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Moving to Groningen

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Transcript of Moving to Groningen

Immigration Service Desk
Moving to Groningen
So, you will come to the University of Groningen or the UMCG to work as a researcheror PhD student!

How do you prepare your move to the Netherlands?

With this presentationwe will give all necessary information that you, as an immigrant, will need to know. 

Please note: In the following slides the University of Groningen will be abbreviated to UG.

What does 'as an immigrant' mean?
You do not have the Dutch nationality, and you will leave your country to live in the Netherlands for more than 90 days.

I am a PhD student, am I categorized as 'working' or 'studying'?
In general, from Dutch perspective, a PhD student is considered to be a working member of a university.
The term 'students' generally refers to Bachelor and Master students.
Although you, as a PhD student might see yourself as a student, the Dutch government (like the Dutch embassy, the Dutch Immigration Services, and the Dutch Tax Services)as well as the UG willusually categorize you as an employee or guest employee. This occurs, for example, if you are not salaried by the UG, but receive ascholarship.

Who will contact me?
You will be contacted by an officer of the UG or UMCG.
Depending on your status within the UG (e.g. employee, PhD, guest researcher), you will be contacted by one of the many departments within the University, such as HR, the Graduate School of the referred faculty, the secretary of the referred department, or the ISD.

What do I need to prepare?
We will inform you by email about the necessary information and documents .
In general, we will refer to the "Questionnaire" form, which can be found here:

What kind of approvals does my contact person need?
Within the faculty, your appointment or guest agreement has to be approved by the management or the Faculty Board. You play no role in this. Please note that this can take several weeks, so you will have to be patient.

How shall I start looking for accommodation?
The UG has no campus. It can be difficult to find housing and it can take a long time before you will find suitable accommodation. Therefore, it is important to start arranging your accommodation in Groningen early.
Please read the info on our webpage carefully:

I am waiting for an update, what can I do?
You could ask your contact person (at the UG) for an update, but please note that UG is a very big organization, and many departments are involved with your immigration. Therefore, the preparation can take a while.
Perhaps our email has ended up in your spam-folder. All the UG email addresses end in @rug.nl and all UMCG email addresses end in @umcg.nl.
You might want to add @rug.nl and @umcg.nl to your trusted senders in your email settings.

I have been requested to deliver the same information more than once. Is this a mistake?
No, within the UG and UMCG there are always more departments involved with preparing your file.
Although those different departments try to collaborate and share your information, it sometimes happens that you are asked for the same information by different departments.

I have submitted my information and documents but have notreceived anyconfirmation. Does this mean that there is a problem?
No, the UG/UMCG receives about 900 new incoming researchers/PhD students per year. This means that we are always very busy with many files, especially in the period from April until October. Therefore it could take more than one week before you will receive a response or confirmation.

What does 'legalisation process of birth certificate' mean?
Please note: this legalisation is not required for the visa and residence permit application.
We (the UG/UMCG) do not need this document from you. However, upon arrival you will need to bring your legalised birth certificate to the Municipality in Groningen to register. Since the legalisation process can be very lengthy, it is important to start this at this stage.
Legalisation is a procedure that serves to confirm a few things. Firstly, it confirms that the document was issued by someone with the authority to issue it. Secondly, it certifies that the signatures on the document are genuine. In other words, if a foreign document has been legalised, the Dutch authorities know that it is legally valid in the Netherlands. A properly legalised document contains a minimum of three signatures and stamps, issued by the following authorities:
1) The person or authority that issued the document (e.g. a municipal registrar).
2) One or several higher authorities in the country of issue. The highest authority required to sign and stamp is usually the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
3) The Dutch embassy or consulate in the country of issue.
If you do not know how to get your document legalised, we advise you to contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the country of issue. We recommend to start early. It may take several weeks to collect all the necessary stamps and signatures.
If the country in which the document was issued has signed the Apostille Convention, the procedure is easier. In that case, your document does not require legalisation by the Dutch embassy or consulate. Affixing an apostille, issued by the designated authority in the country of issue, will suffice. Please check this webpage for the links to those authorities:

How shall I have my birth certificate translated?
If your birth certificate is not in English, French, German or Dutch, you would need to have it translated. The translation is only accepted if this is done by sworn translator; in other words: by an official translator. The official translation is international recognized and his/her translation are thus internationally accepted. See also step 6 of this Prezi. You would also need to legalize the translation of the birth certificate, or have it apostilled.

