Address registration Amsterdam:

    Bos en Lommerplein 176
    1055 RW Amsterdam

    Check location in Google Maps

    More information from the municipality of Amsterdam

    Flyer displaying route to municipality

    Arriving after 10 February 2023 for the 2nd semester?

    Registration on one of the registration days before 11 February 2023 is strongly recommended, as the process is much easier and faster. If for some reason you arrive after 10 February, schedule a regular appointment by calling +31 20 624 1111. Find more information on the website of the municipality. Please note that it can take up to several weeks before you'll have an appointment, and another few weeks before you'll receive your BSN.

    No rental contract?

    If you do not have a rental contract, because you stay in the house of a friend or relative, the landlord/primary occupant/home owner needs to fill out and sign a permission to register at address form. You need to bring this document as well to your appointment.
    Note: This form is for the municipality of Amsterdam only. For other municipalities, please check their procedure yourself.

    Couples room

    If you rent a couples room through the UvA, only one of you is mentioned on the rental contract. In order to get you both registered at the municipality, you need to fill out the permission to register at address form as well. It also helps if you go to register together at the municipality.

    Download the form for permission to register at someone else's address

    Municipality of Diemen

    If you are going to live at Rode Kruislaan (Lieven De Key) or OurCampus, you will have to register at the municipality of Diemen, a neighbouring town of Amsterdam. The UvA has specific arrangements with the municipality of Diemen for easy registration of our students.

    Make an appointment by calling:

    Regular opening hours:

    • Monday 8:30 - 12:30hrs and 13:30 - 15:30hrs
    • Tuesday 8:30 - 12:30hrs
    • Wednesday 8:30 - 12:30hrs and 13:30 - 15:30hrs
    • Thursday 8:30 - 12:30hrs and 17:30 - 19:30hrs
    • Friday 8:30 - 12:30hrs

    You need to bring:

    • your passport (or European Union ID card)
    • printed copy of your rental contract
    • students who require visa: your residence permit. If you did not collect your permit yet, you can bring your IND decision letter. Please contact the Immigration Office if you need this letter.
    • printed copy of the completed registration form of the Municipality of Diemen
    • NOTE: You do NOT need to bring your birth certificate, despite the fact that this is mentioned on the official website. Our students are exempted from this.

    Address municipality Diemen:

    D.J. Den Hartoglaan 1
    1111 ZB Diemen

    Check location in Google Maps.

  • Step 4: Open a Dutch bank account

    Once in the Netherlands, it’s helpful to open a Dutch bank account. International money transfers are usually costly and take days to process. Also, 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.

    Choose a bank

    You can open a student bank account at several banks in the Netherlands.

    The easiest and quickest way to open a bank account with ABN AMRO is via their app (about one working day). You will need:

    • A valid passport
    • Proof of enrolment or your student card
    • Your BSN number

    To open a bank account with a European ID card, you will have to complete your identification by appointment. This option will take about a week. You will also need your proof of enrollment and your BSN number.

    Please note: you can only open a bank account with ABN AMRO if you plan to live and study in the Netherlands for at least 6 months.

    To open a bank account with ING you must visit one of the ING service points.

    • A valid passport
    • Proof of enrolment
    • An original extract from the Personal Records Database (BRP)
    • Your BSN, or if you do not have one, your Tax Identification Number

    Students from the EU can also open an account with the ING Mobile Banking app.

    At  Bunq, you can make an appointment online. Video verification is used to open your bank account.  You'll need the following documents to complete the verification:

  • Step 5: 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 e-mail 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 6: Make an appointment to have your biometrics taken

    Only applicable if you have the nationality of one of the following countries: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, Monaco, Vatican City, USA, South Korea or are in possession of a valid Schengen-residence permit.

    The IND requires a passport photo, fingerprints, and a signature for your residence permit. You can make an appointment after you have received an e-mail that says that the IND needs your biometrics.

    Leading up to the start of each semester, the IND desks can be busier than usual. Due to the high number of applications and shortage of staff at the IND desk, there is a limited number of timeslots available and some days there are no timeslots. The UvA as well as the IND are aware of this issue, and are working towards a solution.

    Please keep an eye on the website of the IND to see if new timeslots become available. In any case, please do not worry if you cannot make an appointment, or if your appointment is a few weeks in the future. Your legal residency in the Netherlands will remain, even if you have not been able to submit your biometric data.

  • Step 7: Collect your residence permit

    As a general rule, your residence permit should be ready for collection at the IND desk in Amsterdam about three weeks after submitting your biometrics to the IND.

    Unfortunately, time slots are scarce at the moment due to the high number of applications, making it difficult to book an appointment with the IND.

    Please check the availability of your residence permit on your MyIND account, and check the IND website frequently for available time slots.

    Check the status of your residence permit card through MyIND
    You can check the availability of your residence permit yourself by checking your MyIND:

    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

    Make an online appointment with the IND
    If your residence permit is ready at the IND desk in Amsterdam, please make an appointment for collection. You will need your V-number, which you can find on the IND confirmation letter we sent to you earlier. Please check the IND website regularly for free time slots.

    Book an online appointment with the IND to collect your residence permit

    Please note that you have legal residence in the Netherlands even if you have yet to collect your residence permit.

  • Step 8: Arrange your health insurance

    Dutch law requires all international students to have appropriate health insurance for their entire stay in the Netherlands.

    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.

    More information
    You'll find more information 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 Aon Student Insurance

    To provide more information about their Student Insurance in particular, Aon hosts two webinars for EEA students and two for Non-EEA students:


    • Webinar Aon Student Insurance EEA Students

    17 January 2023, 11:00-12:00 CET.

    • Webinar Aon Student Insurance Non-EEA Students

    17 January 2023, 14:00-15:00 CET.


    • Webinar Aon Student Insurance EEA Students

    7 February 2023, 11:00-12:00 CET.

    • Webinar Aon Student Insurance Non-EEA Students

    7 February 2023, 14:00-15:00 CET.

    Mark these dates in your calendar.

    Sign up for the Aon Student Insurance Webinar