No residence permit (as yet)

As much as UAF would like to, we cannot assist everyone. UAF has had to make a difficult choice of which limited group of asylum seekers can receive support. Click here for more information.  

UAF support for asylum seekers

UAF sometimes provides asylum seekers with funding to take Dutch language lessons or a study programme. If you become a client of UAF and do not have a residence permit as yet, we will first support you to learn Dutch to at least B1 level. Only then can we look together at your specific study wishes and the study programme options.  

Please note: UAF does not provide any support for English-taught study programmes if you have not yet completed Dutch language level B1. 

  • You have applied for asylum in the Netherlands and an asylum procedure is ongoing.

  • You are in your first asylum procedure.

  • You have had the second interview/Nader Gehoor with the IND and you are still waiting for a decision from the IND.


    After a negative decision from the IND, you have received a positive decision from the court. (Your first procedure is again being processed by the IND.)

    *If there is a repeated asylum application (HASA) or an appeal, you cannot apply.

  • You speak English or Dutch at an intermediate or high level

  • You have completed prior education in your country of origin comparable to the Dutch havo 5 level or 12 years of previous education.

* For more information about support to asylum seekers still in procedure, please click here.

Please note: Without a residence permit you cannot get support from the UAF to start work.

Do you meet these conditions and do you want to start an application for UAF support? Please fill in the contact form. We will then contact you.   

If you do not meet these conditions as yet, we advise you to focus on learning the Dutch language for now. There are many opportunities to practice your language skills and prepare for your studies. Even if you do not have a residence permit as yet. See our tips on how to improve your language skills.

Asylum seekers and the right to education

Have you applied for asylum, but do not have a residence permit as yet. Are you allowed to study? What things do you need to consider? And what will change when you turn age 18? 

Are you under age 18 and do not have a residence permit as yet? Then you have a right to education in the Netherlands. You are also subject to compulsory education and the basic qualification requirement. That means you are obliged to attend school and obtain a basic qualification. A basic qualification is a diploma at least at HAVO, VWO or MBO 2 level. This means that you may enrol at a school or educational institute.

Did you start an MBO study programme before you turned age 18? Then you may finish your study programme. Even if you are still involved in the asylum procedure or have exhausted all legal remedies. The same does not automatically apply to HBO and WO / University study programmes.

It is important that you resided in the Netherlands legally when you enrolled at the school. This means that you had a residence permit at the time or that you have a W-document which proves that you are still involved in the asylum procedure.

Have you applied for asylum and is your procedure still ongoing? Are you age 18 or older and want to start an MBO study programme? Then you can register for an MBO study programme, as long as you can prove that you are residing in the Netherlands legally. You usually do this with your W-document.

Do you want to register for a study programme in higher education? This is possible, but if you are not yet an UAF client there is a good chance that you will have to pay institutional tuition fees (based on your nationality) instead of the statutory tuition fees

Until you turned age 18, your studies were probably paid for by NIDOS or COA. This usually changes after your 18th birthday.  

For MBO-BOL study programmes and full-time VAVO study programmes, it may be possible to request an exemption from payment of the tuition fees via DUO. Click here for more information. 

If you are taking an MBO level 3 or 4 study programme or a higher education study programme, UAF may be able to provide you with funding for your study materials and travel expenses. For more information and the conditions click here. 

If you have exhausted all legal remedies, studying is very complex. You can sometimes finish your education if you have exhausted all legal remedies, but you are not entitled to student grants. For MBO study programmes and full-time VAVO study programmes, it is possible in certain situations to apply for aexemption from payment of the tuition fees via DUO. You can no longer enrol in a new study programme. Keep this in mind when making your study choices.  

In principle, if you do not have a residence permit you are not allowed to accept an internship. You may only accept an internship if you started an MBO study programme (BOL) or a special study programme for students with disabilities before age 18. Students at college or university are not allowed to do this.  

Without a residence permit, you cannot get health insurance. If you are still in an asylum procedure or if you are still living in an Asylum Seekers’ Centre, you are insured via COA for medical expenses through a collective WA insurance.    

There are also a number of educational institutions that offer courses to asylum seekers and refugees free of charge. These courses are specifically intended for people who are waiting for a residence permit and therefore cannot attend mainstream education. 

Please note: UAF cannot reimburse travel costs to these courses if you are not a UAF client as yet.  

Registration & advice

Do you have a question for us? Then please fill in the contact form. We will contact you within four working days. 

Before we register you with UAF, we will first contact you to discuss your request for assistance and how exactly we can support you.

Would you prefer to talk to someone on the telephone? Then please call us: 030 – 252 08 35. 

Do you want to sign up to receive support from UAF? Then you should first read the registration conditions