If you are from China, the legalisation procedure is quite difficult
> Please click here for an explanation in your own language:
How long does it take?
General timeline
Week 1

Your contact person from the UG or UMCG will contact you, and determine details, concerning your appointment or guest agreement, such as the start and end date
Week 2-3
Your contact person will arrange the necessary approvals within the faculty for your contract or guest agreement.
You start looking for accommodation in Groningen
Week 4
Contact with Immigration Service Desk (ISD) and/or HR dept., Graduate School, Faculty Department regarding your visa and/or residence permit application.
You submit all required documents
You start arranging the legalisation process of birth certificate
Week 5
ISD submits your visa and/or residence permit application at Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Services (IND)
Week 8
IND informs ISD about the approval of your visa and/or residence permit application
ISD informs you about this
If applicable: you make an appointment with the Dutch embassy in your home country to submit your passport for the MVV (long-term entry visa) and to provide biometric details.
Week 9

(If applicable) You will have your appointment with the Dutch embassy to submit your passport and biometric details.
Week 11
(if applicable) The Dutch embassy will return your passport. They have issued the MVV visa in it.
The governmental authorities in your country have finished the legalisation of your birth certificate
Week 12
You arrive in the Netherlands
You are invited to visit the ISD or HR department to receive information
You will be invited by the IWCN to register in the Municipality and to pick up your residence permit card
Week 13-15
You will arrange some practical issues in order to finalize your immigration

Please note: this timeline is an example of an ideal situation and may differ from your own timeline
Do I need an MVV?
Whether or not you need an MVV is based on two factors:
> the duration of your stay is more than 90 days
> you have another nationality than:
> EU
> American (US)
> Australian
> Canadian
> Japanese
> Monegasque
> New Zealand
> South Korean
> Vatican (City)
If both factors are the case, you will need both an MVV and residence permit.
In case you don't need the MVV, due to your (here above mentioned) nationality, we will only apply for your residence permit.

The MVV sticker only indicates "Nederland", but I wish to travel to Groningen via Germany. Is that possible?
Yes. Although it only indicates the Netherlands, the MVV is also valid for any other Schengen country. It means that you could arrive in Germany, for instance, and travel to the Netherlands.

The MVV visa is only valid for 90 days but I am going to stay in Groningen for more than 1 year!
Don't worry. The MVV visa is only meant for entering the Netherlands. Therefore, you have 90 days time to do so.
Next to the MVV we have also applied for your residence permit. This residence permit card will be handed to you by the IND after arrival. This residence permit will overrule your MVV visa and will be valid for the entire duration of your stay.

I wish to travel to another Schengen country in those first 90 days. Is that okay?
Yes. The MVV visa does allow you to travel around within the Schengen area, during those 90 days, even if you do not yet have your residence permit card.

How can I travel after the expiration of my MVV visa?
Upon arrival you will receive your residence permit card. This residence permit has the same function of a Dutch visa and a Schengen visa. Therefore you can travel in and out of the Netherlands with the residence permit card in combination with your passport. You are allowed to spend up to a maximum of 90 days in any other Schengen country.

What are the Schengen countries?
It is important to realise that not all European countries are part of the Schengen area. Please check the list of Schengen countries here:
Travelling to the Netherlands
When you have obtained your MVV, or if you do not need an entry visa, you will travel to the Netherlands for the start of your (guest) agreement/appointment.

Inform the ISD about your arrival date and your address in Groningen as soon as you can.

Arrange a tourist or travel insurance to cover your journey.

Before booking your ticket and planning your arrival, please take note of Dutch Public Holidays. On these days most companies are closed, and public transport to Groningen may be limited.

You will find a list with all Dutch Public Holidays here:
Bringing your family member(s)
If you wish to bring your family member(s) to Groningen you should inform the ISD about this. The ISD will send you a checklist with the documents and information required for your family members' visa and/or residence permit application.

Once you have sent all the required documents and information to the ISD and have transferred the fees, the ISD will apply for your family members' visas and/or residence permits. Their further immigration procedure will be the same as yours.

Please note: the ISD will need several legalised and translated documents from your family member(s):
- For spouse: legalised and translated marriage certificate;
- For unmarried partner: legalised and translated unmarried declaration for both you and partner;
- For children: legalised and translated birth certificates.

The legalisation process may take a long time, so start as soon as you can. For more information, consult the slide on Step 2 (week 4).

