Frequently asked questions
You can suggest topics that need to be addressed in these FAQs. Please contact us at our usual email addresses and phone number(s).
The questions are grouped by topic:
- COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
- Workflow and immigration (step by step)
- Residence/visa permit
- Health insurance
|Abbreviation||Stands for||In Dutch|
|BSN||social security number||burgerservicenummer|
|EU||European Union||Europese Unie|
|HR||Human Resources||P&O, personeel en organisatie/ personeelszaken|
|IND||Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service||Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst|
|mvv||regular provisional residence permit||machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf|
|PSSC||Personnel Shared Service Centre (The PSSC manages the University’s personnel administration)|
Service Centre International Staff (Leiden University)
|TEV||Entry and Residence Procedure||Procedure Toegang en Verblijf|
|ULCN account||University Leiden Community Network account|
Requirements from the Dutch Government are best to be consulted on the website of the Government of the Netherlands. Please make sure you have all you need prior to departure.
[27 July] That differs per embassy. Some embassies and consulates are open or will reopen (in part). These had been closed in recent months due to the coronavirus. More information is available on the website netherlandsandyou.nl.
Some people can make an appointment to collect the mvv sooner than others. You will possibly have priority if you belong to one of the exception categories of the EU entry ban. For example if you are a family member of a Dutch citizen. Or if you have an essential function or need. Knowledge migrants and students are also given priority.
I have the nationality of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, United States of America or South Korea. That is why I do not need an mvv (exemption).
[27 July] From 1 July 2020, you may enter the Netherlands again if you live in one of the countries to which the entry ban does not apply. Do you live in a country to which the entry ban does apply? Then you may only travel to the Netherlands if there is an exception for you. More information is available on https://ind.nl/en/pages/coronavirus.aspx
[27 July] From 1 July 2020, residents of these countries are allowed to travel to the Netherlands again:
Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and China. Residents of China are only allowed to enter the Netherlands if China lets in EU citizens again.
For residents of these countries the normal conditions for entry and residence in the Netherlands apply.
Please note that entry bans can change on a regular basis. This website is not daily updated.
Most recent information is available on https://ind.nl/en/pages/coronavirus.aspx (section access to the Netherlands).
[updated 8 October] The IND will re-use your Biometrics if you are already in the IND database. SCIS will inform you when you can pick up your new residence card. This is due to the government's measures against the coronavirus.
It is currently possible to make an appointment at an IND desk for Biometrics for internationals who need to collect their first regular residence document. Time slots are, however, still limited. Please also consult other IND desks for availability to book an appointment online.
We will upload any formal letters from the IND to the document section under “Your registration”. The “letter of acknowledgement” will offer you proof of legal residence in writing.
[updated 27 March] There are two types of health insurance in the Netherlands: basic health insurance (in Dutch: basisverzekering) and private insurance (in Dutch: privéverzekering). There are rules governing which kind of insurance you will need. For more information, see Health Insurance.
Basic health insurance
Zorg and Zekerheid (Z&Z) is Leiden University’s preferred supplier of basic health insurance. Information on their coverage is likely to be the same as for other basic health insurers, but if you have a different insurer and are currently staying outside the Netherlands, it is wise to check the terms and conditions of your insurer.
Medical costs while in the Netherlands:
All medical costs insured in the basic health insurance are covered. You will have to pay an excess (in Dutch: eigen risico) of €385 yourself.
Medical costs while staying outside the Netherlands:
Your basic health insurer will pay medical costs up to the rate that applies in the Netherlands. If you are outside the Netherlands, you will have to pay the excess of €385 yourself.
If you have additional insurance (in Dutch: aanvullende verzekering) and your costs exceed the Dutch 100% rate, these will also be covered unless:
- You are in an area that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has designated as a red zone in its colour-coded advice.
- The travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for an area abroad where you are currently staying changes to red, but you do not return to the Netherlands.
In case of planned hospitalisation, always apply in advance to Zorg en Zekerheid or check the terms and conditions if you have a different insurer.
If you are on a business trip, medical costs that exceed the Dutch rate will be covered by the University’s travel insurance.
