Immigration matters

Immigration information for current students

This section provides you with all the necessary information on immigration matters during your period of study at Tilburg University. It also guides you through the steps you might need to take before leaving the Netherlands and returning to your home country.

During your study period

During your studies, you may also have immigration-related questions. We have listed some more information about certain topics for you below.

Study progress monitoring

Study progress monitoring regulation

The study progress monitoring regulation orders degree seeking students with a residence permit based on study purposes to obtain at least 50% of the nominal number of ECTS per academic year or a part of it if the student started his studies later than 1 September.

Example: Based on a study load of 60 ECTS per academic year, a student starting his studies 1 September must obtain at least 30 ECTS before 31 August the following year. A student starting his studies 1 February must obtain at least 15 ECTS before 31 August the same year.

ECTS credits requirement for Pre-Master programs

In case you have been accepted for a Pre-Master program, you need to complete the Pre-Master program within one year. This means you need to obtain all ECTS allocated to your Pre-Master program. In case you do not complete your Pre-Master program within the aforementioned time frame, and you do not have a valid reason approved by the Dean of Student, the Immigration Office of Tilburg University needs to report this to the IND. The IND will then revoke your residence permit for study purposes. In this event, the Immigration Office will inform you accordingly.  

Please note: It is possible that the EER / your school applies strict rules on the possible duration of your premaster. This is unrelated to the regulations of the Dutch Immigration Service  and the Student residence permit. 
So, it is possible that the school decides that you may not continue with that specific premaster program, while the Study progress monitoring regulation states differently.

Time frame

Study progress is monitored every academic year. The credits obtained between September 1 and Augustus 31 of the following year will be taken into account for that specific academic year. After each academic year, Tilburg University determines your annual study progress and reports on this to the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND).

Before the start of your study program, the Immigration Office of Tilburg University asks you to sign an authorization form. By signing the form, you give permission to the Immigration Office to share information regarding your study progress with the Academic Advisor at your School, the Dean of Students and the IND while you are registered as a student at Tilburg University.

Consequences of insufficient study progress

If you do not have sufficient study progress at the end of one academic year and you do not have a valid reason approved by the Dean of Student, the Immigration Office of Tilburg University needs to report this to the IND. The IND will then revoke your residence permit for study purposes.

Consequently, you would have to withdraw from your study program at Tilburg University and you would essentially need to leave the Netherlands. In case you wish to stay in the Netherlands, please contact the IND for alternative options (e.g. change the purpose of stay, study at another institution).

Excusable reasons for insufficient study progress

If you encounter problems that keep you from meeting the applicable requirement, it is important that you inform your Academic Advisor or Program Coordinator to discuss your study planning and study method.

Important: you need to report special circumstances to the Dean of Students as soon as the problems occur. Only then will your situation be taken into account.

Only students with a valid reason will not be reported to the IND. The following reasons can possibly prevent your residence permit from being revoked:

  •     serious illness;
  •     exceptional family circumstances;
  •     pregnancy;
  •     physical, sensorial or other functional disturbance;
  •     membership or position on a university board;
  •     insufficiently feasible study program.

Important: each reason can be used only once!

A switch in study programme is not considered to be a valid ground for exemption from the applicable study progress requirement. A student who makes insufficient progress with their studies is not allowed to stay at the same institution. They may, however, switch to another educational institution to continue their studies.

Cancelling your enrolment before 1 May? In that case it is possible to apply for a new residence permit for the September start (unless the programme or BSA does not permit it).

Extension of the Residence Permit

If your study program continues beyond the expiry date of your residence permit, you will need to apply for an extension. Our Immigration Coordinators are happy to assist you in the process of extending your residence permit and they will apply for your extension on your behalf. However, it is your own personal responsibility to make sure your residence permit is extended in time.

However, you will be charged a fee for your visa and/or residence permit. To simplify the procedure for you, you can pay this fee directly to the Immigration Team and they will transfer it on your behalf to the Dutch Immigration Service. All services of the Immigration Coordinators are free.

Residence permit card lost or stolen

Please read what you need to do when your residence permit card is lost or stolen on the website of IND.

If your residence permit card was lost or stolen outside of the Netherlands, please read what you need to do on the website of IND.

Travel with a Dutch residence permit card

The residence permit allows you to live in the Netherlands and to travel to all the Schengen countries and back to the Netherlands as often as you want, while it is still valid.