Important notice!

An application for prospective staff will
always take precedence over an application
for family members.
This goes for both the ISD and the IND but
also for the embassies. Therefore,
the immigration procedure for your
family member(s) will take longer
than your own.

Do I need a residence permit?
Almost everyone who wants to live in the Netherlands for more than 90 days will need a residence permit, unless they have an EU/EEA nationality.
In some cases you will also need an MVV (see previous slides).

What kind of information is printed on the residence permit card?
A residence permit card holds your personal data like your name, date of birth, place of birth, and nationality. It also states which type of permit you have on the back of the card. In most cases we applied for the type 'scientific researcher' (Dutch: wetenschappelijk onderzoeker). The back also states that you are allowed to do your work as a researcher.
On the front of the residence permit card you can find the validity: Valid until dd-mm-yyyy (Dutch: "Geldig tot dd-mm-yyyy").

What about my biometric details?
The combination of your picture, signature and fingerprints are your biometric details. This is included in a chip on your residence permit. This regulation is due to an European Regulation.
See also: https://ind.nl//EN/organisation/news/Pages/entry-into-force-of-the-biometrics-(immigration)-act-on-1-march-2014.aspx

I need to visit my home country (e.g. for data collecting). What are the consequences for my residence permit?
You can leave the Netherlands for a maximum period of 180 days each year without losing your legal residence.

My contract has been extended, do I need to extend my residence permit?
Yes, please contact the ISD timely to apply for an extension of your residence permit. The ISD will inform you about the required documents and information that you will need to provide.

The residence permit
The residence permit allows someone to live in the Netherlands for a period longer than 90 days.
It is issued in the form of a credit card sized pink card.

This card is created by the IND after they have approved the application and have received biometric details such as fingerprints from the bearer of the card.

The residence permit is a legal document that verifies your status as an immigrant in the Netherlands. You must always have this card on you.
Please take good care of this document!
Residence permit cards frequently get stolen when visiting other cities in Europe. Therefore, please be extra careful when travelling!
A replacement application costs around EUR 260. You will not be reimbursed for such costs by the UG.

> If you also have an MVV, you have given your biometric
details at the embassy when picking up your MVV.
> If you do not require an MVV, you will have to
visit the IWCN or one of the (other) IND desks to leave your biometric details.

Important websites

Travelling to Groningen
You will probably arrive in the Netherlands at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The easiest way to travel to Groningen is to take the train. The underground train station is located near Schiphol Plaza, within several minutes walking distance from the luggage claim. The Dutch railway system is predominantly run by Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS). You will recognize it by its yellow and blue colours. Look out for the yellow illuminated signs that direct you ‘To the trains’.

Every hour there is a direct connection from Schiphol Airport to Groningen. Other connections involve just one change of trains. Make sure that you board one of the carriages marked with the destination Groningen, as the other part of the train travels to Leeuwarden. The journey from Schiphol Airport to Groningen takes a little over 2 hours.

For all forms of public transport in the Netherlands you will need to use the OV chip card (Dutch: OV-chipkaart). With the OV-chipkaart you must check in before your trip and check out after having reached your destination. If you switch to another transportation company during your trip, you must check out with the first company and check in with the new one. E.g. if you take a train to Amsterdam and a bus to the city center, do not forget to check out at the train station and check in when getting on the bus. This is also applicable if you transfer from one train company to another.

More information on the OV-Chipkaart

More information on how to purchase a single-use ticket (disposable OV-Chipkaart)

Check the national railway timetables here:

Transport in Groningen
Within the city of Groningen several bus lines connect the outer districts with the city center and the railway station. There are two direct bus lines from and to the Zernike campus. These are lines 11 and 15.
The OV-chipkaart is used to pay the bus fare.

On the following webpage you can plan your journey: http://9292.nl/en/

However, the best way to travel in and around Groningen is the Dutch way: by bicycle.
A vast network of bike lanes is maintained throughout the entire city and to many villages around. Some years ago, it was estimated that after Beijing, Groningen has the greatest density of bicycles per person in the world. Most people own at least one bike, and many people even have two (one city bike and one sports bike).

Unfortunately, many bicycles ‘acquire’ a new owner without the consent of its original owner. Always keep your bike (double) locked, and park it within a secured area (e.g. shed) if possible. If you want to buy a second hand bicycle, the best and most reliable place to do so is the bicycle garage at the main railway station, but there are many bicycle shops in the city. There is even a special Facebook page dedicated to buying bikes in Groningen:

buy a bike from someone you meet on the street: it will definitely be a stolen bike! If you are caught, you will be heavily fined.