Private health insurance
AON Complete + is Leiden University’s preferred private health insurance supplier.
AON covers your actual medical costs regardless whether you are in the Netherlands or abroad. All your medical costs are fully covered. You do NOT have to pay an excess.
- If you have AON complete + Insurance and are already in an area that has been designated as a red or orange zone in the advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, your actual medical costs will be covered
If you are an international non-earning staff member and travel to an area that has been designated as a red or orange zone in the advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, your actual medical costs will not be covered.
If you are on a business trip, medical costs not covered by your health insurance are covered by the university's travel insurance.
Yes, it is still possible to register at Leiden and The Hague Municipality.
Please contact your supervisor about a suitable starting date in The Netherlands.
Workflow and immigration step by step
1. Digital Start
Your supervisor will get the ball rolling by submitting basic information about your contract or guest period at Leiden University. Once sent, the process will trigger all parties to do their tasks in getting you set up. This procedure will be followed for a first contract but also an extension of a contract or guest period.
2. ULCN account
After your data enters the system you will receive an email requesting you to set up your ULCN account. You can use this ULCN account to log in to your computer, the wifi network, and various other ICT systems.
3. HR portal
You will receive another email from the Personnel Shared Service Centre (PSSC, see 6b) requesting you to submit your personal data and documents (e.g. passport).
Sponsor for a visa or residence permit
If you are a non-EU national, the system will automatically ask you if the University needs to act as your sponsor for a visa and or residence permit. If you already have a sponsor (e.g. you're residing with your partner) you can also indicate that to notify SCIS that no sponsorship help is required.
If you are changing employers, Leiden University will take over your sponsorship. Kindly make sure to upload the front and the back of any current residence card so we can assess your situation accordingly.
Not coming to the Netherlands
If you will reside in your country of origin, you will not need a residence permit for the Netherlands.
4. Your institute reviews the information
Your institute within the faculty will review the information that was submitted by you and your supervisor. Please note that this consists of several people giving their approval which may take some time.
5. The Service Centre International Staff (SCIS) assesses what you need
The Service Centre International Staff (SCIS) is next in line to assess what is needed for a NON-EU international to live and work in The Netherlands. If the starting date is too tight for processing a residence permit, SCIS will request that your institute alters the starting date. If all looks good we will send you an email and request that you log in to the SCIS web portal.
6. The SCIS web portal guides you through various steps, contact the PSSC Service Point if necessary
- The SCIS web portal will guide you (and your family members) through the various steps that are required to travel to, reside in, and work legally in The Netherlands. The application for the 30% facility (reducing your taxes) is also administrated through the SCIS portal. You can check the status of your application and also see who is your primary contact at SCIS.
We also offer services to EU nationals. We will contact you to offer assistance and to invite you for an intake interview if you are interested.
When you log on to our web portal you will be asked to submit personal data and documents for you and any family members travelling with you. Complete your personal data first and then upload the requested documents.
In the document section you can click on the “i” to get more information about each document. Your SCIS officer will receive a system notification after you have uploaded all your required documents. Only then we will proceed with your application. Please bear in mind that since we automatically receive a system notification once everything is uploaded there’s no need to send us an email telling us that you have completed your uploads unless we have requested you to do so.
- From time to time we will receive formal letters and communications about your application from the Dutch immigration authorities (IND) which we will upload to your documents section. You will be able to find them under “IND documents”.
- You will be able to track the progress of your application as well as important dates concerning your immigration process. You will know exactly what to expect. If a step requires action on your part we will inform you by email.
The Personnel Shared Service Centre (PSSC) manages the University’s personnel administration. One of the facilities of the PSSC is the Service Point. You can contact the PSSC Service Point with any questions about staff regulations, working conditions, and personnel changes.
Employment contract or guest letter
The PSSC is also responsible for drawing up your employment contract or guest letter. Please allow two weeks of processing time. Once you have received your employment contract or guest letter please upload a signed copy to our SCIS portal at your earliest convenience.
This is usually the last document needed before we can submit your application to the IND. Once again please do not email us that you have uploaded your final document since we automatically receive a system notification once it is uploaded.