Please note that some countries require that your Dutch residence permit continues to be valid for a specific period of time (either three or six months) after your travel to their country. This may have a significant effect on your travel plans, particularly during the summer months. Please therefore remember this when you are planning to travel outside the Netherlands and find out any such requirements before you reserve travel tickets.

Travel without residence permit card: return visa

A return visa is needed:

  • If you do not yet have a Dutch residence permit card, but you have already applied for it AND your provisional residence permit (MVV, Dutch entry visa) is no longer valid on the date of your return*
  • If you have applied for an extension of your residence permit, but you have not yet received your new card.
  • If your residence permit is lost or stolen. In this case you must be able to show a police report.

*If you have applied for your very first residence permit, a return visa will only be granted if you need to travel for urgent reasons. Examples include serious illness or death of close family members. Study trips (excursions, seminars, short internships, etc.) also qualify as urgent reasons.

You can find more information on the application procedure for a return visa on the website of IND.

Working while studying

Foreign students are allowed to engage in paid employment alongside their studies. Depending on your nationality you can only do this for a limited number of hours per week and only if the employer has applied for a work permit for you.

You can find information on working while studying on the website of Study in Holland.

Finishing your studies in your home country

If you decide to finish your studies in your home country, please contact the Immigration Office. There might be consequences to your decision to leave the Netherlands and the Immigration Office can explain these to you.

Social Worker for International Students

Our social worker for international students, Anne de Lange, can help you navigate through challenges and problems you may encounter while adjusting to a new environment, culture, and phase in life. She offers psychosocial assistance, practical advice, and (emotional) support in various situations. Helping you to make informed choices that suit your needs. She can offer guidance to the right care and institutions when necessary. 

General practitioner - medical aid for international students

Please visit Tilburg University's website for information on general practitioner/medical aid.

At the end of your study period

My study period at Tilburg University has ended. What do I need to do and what should I know?

Deregistering as a resident (BRP-inschrijving)

If you registered as a resident at the local municipality, you must deregister before you leave the Netherlands.

If you live in Tilburg, you can download the form 'Notification of move abroad' on the website of Tilburg City Hall and e-mail it to

Deregistering with the Dutch Immigration Service (IND)

When your period of study at Tilburg University has ended, the Immigration Team must deregister you with the Dutch Immigration Service within 1 month. Be aware that once you are deregistered, you must leave the Netherlands as soon as possible, even though the expiry date on your residence permit card might show that it is still valid.

Orientation year for highly educated persons (after graduation)

If you have graduated from higher educational institution, you are allowed to spend a period of one year in the Netherlands to look for and carry out work in the Netherlands as a highly educated person.

The purpose of the so-called ‘Orientation Year’ for highly educated persons is to retain and attract foreign talent for the Dutch labor market. During this ‘Orientation Year’, you can move freely on the Dutch labor market. This means that your employer does not need to obtain a separate work permit for you.

Apply for the orientation year

Read the instruction sheet for the application form

Q&A Immigration information current students

My residence permit expires on [date], can I already start the extension process?

We start the process of the extensions of residence permits in February (for residence permits expiring on May 1st) or September (for residence permits expiring on December 1st).

What is the duration of the extension?

The extension is one semester, except when you request a longer extension period via the immigration team. You can request a longer extension no later than the moment you submit your application in OSIRIS Aanmeld.

Do I have to do biometrics again for the extension?

Yes, you must do biometrics again.

What must I do when I relocate within the Netherlands?

Note that if you relocate within the Netherlands, you must report to your (new) municipality. You must do this between 4 weeks before your moving date and 5 days after your moving date.

Does the university apply for an Orientation year permit on my behalf?

No, you must apply for it yourself. More information can be found here.

When do I apply for the Orientation year permit?

If you do not want a gap in your residency, you must apply before the end date of your student residence permit. We recommend that you apply at least one month before your residency expires. You have the right to apply until 3 years after your graduation date.

Can I apply for an Orientation year visa before graduating?

An exam date must be set before you can apply. If an exam date has been set, it is possible to apply before the date of your graduation ceremony.

Do I need a diploma to be able to apply for an Orientation year visa?

Yes, or a statement of completion of study.

What can I do if there is no exam date set yet?

Missing grades: contact your professor.
Exam date not set yet: apply for your diploma online.

Can the Immigration Office sign the statement of completion of study?

Yes, but only if an exam date is set in OSIRIS.

Can I already start a job prior to applying for my Orientation year permit?

No, you can only start your job from the application date, but you do not have to wait until the IND has approved your application for the Orientation year permit. You can get an endorsement sticker from the IND, which allows you to work fulltime even though you do not have your orientation year card yet.