Concerning our traffic rules, most roadways are lined with bicycle lanes, complete with their own traffic lights and set of rules. For example, you are not allowed to bike on the sidewalk, and your bike should have functioning lights on both front and rear. Not abiding these rules may result in fines.
Because of the high population, traffic is very busy. In the interest of improving safety on the roads, the Dutch Traffic and Transportation department offers a comprehensive overview of the Dutch traffic system. The rules are accompanied by illustrations depicting scenarios such as right of way at an intersection.

Please take some time to read it, and download it from here:
Living in the Netherlands
We advise you to bring some money (see the FAQ at week 12). You can exchange foreign currency into euros at a Grenswisselkantoor (GWK). There are GWK offices at Schiphol Airport and Groningen Central Station. Most central train stations have a GWK office. You can also exchange your foreign currency at a bank.

Although credit cards are accepted at an increasing number of shops in the Netherlands, they are less widely accepted than in other countries. Grocery shops never accept credit cards. Instead you are only able to pay with cash or with a bank card.
Information about opening a Dutch bank account can be found here:
You can also consult this UG webpage:

In general, shops in the Netherlands open from 10 am to 6 pm. Larger supermarkets are often open until 8 pm (and sometimes until 10 pm). Some shops and supermarkets in the Netherlands are closed on Sundays. If shops are open on Sunday, they usually only open at 12 p.m. (noon). Please bear this in mind if you plan to arrive in the Netherlands or Groningen on a Saturday evening or Sunday.

The Netherlands has a high standard of medical care. A general practitioner (GP) or family doctor is called a ‘huisarts’. There is a GP office at the Zernike campus and in the city center. Please find more information on the website: https://www.studentarts.nl/en/
You can also look for a GP in your neighborhood.

More information about living in Groningen can be found here:
Health insurance
If you are a
salaried employee
at the UG or UMCG:
HR Information Desk or the UMCG Personnel department will inform you about the
public health insurance
(Dutch: basiszorgverzekering) for which the UG and the UMCG have a contract with a certain insurance company. Because of your salary you are eligible for a discount if you buy insurance at that referred health insurance company.

If you are a '
PhD Scholarship student
' at the UG or UMCG:
You are obliged to buy the
public health insurance
(Dutch: basiszorgverzekering). The UG has a contract with a certain insurance company. Because you will be either fully paid, or partly paid (in addition to your scholarship you bring from your home country) by the UG or UMCG, you are eligible for a discount at that referred health insurance company.
You will be informed about this very special topic by the PhD Scholarship Desk ( http://www.rug.nl/education/phd-programmes/phd-scholarship-programme/about/contact )

In order to explain this category, I'd like to refer to the web page where this phenomenon (PhD Scholarship student) is being explained:

If you are an
unsalaried PhD student
or an
unsalaried postdoc / (guest)researcher
at the UG or UMCG, only financed by your self or only by a scholarship from your home country (in other words: not financed by the UG or the UMCG):
You are allowed to take out a
private insurance
, such as an international student insurance (instead of the public healthcare insurance).
Insurance company AON has created an insurance for your situation within their "ICS Complete" insurance:
Please note that you can also choose a similar insurance at another company, but you will have to be sure that it is valid in the Netherlands and covers your stay as a researcher (as opposed to that of a tourist).

For more information about the type of insurance, please consult this webpage:

If you are a salaried employee or a PhD scholarship student, please consult this webpage for more information on health insurances:

For more information on health care, please see this webpage:

Week 1

Your contact person from the UG or UMCG will contact you, and determine details, concerning your appointment or guest agreement, such as your start and end date.

Week 2-3

Your contact person will arrange the necessary approvals within the faculty for your appointment or guest agreement.

You start looking for accommodation in Groningen.

Week 4

Contact with ISD and/or HR, Graduate School and/or faculty department regarding visa and/or residence permit application.

You submit all required documents.

You start arranging the legalisation process of your birth certificate.
If your birth certificate is not in English, French, German or Dutch, please arrange a translation of your birth certificate (in English or Dutch).

Your contact person will process your information and set up a file.

The ISD will start preparing the application for your visa and/or residence permit.

