Immigration procedures for visiting relatives of non-EU/EEA students

If you are a non-EU/EEA student residing in the Netherlands based on a student residence permit, and you have a family member who would like to visit you in the Netherlands for a shorter or longer period, he or she might need to apply for a visa and/or residence permit for the Netherlands.

Please be aware that Erasmus University Rotterdam only facilitates the immigration procedures for individuals who are officially registered as full-time students at our institution. The university is not involved in the immigration procedures for visiting family members of students.

The immigration process for visiting relatives of students depends on the duration of their stay.

Non-EU/EEA family members coming to the Netherlands for short visits 

Depending on their nationality, relatives who wish to visit you for less than 90 days may need a short stay Schengen visa for visits to the Netherlands. They can apply for the short stay visa at one of Dutch embassies or consulates worldwide. In most cases an official invitation letter from your side is required.

It is important to keep in mind that a short stay Schengen visa cannot be extended, or changed into a different type of visa or residence permit, whilst in the Netherlands. If your relative is planning on staying with you in the Netherlands for more than 90 days, he or she needs to apply for an mvv (provisional residence permit) and/or Dutch residence permit instead.

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Non-EU/EEA relatives staying with you in the Netherlands for a period of more than 90 days

A non-EU/EEA relative (spouse, registered partner or child) who would like to stay with you in the Netherlands for a longer period of time (more than 90 days) will need a Dutch residence permit and, in most cases, a provisional residence permit (mvv) for the Netherlands which needs to be collected at a Dutch embassy before travelling to the Netherlands.

Bringing a family member to the Netherlands while you attend your studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam is a very important decision, especially since you will be the legal sponsor during his or her stay, and we advise you to consider the consequences carefully in advance. Matters you should think about are:

Finances: you will need a solid financial plan for sustaining both yourself and your relative(s) in the Netherlands. The IND requires proof that you have sufficient financial means as part of the immigration process. Please keep in mind that the minimum income requirements of the IND reflect the absolute minimum required for getting by in the Netherlands. If you are used to a more comfortable lifestyle at home, this amount will probably not be sufficient to sustain the same level of comfort in the Netherlands.

Accommodation: we advise you to start your search for accommodation well before your relative intends to join you. As the university only intermediates for short stay student accommodation that is (in most cases) unsuitable for a family, you will need to find suitable housing upon arrival in the Netherlands, which may prove to be quite a challenge, especially if your financial resources are limited.

Social life and personal wellbeing: your fulltime study programme at Erasmus University Rotterdam will be very demanding in terms of time and energy, and the time you will be able to spend with your family member(s) may be limited. Before deciding that your relative(s) will join you during your studies in the Netherlands, you therefore need to be able to answer the following questions: how will your relative spend his or her days while you are studying? What activities will he or she get involved in order to meet new people and build a social network, and feel at home in the Netherlands?

The immigration process for family members coming to the Netherlands for more than 90 days depends on whether they need an mvv. Relatives who do need an mvv always need to await the outcome of the application outside of the Netherlands and collect the mvv sticker at the Dutch embassy before entering the country.

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 IND. This is called an MVV-REF application. Although the mvv application can also be started at a Dutch embassy abroad, the MVV-REF procedure is generally faster. Once an approval for your relative’s mvv is issued he or she can collect the mvv sticker at the Dutch embassy and travel to the Netherlands.
  2. You submit the application to the Dutch embassy. This is called an MVV-DIP application. Also in this procedure your relative needs to wait for an approval outside of the Netherlands and collect the mvv sticker at the Dutch embassy after approval.

For relatives who do not require an mvv, it is possible to start the residence permit application process upon arrival in the Netherlands. However, the IND advises submit the application before travelling to the Netherlands and wait for the outcome while still abroad, in order to avoid your family member(s) entering the country unsuccessfully if the outcome of the residence permit application turns out to be negative.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I travel within and outside Europe (EU/EEA) with a Dutch residence permit for study purposes?

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

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I made travel plans, but my new residence permit is not yet in place before this trip.

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.

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My family / friends from home want to come visit me in Rotterdam. What do they need to arrange?

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.