Universiteit Leiden

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Immigration and requirements

If you wish to come to the Netherlands there are certain immigration procedures you need to follow. The Service Centre International Staff will help you with all of these. We will provide you with checklists, an immigration wizard and an overview of all immigration formalities. This way you will be able to work and reside legally in the Netherlands.

Determine your category

Before coming to the Netherlands, there are certain requirements you need to meet. Using our checklist, you can see what you need to do. The Immigration Wizard can help you determine which category applies to you. Make sure you select the appropriate category for your country of origin:

Assistance and procedures

The HR department of your faculty will request the Service Centre International Staff of Leiden University to start up your immigration procedure and will provide you with a copy of your contract/guest agreement. The service centre will inform you of the procedures and steps relevant to you:

  1. You will receive 2 emails from the Service Centre International Staff: a welcoming email with the explanation of the procedure and a separate email with your username and password that enables you to upload the required documents and information to the SCIS web portal.
  2. After you submitted all the information, we will apply for:
    • the Dutch entry visa (MVV) on your behalf (at least 4 weeks before the start date of your contract). Do not apply for the MVV yourself.
    • a residence permit for you and any accompanying family members
    • a work permit (at least 6 weeks before the start date of your contract if applicable)
  3. You should start looking for appropriate living accommodation in Leiden.
  4. The Service Centre International Staff will notify you that you can contact the Dutch mission specified in your MVV application to collect your entry visa (about 2 weeks after submitting the application).
  5. The Service Centre International Staff invites you to its office to welcome you and explain the residence procedures 1–2 days before or on the commencement date of your contract at the latest. Sometimes there is no need to visit us in person. In that case we will inform you by email.


The Service Centre International Staff will schedule some appointments for you (and your family members):

  • to pick up your residence permit at the Immigration Service (IND). You are allowed to start work after you have picked up your residence permit.
  • to register as a citizen of the municipality where you live. The Service Centre International Staff will schedule an appointment at your local Dutch city hall for you. Once you are registered, you will receive your citizen service number (BSN) instantly.
  • if it is a requirement for your residence permit application, the Service Centre International Staff will schedule an appointment for you and any family members to undergo a tuberculosis examination (X-rays) at the Public Health Service (GGD) in Leiden.

You will also need to:

  • open a Dutch bank account after receiving your BSN. We can assist you with banking at Rabobank in Leiden and the surrounding area. If you choose Rabobank, please provide us with a completed application form. Rabobank will contact you within a week to schedule an appointment. To open a Dutch bank account, you need a permanent address. Of course, you can visit any other bank of your choice. A BSN is then required.
  • apply for Dutch basic health insurance (if applicable) after receiving your BSN.
  • upload a copy of both sides of your residence permit after collecting it from the IND to our Service Centre Webportal at your earliest convenience.

Leaving the Netherlands

Return the residence permit

If you have a Dutch residence permit and leave the country not to return here, don’t forget to hand over your (expired) residence permit at the airport ID checkpoint in the Netherlands. Alternatively, you can return it later from abroad by mail. Note that it is your personal responsibility to do this.

Deregister from Dutch municipality

When permanently leaving the Netherlands, you are also required to deregister from your Dutch municipality of residence.

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