What you need to know
Once you have made the decision to study in Utrecht Region, you will need to take care of some official matters. For example, you may require a visa and/or a residence permit, need accommodation and adequate insurance, and of course proper funding. On this page we will provide you with all kinds of practical information. If you still have questions after reading the website, please feel free to contact the International Welcome Centre Utrecht Region (IWCUR) for advice.
Everyone who lives in the Netherlands for more than four months needs to register as a resident with the municipality they will live in, within five days of arrival. Those staying for less than four months need to apply for a short stay permit. In both cases, once registered, you will receive your citizen service number (BSN).
Your BSN is a unique registration number held by every citizen in the Netherlands. The BSN will be needed for any interaction with the Dutch authorities, opening a bank account, deducting taxes and social security contributions, using the healthcare system, applying for benefits, registering a change of address and many other matters.
Here in the Netherlands, you will find businesses and organisations take your identity protection seriously. One tool used towards this aim is the DigiD. It is a digital signature identity verification that many governmental organisations and businesses use to securely provide access to their online services. Before applying for a DigiD, you need to have received you BSN.
The International Service Desk (ISD) of Utrecht University processes the visa and permit applications (and extensions) of all its international employees and guests. Within three days of your arrival in the Netherlands, they will invite you for an intake interview, to receive support in finding your way around living and working in the Netherlands.
The Utrecht University’s International Office administers the university wide exchange agreements. Whether you need an entry visa and/or a residence permit depends on your nationality. If you do need one the university has to submit your application to the Dutch Immigration Services.
The orientation year (zoekjaar) permit allows recent graduates from non-EU countries and scientific researchers to stay in or come to the Netherlands for a period of up to twelve months. During this period, they can seek employment or work without needing an extra work permit. International graduates can apply within three years after their graduation.