Study Permits and Registration
If you want to study for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the Netherlands and are a non-EU resident, you will need a student (Study) residence permit.
These permits apply for research universities (WO, wetenschappelijk onderwijs) and institutes of higher professional education (HBO, hoger beroepsonderwijs).
The University of Groningen is WO, the Hanzehogeschool and NHL Stenden are HBO.
Requirements vary based on your nationality. EU and European Economic Area (EEA: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) nationals do not need a visit or permit, just a valid ID. In addition to residents of the EU/EEA states, residents of the following countries can enter and stay in the Netherlands for up to 90 days without a visa:
- New Zealand
- Vatican City
- United Kingdom
- United States
- South Korea
But if you are a student staying for at least one full academic semester, a temporary residence permit will be needed because the semester is longer than 90 days. Non-EU residents always need a residence permit to study in the Netherlands.
Registration for students (this cannot be done at the IWCN):
If you will be staying in the Netherlands for less than 4 months, you should register with one of 18 municipalities in the Netherlands via the RNI (registratie niet-ingezetenen) procedure.
If you will be staying in the Netherlands for more than 4 months, you should register with the municipality in which you live via the BRP procedure.
You will also need a citizen service number (BSN, burgerservicenummer) for your dealings with the Dutch authorities. You will be issued this number when you register in the Netherlands. The BSN is a unique personal number issued to everyone registered in the Basisregistratie Personen (BRP) which is the Municipal Personal Records Database. The BSN is a unique personal resident service number and appears in Dutch passports, identity cards, and driving licenses.
Government authorities use the BSN to correspond with citizens and exchange personal information with other governmental agencies, when legally permitted; for example, between the municipality and the Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst). The BSN is an important tool for improving government services, and is also used to combat identity fraud and solve issues with misspelled names.
The BSN is a requirement for starting a job in the Netherlands, opening a bank account, using the Dutch health care system, applying for benefits, buying a car, and announcing a change of address, to name a few examples.
If you are planning to stay for longer than 4 months in the Netherlands, you also need to register yourself in the municipality you reside in. This registration system is called a BRP (Basisregistratie Personen – the Municipal Personal Records Database).
List of required documents for BRP registration for Bachelor’s or Master’s degree students at the Municipality:
- Proof of ID: Valid passport or country ID.
- Proof of address: Signed rental contract, property bill of sale, or signed statement of current resident that the registrant is allowed to live with them plus a copy of the current resident’s passport.
- For Non EU students: Valid residence permit or letter from the IND showing that a permit application has been submitted for you.
- If you lived in the Netherlands longer than 4 months previously: your BSN number