SCIS and PSSC
SCIS and PSSC are the two administrative departments taking care of your onboarding. SCIS will only take care of immigration and the 30% facility.
7. SCIS reviews all your data and documents
SCIS will review all your data and documents. If any document does not meet the requirements (for example, it is not properly legalised or translated by a sworn translator if it is not in English, German, or French) you will receive an email requesting you to take corrective actions.
This will delay your application so please pay close attention to the document requirements. If all your documents meet the requirements, we will send them to the IND.
8. The IND will now formally decide on your application.
Processing time IND first application
The IND advises that their processing time will take three months. In our experience, however, the average time for a positive decision after SCIS has submitted your complete application is three weeks.
IND processing time for residence permit extensions
An extension of a residence permit may take up to three months. As soon as SCIS has submitted the request for an extension you have legal residence in the Netherlands. However, please do not leave the country with an expired residence card unless you have a return sticker in your passport.
If you need a return sticker, please call the IND (+31 88 0430430) to make an appointment.
9. We will notify you once your permit request has been approved
Once a permit request has been approved we will upload the formal IND letter (in Dutch) to the SCIS portal and notify you by email.
If you need a visa (mvv)
If your nationality requires a visa (mvv) to enter the Netherlands (see this list for mvv exemptions) this is your cue to make an appointment at your nearest Dutch embassy (in a country where you have legal residence) to provide your biometrics and receive an mvv sticker to allow you to enter the Netherlands (some nationalities do not require this additional step).
Depending on the embassy, you may receive an mvv sticker in your passport on the spot or you may have to return to the embassy to collect your passport with the mvv sticker.
If you don't need a visa (mvv)
If your nationality does not require an mvv, or after you have obtained your mvv, you can travel to the Netherlands with the intention of becoming a resident. Kindly submit your planned day of arrival in the SCIS so we can make required appointments for you (for example municipality registration).
- A national with an mvv exemption can travel freely to the Netherlands as long as the stay does not exceed 90 days.
- If your intention is to exceed these 90 days we will apply for a residence permit prior to the departure from your country of residence and within 90 days after arrival the latest.
After arrival in the Netherlands you will have to give your biometrics to the Dutch Immigration (IND). SCIS will assist with the appointment for you and your family members. After your biometrics have been processed (this takes approximately two weeks) you will be able to collect your residence card.
Return ticket within 90 days
Please be advised that if you travel as a national under the mvv exemption the airline of your choice may not allow you to board the airplane without a return ticket within 90 days. In some cases the official IND letter granting a residence permit upon arrival made a difference. Please check the general conditions of your airline prior to departure.
Once you have collected your residence card we kindly request you to upload the front and the back to our SCIS portal. With this card you can stay outside the Netherlands (e.g. fieldwork) for a maximum of 8 months out of every twelve months (family members 6 months out of twelve months).
Welcome to the Netherlands.
The visa requirement to enter the Netherlands depends on your nationality and the duration of your stay.
- Short stay visa (also Schengen visa/tourist visa) only applies if you have a nationality that requires a visa and your visit does not exceed 90 days.
SCIS is not allowed to apply for this visa on your behalf. In order to enter the Netherlands you need to apply for a short-stay visa at the Dutch embassy in your country of origin or country of permanent residence. If your visa is granted, this document will allow you to cross the Dutch border and stay for a maximum of 90 days. After 90 days you are required to leave the Netherlands; this visa can in principle not be extended.
It is possible to re-enter the country on a short-stay visa after you have spent 90 days outside the Schengen Area. You can submit your visa application no more than 3 months prior to your arrival.
- An mvv (in Dutch: machtiging voorlopig verblijf) is an entry visa for the Netherlands (and Schengen Area) if your anticipated stay exceeds 90 days (long stay). This is only required by people with certain nationalities (see this list for mvv exemptions). Nationals of "mvv countries" must be in possession of a Provisional Residence Permit (mvv/entry visa) to enter the Netherlands.
The Entry and Residence procedure (TEV) for 'mvv nationals' must be initiated by Leiden University. Following a positive decision on the part of the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), The IND advises that their processing time will take three months for a first application. In our experience, however, the average time for a positive decision after SCIS has submitted your complete application is three weeks.