This will take approx. one week. If the required documents are not complete, this step can take longer.
Week 5

ISD submits the application for your visa and/or residence permit to the IND

The IND handles and decides on the application

The IND generally takes approx. 2-3 weeks.

What is the ISD?
The ISD is the Immigration Service Desk (ISD). This is a special department within the UG, responsible for arranging immigration formalities for the UG and the UMCG.

What is the IND?
The IND are the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service. This is the governmental authority that handles the admissions of foreigners to the Netherlands.

Should I submit my own application for my MVV and/or residence permit?
No! As the UG or UMCG is your host institute,
only we, the ISD,
can apply for your MVV visa and/or residence permit at the IND.

I need an MVV, should I apply for it at the Dutch embassy in my country?
No. At least, not yet. Your stay and coming to the Netherlands is based on your appointment or guest agreement with the UG or UMCG. Your legal stay depends on this, and a lot of nationalities do need a visa to cross the Dutch border.
First we have to apply for the future approval for your MVV
(long-term visa) at the IND.
You can only apply for your actual MVV (the visa sticker) at the Dutch embassy, once
application for your future visa has been approved by the IND. We will inform you when you can make an appointment with the Dutch embassy to collect your MVV.

Do I need a visa to enter the Netherlands?
We, the ISD, will check this for you. You can also check this yourself here:
Week 8

The IND informs the Dutch embassy, and us, the ISD, about the approval of your MVV (long-term visa) and/or residence permit.

ISD informs you about this per email.


If applicable:
You make an appointment with the Dutch embassy in your home country to submit your passport for the MVV visa and to provide biometric details.

Some nationalities do not need a visa to enter the Netherlands. The ISD will inform you about that. In that case, the Dutch embassy is not involved, and you can come to the Netherlands without an MVV. As you would only need the residence
permit, the ISD has applied for this.
Does the IND contact me?
No. The IND only inform us, the ISD, because we are the submitter of your visa and/or residence permit application.

Does the Dutch embassy contact me?
Usually not. We, the ISD, will inform you to get in touch with the embassy. You are the one who initiates this contact with the embassy.

How does that work?
It differs per embassy. Please visit the website of the Dutch embassy in your country. Very often they have a special procedure for MVV applicants, such as yourself. Either you will have to contact them by phone or email, or you will have to make a special appointment. See the next slide for more information.

What did the IND tell the embassy?
The IND has sent an electronic message to the embassy. In this message, the IND explains that you qualify for obtaining an MVV visa. It is a preliminary approval.
From that moment on you are considered to be the applicant for the MVV. Based on the IND's preliminary approval the Dutch embassy will accept your actual application for the MVV.
Week 9/10/11

In case you need the MVV:

You will have your appointment with the Dutch embassy.

There you submit your passport and biometric details and the 'MVV issue form'.

Now you will have to wait until the embassy arranges your MVV.

Week 11

If applicable:

The Dutch embassy has issued the MVV in your passport. They will return it to you.

The governmental authorities (in your country) have finished the legalisation of your birth certificate.

If your birth certificate is not in English, French, German or Dutch, please arrange a translation of your birth certificate.

You do not need to send us a scan of your legalised birth certificate. This is not required for the MVV visa and/or residence permit application.

need to bring the original legalised birth certificate (not a copy) to the Netherlands. This is a requirement for your registration in the municipality of Groningen.

In general the translation does not need its own legalisation, but for some countries this is required. Please check this at the Dutch embassy.

The translation has to be in English, German, French or Dutch and is only accepted if done by an official sworn translator.
If you are from China:
in your case it is a different procedure, please check the following link:
Why does it take so long before I have my passport back?
The Dutch embassy cannot issue the MVV visa immediately.
First they will need to check if you meet the requirements. Many Dutch embassies will also have to send your passport to their regional back office, which is located (at another embassy) in a different country.
The MVV will be produced at this back office, and will be put in your passport. They will then send your passport back to the embassy. The embassy can then return your passport to you.

It takes approx. 5-10 days before you will have your passport back.

What if the legalisation and/or translation of my birth certificate takes much longer?
You could come to the Netherlands without your legalised birth certificate. You can ask a relative/friend to take care of it, and have it sent to your address in Groningen at a later time by express mail, such as FedEx or DHL.

