Netherlands Puts Temporary Halt on Collection of New Student Visas from Embassies in Fight Against Corona - Embassies Closed until at least 6 April
The Dutch government has suspended the collection of all long-stay visas (MVVs), needed by international students who wish to study in the Netherlands, until at least 6 April. It has also put a hold on short-stay visas, "forced by COVID-19" to temporarily close all its consular desks of embassies and consular generals, as explained on the IND website.
Wittenborg continues to apply for Student Visa's as normal for Block 1 September and Block 2 October Intakes.
Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences will continue to process student applications as normal and apply for the MVV student entry visa's for the September (Block 1) and October (Block 2) intakes. The university Admissions Team is operating as normally during this time and the Immigration Service is accepting Visa Applications.
Travel Restrictions and Entry to the Netherlands
On Thursday, the Netherlands tightened conditions for people who want to travel to the country after Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte stopped just short of announcing a total lockdown in the Netherlands earlier this week. The authorities said they would make "no exceptions for students".
This measure does not apply to:
- Holders of an MVV or Dutch residence permit, regardless of the purpose of the residence;
- 3rd country nationals in possession of a residence permit from a Schengen or EU member state;
- Holders of a residence permit as long-term residents.
Unable to Travel - what about the already collected Entry Visa (MVV)?
What about students who have already collected their MVVs and are unable to travel now? "If necessary, once the embassies have restarted their services, the period of validity of the MVV can be extended. This can be agreed immediately with the relevant embassy," a statement from the IND reads.
Students who have a valid residence permit but cannot travel back to the country will be approached on a case-by-case basis. "Depending on the circumstances of the case, the IND will provide custom work in cases such as this, where the residence permit would be withdrawn under normal circumstances."
It has been advised that students in the Netherlands whose residence permit has expired and who cannot leave the Netherlands submit an extension application where possible. "If this is not possible, the student can ask for a return decision at the counter. With a return decision, the student then has an additional 28 days to leave the country. You can make appointments at the counter in the usual way, but take into account limited services at the IND counters."
For those still at the beginning of their MVV application, the IND has said that if they have a sponsor in the Netherlands, for example, an education institution, family member or employer, the sponsor can submit the application to the IND. "You only need to go to the embassy once the IND has made a decision."
by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press