SCIS has set up immigration wizard where you can check your requirements.
Your supervisor will get the ball rolling by submitting basic information about your contract or guest period at Leiden University. Once sent, the process will trigger all parties to do their tasks in getting you set up. This maintains your first contract and guest period as well as your extension.
For a first application the average time for a positive decision after SCIS has submitted your complete application to the IND is three weeks.
An extension of a residence permit may take up to three months. As soon as SCIS has submitted the request for an extension you have legal residence in the Netherlands. However, please do not leave the country with an expired residence card unless you have a return sticker in your passport.
After your supervisor kicks off the process, the SCIS will be notified and send you an introductory email with instructions. The SCIS will also grant you access to its web portal. You will be able to push ahead and follow the status of your application from this portal.
|A: SCIS has sent you an introductory email including a general overview of matters that require your attention (e.g., health insurance).|
|B: SCIS has sent you an email to create an account that gives you access to the SCIS web portal where you can submit data and documents.|
|C: You have logged on to the SCIS portal the first time.|
|D: You have submitted all the required data and documents for you and any family members residing with you.
After you have uploaded all your documents your SCIS officer will receive an automatic system notification that your documents are ready for appraisal.
There is no need to send us an email once you have completed your uploads unless we have requested you to do so.
|E: SCIS has checked and approved all you documents.|
|F: SCIS has sent your application to the IND.|
G: SCIS has received a letter from the IND that your application was received and registered.
|H: SCIS has received a letter from the IND that your application has been approved (in Dutch: kennisgeving).
SCIS will upload a copy to your document section of the SCIS web portal which you can print and carry with you when you travel to the Netherlands.
|I: SCIS has sent you an email to make an appointment at a Dutch embassy (this only applies if you have a nationality that requires a long-stay visa for the Netherlands known as an mvv).
You can usually make an appointment online directly with the embassy and will receive a digital confirmation with information about what documents to bring.
Next to your passport and photo the embassy will need “de kennisgeving” (see under H) and a completed mvv issue form.
During this appointment you will give your biometrics and begin the process of obtaining the mvv sticker in your passport.
|J: You submit your travel details to the SCIS portal.
Rapenburg 70, 2311 EZ Leiden.
SCIS will receive an automatic notification once you have submitted the data. This will alert us to prepare for your actual arrival.
K: SCIS has sent you an email with appointments after arrival.
Please note that a registration at the Leiden Municipality is only free of charge if SCIS makes the appointment on your behalf.
L: Last registration check, not official.
M: SCIS has received a letter from the IND your card has been produced and waiting to be collected.
N: You upload a copy of the front and back of your residence card so our administration we will be compliant to Dutch law. We de not require a copy of the residence permit of your family members as you will act as a legal sponsor for family members.
O: We have approved the upload of your residence permit.
P: Your documents and data have been filed into the personnel administration system of Leiden University.
Q: You have received your post arrival mail to announce SCIS will now close your account to the SCIS web portal.
R: Your file is closed. You can no longer log on to the SCIS web portal.
If you are starting up your immigration procedure through our SCIS web portal and your family members are travelling with you, you can upload the data of your family members as well. SCIS will then process the applications all together. The end date of a residence permit of a family member will coincide with the end date of the residence permit of the main applicant.
If you wish to have your family members join you after you have arrived in the Netherlands, please send an email to email@example.com and we will start the procedure on your behalf.
Log in to the SCIS web portal and go to Your Registration. On the right side of the page choose Details Travel and submit your date of travel to The Netherlands. If you do not have an address in The Netherlands yet you may use the address of the university: Rapenburg 70, 2311 EZ Leiden.
If you cannot travel to the Netherlands to meet the starting date of your labour agreement or guest period, you need to inform your supervisor preferably before you sign your labour agreement so he or she can inform the PSSC (Personnel Shared Service Centre) accordingly.
If you are a student you can only have a limited side job (max 16 hours a week) provided you have a work permit. Processing a work permit takes at least two months. You are not allowed to start working before Leiden University has received the actual permit.
