Receiving visitors

Students on campus Erasmus University Rotterdam

Are you a non-EU/EEA student living in the Netherlands with a student residence permit, and do you have a family member who would like to visit you here? A spouse, parent / caretaker or child?

They may need to apply for a visa and/or Dutch residence permit. The immigration process for visiting relatives of students depends on the duration of their stay.

Please be aware:

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) only facilitates the immigration procedure for those who are officially registered as full-time students at EUR. The university has absolutely no involvement or influence in the immigration procedures for visiting family members of students.


Depending on their nationality*, relatives who wish to visit you for less than 90 days may need a Short Stay Schengen visa to visit you in the Netherlands.

  • They should apply for the Short Stay Schengen visa at a Dutch embassy or consulate.
  • In most cases an official invitation letter (document is in Dutch) from your side is required.
  • The Short Stay Schengen visa cannot be extended or changed into a different type of visa or residence permit.
    • If there is a chance your relative will stay for more than 90 days, they will need to apply for an mvv and/or Dutch residence permit.

*Check this list of nationalities to see if your relatives are exempt from the visa requirement for stays of less than 90 days

More information

See the website of the Dutch Immigration Services (IND) on short stay visa application procedures

A non-EU/EEA relative (spouse, registered partner or child) who will stay with you in the Netherlands for more than 90 days will need a Dutch residence permit.

In most cases they will also need a provisional residence permit (mvv), which needs to be collected at a Dutch embassy before they travel to the Netherlands. 

Relatives who require an mvv:

  • Relatives who need an mvv must wait to collect their mvv sticker at their Dutch embassy outside of the Netherlands - before entering the country to join you;
  • There are two ways to submit the mvv application for your family member:
    1. When you arrive in the Netherlands you can submit the application directly to the Dutch Immigration Services (IND). This is called an MVV-REF application. This is generally faster than starting the procedure at a Dutch embassy abroad.
      • Once approval for your relative’s mvv is issued they can collect the mvv sticker at their local Dutch embassy and may then travel to the Netherlands.
    2. You submit the application to the Dutch embassy (outside the Netherlands). This is called an MVV-DIP application. Your relative needs to wait for an approval outside of the Netherlands, and collects the mvv sticker at the Dutch embassy upon approval.

Relatives who do not require an mvv:

While it’s possible to start the residence permit application process upon their arrival in the Netherlands, the IND advises they submit the application and wait for the outcome while still abroad. This will prevent disappointment if your relatives are unable to enter the country due to an unapproved application.


More information


Bringing a family member to the Netherlands while you study at EUR is no small matter!

First and foremost, you will be the legal sponsor of any family member who comes to the Netherlands to be with you during your studies at EUR. Matters you should think about carefully in advance are:

  • Finances
    • You will be asked by the IND to prove you have a solid financial plan, and sufficient financial means, to support yourself and family member(s) while you are in the Netherlands.
  • Accommodation
    • We advise you to start your search for accommodation well before your relative intends to join you. EUR only facilitates short stay student accommodation that is (in most cases) unsuitable for a family, so you will need to find suitable housing upon arrival in the Netherlands.
  • Social life and personal well-being of your relative
    • Your full-time study programme at EUR will demand a lot of time and energy, which can limit your time with family member(s). Before deciding that they come to join you, it’s important to know how your family member will spend their days. What activities will they get involved in to meet new people and build a social network, and feel at home in the Netherlands?

More information

IND brochure about bringing relatives to the Netherlands


Need help with the permit?

Frequently Asked Questions

When having a valid Dutch study residence permit in place, you can travel within the EU/EEA. However, make sure your permit is still valid at the time of travelling. If not: extend your residence permit in time!

We advise you to contact local immigration authorities if you would like to visit a country outside of the EU/EEA

If the extension of your residence permit is still in process with the IND and your new residence permit is not in place yet before you’re leaving on your trip, please contact the IND (call at 088 043 04 30) or the Dutch embassy abroad to obtain a “return visa” which enables you to travel back to the Netherlands after your trip.

If you are a non-EU/EEA student staying in the Netherlands with a residence permit, then your family/friends from home might need to apply for a visa and/or residence permit for the Netherlands as well. The university is not involved in the immigration procedures for family/friends visiting you, so make sure to carefully check this out yourself.

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