However, this will slow down your registration in the municipality. You will need this registration to obtain a burgerservicenummer (BSN, Social Security Number). The BSN is required to open a bank account. Therefore, it is important to have the legalisation of your birth certificate arranged at your earliest convenience.
Week 12

You arrive in the Netherlands,

If you are a
employee, you are invited to visit the HR Information Desk for legal identification and to receive information and a Welcome package.
If you are PhD scholarship student or visiting researcher, you will receive further instructions by email from the Immigration Service Desk. Also, you will be invited to visit the ISD for legal identification and to receive information and a Welcome package.
If you are a salaried employee or PhD scholarship student at the UMCG you will be invited to visit the respective UMCG department for legal identification and to receive information.

You will be invited by the IWCN
(via email) to register with the municipality and to pick up your residence permit card from the IND, both at the IWCN location.

The IWCN is a one-stop shop for internationals living in the north of the Netherlands, designed to help you arrange your government formalities upon arrival.

Some nationalities are required to undergo a Tuberculosis Test (TB test) in the Netherlands at the Groningen Municipal Health Service (GGD).

The ISD will give you an appointment and a referral form for this TB Test.
More info can be found on the next slides.

The ISD knows whether you are exempted for the TB test.
To find out for yourself, you can check the following link:
What if I have not yet found an accommodation in Groningen?
Many researchers come to Groningen, set up apartment viewings with real estate companies and make a choice in their first week in Groningen.
This is fine, but a signed rental agreement is a requirement for the registration in the municipality. Hence, without a Dutch address, the issuing of your BSN is also delayed. Since you will need a BSN to open a Dutch bank account, you will need to make financial preparations in case of such a delay. We advise you to bring some money or to find out how you can withdraw money with your bank card from your home country to cover the weeks until you have a Dutch bank account.

Is the invitation I received from the ISD/HR important?
If you will receive salary from the UG, you will be invited by the HR Information Desk to finalize your appointment and to receive important information (e.g. health insurance).
If you are financed by other means, you will be invited by the ISD to receive similar information.
If you will receive salary from the UMCG, you will be invited by the UMCG Personnel Department.

I have not yet received an email from the IWCN. Did something go wrong?
The email will be sent from formalities@iwcn.nl. Please check your spam folder and/or make sure you indicate them as a trusted sender in your email settings. The IWCN will contact you approx. 3 weeks after you have received your MVV from the Dutch embassy. If your nationality is exempted from the MVV obligation, the IWCN will contact you after you have informed the ISD about your address in Groningen and date of arrival.
Should you think it is taking too long, please send an email to formalities@iwcn.nl.

The IWCN emailed me before I have arrived. Is that correct?
Yes, please read their email very carefully. The IWCN is informed by the IND that you are on your way to Groningen. At this stage the IWCN wishes to contact you to request your cooperation in order to prepare your appointment with them. Please follow their explanation in order to have a smooth and efficient procedure.

In the following sheets, we will give you all the important details of each step per week, following this timeline.
Immigration Service Desk
Immigration Service Desk
Immigration Service Desk
Immigration Service Desk
Immigration Service Desk
What does the embassy do?
The Dutch embassy will check some requirements that the IND could not check. For example, they check whether you have a genuine passport, whether there is no other European embassy who has an objection against your travel to the Netherlands, and whether you have a criminal record.
The embassy will also take your biometric details (your picture, fingerprints, signature).
They will need your 'MVV issue form' (see below).

I will start at the UG/UMCG on September 1st, but I wish to arrive in the Netherlands a few weeks earlier. Is that possible?
Probably! You can indicate your travel date in the 'MVV issue form'. The MVV visa will be valid from that day.
The MVV visa is valid for a maximum of 90 days, and will be overruled by the residence permit, which will start on September 1 (in this example). Until the day you receive this residence permit card, your stay is legal due to the MVV visa.

Do I need to have an address in Groningen for the MVV application form?
No. This is no requirement for obtaining your MVV visa. However, it is advisable to look for accommodation as soon as possible since finding housing in Groningen has proved to be quite difficult.

What is the 'MVV issue form'?
In our email we refer to this form with a link.
Here you find instructions on how to fill out your application in the 'MVV issue form':
Immigration Service Desk
Immigration Service Desk
Do I have to pay any fees for my appointment at the IWCN?
No, this is not the case. This is also confirmed on their website:

Is the IWCN part of the UG or UMCG?
No. The IWCN is a governmental authority. It is not a department within the UG or UMCG.