The types of residence permits that allow you to work:
- Kennismigrant (academic position <50% scientific research tasks), Leiden as your sponsor
- Onderzoeker ( ≥50% scientific research tasks), Leiden as your sponsor
- Search year, you are your own sponsor
- Residence with a family member, family member in The Netherlands as your sponsor
As soon as your supervisor has submitted your information to the HR portal, the system will automatically ask you, as a non-EU national, if the university needs to act as your sponsor. If you need a sponsor SCIS will contact you by email and give you access to the SCIS web portal where you can submit your personal data and upload all the required documents. If you already have a sponsor (for example you are residing with your partner) you can indicate this via the HR portal.
Please note: If you are pursuing a PhD, you are not considered a student in The Netherlands but an employee. You will need one of the four working permits mentioned above to be allowed to legally work on your PhD research.
You are allowed to stay outside the Netherlands (e.g. doing field work) for a maximum of 8 months out of every twelve months (for family members, 6 months out of twelve months).
Note that if you unsubscribe from your municipality, the IND will be automatically informed and will revoke your residence card. Please consult SCIS if you wish to unsubscribe from the municipality so we can prevent the IND from revoking your residence permit.
Sometimes moving to a different country seemed exiting at first, but your expectations were not met or your presence back home is urgently needed. These things happen. If you wish to terminate your affiliation with Leiden University you should discuss this with your supervisor and determine a date.
- If you are on the payroll you will need to submit your resignation date to the HR portal. The PSSC will then process your resignation and inform SCIS. SCIS will inform the IND and end the sponsorship of Leiden University.
- If you are a guest, please send an email to the PSSC (firstname.lastname@example.org) including the date you wish to terminate your affiliation with Leiden University. The PSSC will then process your resignation and inform SCIS. SCIS will inform the IND and end your University sponsorship.
By Dutch immigration law, Leiden University, acting as your IND sponsor, is required to seek annual confirmation that you possess sufficient financial means.
We will reach out to you through our SCIS portal to provide proof of sufficient financial means. You are subject to yearly provide proof of sufficient financial means through our SCIS portal if:
- You have a scholarship
- You are self-funding
- You are on payroll and do not meet the income requirements with your salary (for example as a part-time researcher)
- You have a foreign employer
- Any combination if the possibilities mentioned above
If your residence permit is still valid for 8 months you will need to provide proof of income equaling 8 times the monthly income requirement. If your residence permit is still valid for more than one year you only need to provide proof equaling 12 times the monthly income requirement.
Adjustments and new requirements
The IND adjusts and publishes new requirements on 1 January and on 1 July each year. If you need to provide updated information near to these dates, we advise you to budget an extra €15,00 a month to avoid any disappointment.
Please check the IND website for current amounts and scroll down to “Application for a residence permit as a researcher, guest lecturer or physician in training to be a specialist".
Please submit your BSN to the SCIS web portal if you have an ongoing application for the 30% rule. This enables us to prepare the last part of your application. Also send your BSN number to the email@example.com to receive your salary on time.
Your residence document is the property of the Dutch government. You must, therefore, return your residence document before you leave the Netherlands. Kindly make the document invalid before mailing it. You can do this by making a cut in the document or perforate it. Please do not cut the document in half.
- You can send your document to:
IND Bureau Documenten
P.O. Box 7025
8007 HA Zwolle
- It is also possible to hand in your residence document at the IND desk in your region. Please call the IND (+31 88 0430430) to make an appointment.
If you do not return your residence permit card and wish to enter the Netherlands at a later time your new application for a residence permit may be delayed. We suggest you make a copy of the front and back of the card for future reference.
- If you are on the payroll (you receive a salary of Leiden University) and are working in the Netherlands you will likely be required to take out a basic health insurance within 4 months after arrival. Premiums are due retroactively.
- If you are residing on a scholarship or are self-funding you will need private health insurance coverage (for example from AON).
For more information see Health insurance.
The CAK is a public service provider that implements government regulations and takes care of the translation of laws and regulations. If you were obliged to take out basic health insurance but did not do so, you will receive a letter from the CAK stating that you have yet not taken out a public health insurance and need to do so as soon as possible.
