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International students

Incoming international students

International students

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Every non-EEA student must have a student residence permit. Your right of residence as a non-EEA student is always limited to the duration of your studies.

On 27 May 2018, some adjustments were made to the conditions for granting non-EEA students residence permits.

The changes relate to:

  • the deadline for applying for the renewal of the temporary residence document (A card);
  • the procedure that applies when missing documents are not provided in time: from now on, the municipality will declare the renewal application inadmissible with an Annex 29 form; 
  • the possibility of terminating the student’s residence due to insufficient study progress. 

The conditions for obtaining the initial authorisation to stay as a non-EEA student have not changed.

Application for renewal of temporary residence document must be made at least two weeks in advance

Non-EEA students must apply for a renewal of their temporary residence document at least 15 days before the current residence document expires; previously, this had to be done at least a month in advance. However, we recommend that you apply for your residence permit as soon as you have all your exam results.

Clarification of the term ‘insufficient study progress’

The Immigration Service (DVZ/OE) already had the power to terminate your stay if you prolonged your studies excessively. This has now been made concrete in the new regulations.

Whether you make sufficient progress in your studies to maintain your residence depends on the credits you have gained in your study programme.  How many credits you have to gain depends on your programme: 

Bachelor’s programme:

  • at least 45 credits obtained after 2 enrolments in the programme;
  • at least 90 credits obtained after 3 enrolments in the programme;
  • at least 135 credits obtained after 4 enrolments in the programme;
  • after 5 enrolments in your 180-credit bachelor’s programme you must have obtained the degree.

Master’s programme:

  • whether or not combined with a bridging or preparation programme, at least 60 credits obtained after 2 enrolments in the programme;
  • whether or not combined with a bridging or preparation programme, at least 120 credits obtained after 3 enrolments in the programme;
  • in addition, you must have obtained a 60-credit master’s degree after 2 enrolments and a 120-credit master’s degree after 3 enrolments in the programme. If this master’s programme is combined with a bridging programme or preparation programme of 30 or more credits, the period within which the student’s residence can be terminated is extended by one extra academic year.

For the calculation of the number of credits obtained, the new regulations only take account of:

1° credits obtained in the current study programme;

2° credits obtained from previous study programmes for which an exemption was granted in the current study programme;

Note! These new rules apply in addition to Hasselt University’s existing study progress measures. To be able to re-enrol, you must therefore comply with both the University’s study progress measures and the conditions set by the Immigration Service. However, the Immigration Service will take account of any study progress monitoring measures that have been imposed if a student or the educational institution is able to provide valid proof of them.

Changing programme

A non-EEA student can still change programme, but must do well in his or her second enrolment. Credits obtained in the student’s first enrolment in another programme are only included in the calculation to the extent that they entitle the student to an exemption in the new programme.

List of documents to be submitted for renewal of student residence permit

The Royal Decree lists the documents that the non-EEA student must submit with the application for the renewal of the residence permit, failing which the application will be deemed inadmissible:

  • Valid passport or equivalent travel document
  • Certificate of registration from educational institution
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof participation exams (see student file: exam results)
  • Proof of sufficient means of subsistence in accordance with Article 60 of the Residence Law
  • Mandatory standard document to be completed by Hasselt University indicating:
    - for how many credits the student has already passed programme units during the previous academic year
    - how many credits the student has already acquired in total in the study programme.
    You can request this standard document via this Google form; you will need it in order to obtain your residence permit for the academic year 2021-2022.