Why is the appointment with the IWCN so important?
The IWCN appointment is the most important appointment for finalizing official immigration matters.
Please check their webpage, and scroll down to "During the appointment":

Immigration Service Desk
Week 13/14

You will have your appointment at the IWCN.

You will receive your residence permit (if available) during this appointment and you will be registered in the municipality database. You will also be issued a BSN.

If you came to the Netherlands without the MVV because it was not required due to your nationality, the IWCN will first take your biometric details. This is necessary for producing your residence permit card. You will receive your residence permit card one or two weeks later.
Immigration Service Desk
Immigration Service Desk
Week 14/15


If applicable:
You will have your appointment at the GGD to undergo the TB examination. Whether or not you are required to undergo this test depends on your nationality.

You will have an appointment with a bank. Once you have received your BSN from the IWCN you can open a bank account at a bank company of your choice.

It is important to arrange your health insurance.

The following slides will offer some general information about living in the Netherlands and other matters (e.g. health insurance).

After finishing the above mentioned steps, you will have completed all immigration steps.
I have already done a TB test in my home country. Do I really need to do this again in Groningen?
Yes, you do. It is an immigration requirement to undergo this at the Municipal Health Service (GGD) in Groningen. This authority collaborates with the IND. If you have not undergone this examination within 3 months after your arrival, the IND will revoke your residence permit.

I have already done this test because I lived in another European country before I came to the Netherlands. Do I need to do this again in Groningen?
Yes, you do. It does not matter where you lived prior to your arrival in the Netherlands. Your nationality is the basis of the strict requirement to undergo this examination in the Netherlands (again).

I will work at the UMCG and will be tested there. Do I really need to undergo the TB test at the GGD as well?
Yes, you do. Please see the answer to the first question.

I prefer not to undergo an X-ray. Is there an alternative?
Yes, there is. Generally the TB test is done through X-ray, but feel free to ask for an alternative way of testing at the GGD.

Do I have to pay for the TB test?
No, you will not be charged for this examination, as it is a lawful requirement for your residence permit.

What if I cannot make it to the appointment as scheduled by the ISD?
The ISD can only schedule a TB test appointment for Tuesday mornings at 11:30 am. The ISD will give you a referral form with all the appointment details to take with you to the appointment.
If you cannot make it to the scheduled appointment, you will need to call the GGD to make your own appointment. Please find instructions on how to do so on the referral form.

Where can I find more information about the GGD?
The GGD have a website (only available in Dutch):
Immigration Service Desk
front side and backside
of a residence permit
Now we will make a little excursion into the world of the MVV.
The MVV is a long-term multiple entry visa, which is issued in the form of a sticker in your passport. The MVV allows someone to enter the Netherlands or any other Schengen country.

The MVV is always issued in combination with a residence permit. In the Netherlands only the UG/UMCG can apply for this combination of a MVV and residence permit at the IND on behalf of our employees, researchers, and (PhD) students.

The IND will inform the ISD
the Dutch embassy in your home country once your application is approved. The ISD will notify you of this by email.
You will then have to arrange an appointment with the Dutch embassy to obtain your MVV.

> Depending on the Dutch embassy in your country, it could take a while before you have your appointment. Moreover, in many countries your passport is sent to a Dutch embassy in another country in order to receive the MVV. This process could take several weeks.
International Service Desk
Now we will make
a little excursion to information on planning your travel.
Now we will make a little excursion into the world of residence permits.
Immigration Service Desk
Immigration Service Desk
Immigration Service Desk
We hope we have informed you sufficiently.
Thank you for your attention.

We hope you will have a good time in Groningen!

Immigration Service Desk
Kind regards,
ImmigrationService Desk
Immigration Service Desk
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Immigration Service Desk
List of abbreviations
BSN Social Security Number
GGD Groningen Municipal Health Service
HR Human Resources
IND Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation
ISD Immigration Service Desk
IWCN International Welcome Center North
MVV Long-term entry visa
TB test Tuberculosis test
UG University of Groningen
UMCG University Medical Center Groningen

Your current home address, not your future address in the Netherlands
If you are a PhD student - see the very first slide,
receiving a bursary and will not be in paid salaried employment at the UoG/UMCG, still you need to choose this category.
This is the day of your arrival in the Netherlands, so (in other words) it does not have to be the starting date of your contract or guest agreement with the UoG or UMCG, but the day, as mentioned on your flight ticket.
University of Groningen
Broerstraat 5, 9712 CP Groningen
You can ignore this question.
Full transcript