If you still neglect to do so you will receive a fine and the CAK will obtain a more expensive health insurance plan on your behalf. When you receive the CAK letter within four months after arrival your premiums will be due retroactively.
For more specific information see Health insurance.
The waiting list is ordered on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. As such, will be in touch as soon as a suitable property becomes available. Please note that we usually receive one month’s notice of availability. This means that it must also match your budget and household size. There is no need to contact us until then. Thank you for understanding!
SCIS spends the time we have for housing on those who need it the most: Internationals travelling to the Netherlands. We do not support moving house withing the apartment buildings of Leiden University (e.g. Boerhaave/Anatomy).
Once you are accommodated by Leiden University and would like to move we kindly ask you to look for alternative housing yourself on the private market. This allows us to spend our time on those who need our support the most.
Do you live in a rented house in the Netherlands? If so, you may be entitled to a rent benefit. This is a contribution from the government towards your rental costs.
Conditions for the rent benefit
These are the conditions for you and your possible benefit partner:
- You are 18 years of age or older.
- You rent independent accommodations.
- You, your possible benefit partner, and co-occupants are registered at your home address in the Netherlands.
- Your rent, (combined) income, and capital are under the specified thresholds (more info on the website of the Dutch tax office).
- You have the nationality of an EU country, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, or Switzerland. Are you from another country? In that case, you need a valid residence permit or work permit in the Netherlands.
Applying for benefits yourself
- You can apply for the rent benefit yourself. Information about how to do this can be found at the website of the Dutch tax office under I want to apply for a benefit.
With the basic rental price you can calculate if you are eligible for the rent benefit.
- The Leidse Rechtswinkel can also assist you (free of charge).
Due to the high demand for accommodations, SCIS regretfully cannot guarantee accommodation to all applicants. Leiden University does not have a campus and has limited housing. We strongly advise you to search for accommodation yourself.
Your salary slips are provided to you via Self Service online. Choose Self Service under direct links (right side) on the homepage of the staffmember site. Log on to Self Service with your ULCN account. This is only possible on an on premise university computer or via the remote workspace.
- If you found a place to live you need to notify your municipality. You can do this online via Digital Identification: DigiD.
- Staff on payroll need to inform the University via Self Service to have their address adjusted in the Personnel Administration. Choose Self Service under direct links (right side) on the homepage of the staffmember site. Log on to Self Service with your ULCN account. This is only possible on an on premise university computer or via the remote workspace.
- If you are a guest at Leiden University you can send an email updating your address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your SCIS officer will automatically receive a system notification letting us know that you have uploaded all required documents. Only then we will proceed with your application. Please bear in mind that since we already receive a system notification there’s no need to send us an email once you have completed your uploads unless we have requested you to do so.
From time to time we will receive formal letters and communications about your application from the Dutch immigration authorities (IND) which we will upload to your documents section. You will be able to find them under “IND documents”.
It is not possible to delete a document you uploaded. Please send an email to SCIS@leidenuniv.nl and we will delete the document for you. This will then enable you to upload the correct document.
Legalisation makes documents from foreign countries valid in the Netherlands. Documents that can be legalised include civil status documents, court orders, and diplomas. Legalisation shows that:
- the document was issued by a competent and expert authority
- the signature, seal and/or stamp on the document are genuine
- the document’s format is correct
It is almost always possible to have a foreign document legalised. This is usually done in the country where the document originates. The Dutch government has explained this very well. Please check out the website of The Netherlands and you for detailed information.
After SCIS has approved your date of (guest) appointment the Personnel Shared Service Centre (PSSC) is informed that they can draw up your employment contract or guest letter.
The PSSC manages the University’s personnel administration. One of the facilities of the PSSC is the Service Point. You can contact the PSSC Service Point with any questions about staff regulations, working conditions, and personnel changes. Please allow two weeks of processing time. Once you have received your employment contract or guest letter, please upload a signed copy to our SCIS portal at your earliest convenience.
The PSSC is also responsible for drawing up the employment contract or guest letter. This is usually the last document needed before we can submit your application to the IND. This may take up to two weeks after SCIS has approved your (guest) appointment.