International Service Desk

The International Service Desk (ISD) processes the visa applications of our international employees, PhDs and guest lecturers. The ISD performs this task for all Utrecht University departments. Read exactly what the ISD does for all our international staff members.

What does the ISD do?

The ISD processes the visa and permit applications (and extensions) of all international employees and guests of Utrecht University. Within three days of their arrival in the Netherlands, they will be invited for an intake interview with someone from the ISD, to obtain help in finding their way around living and working in the Netherlands. International staff can also always visit the ISD for answers to their questions about housing, practical matters, etc. 

Each year, a few hundred international employees and PhDs come to work at or visit the university as a guest researcher or lecturer. The ISD does not cater for students; they are referred to the International Office.

As a result of the recent strengthening of the legislation (Modern Migration Policy Act), the university is now responsible for the residence permits of the staff members employed by the university, as well as those here on a hospitality agreement. The ISD will ensure that everything is now organised in compliance with the laws and regulations and that both the employees and guests can rely on the same, uniform level of quality of service.

What do the faculty HR departments do?

The faculty HR department takes care of the contracts or hospitality agreements of the international scientists. HR also provides information about everything to do with working at the faculty, the terms of employment (CAO) and everything that does not involve housing, moving or the international side of work.

What does ISD do more for the international staff members?

In addition to obtaining support with regard to the immigration procedures and housing, international staff members can also get assistance with more practical questions about their stay in the Netherlands - either by phone, email or in person. 


The scientists will also more explicitly enjoy our hospitable university policy. Twice a year, general meetings are organised for all international scientists in addition to two annual themed meetings about pension and taxes. In order to make the international scientists really ‘ground’ in Utrecht and at our university, a special package has been developed for them focusing on their first days in the Netherlands: a Schiphol-Utrecht train ticket, a grocery bag filled with some useful products, sports and course passes, and a ‘Welcome to Utrecht University’ bag with some gadgets. In short: immediately on arrival, the internal staff member will know that coming to Utrecht was the best choice!

Utrecht University also offers a partner programme which partly focuses on meeting and getting acquainted with each other and it is also partly directed at the individual partner. Last but not least, employing international talent can be made easier by the ISD providing support in drawing up an agreement.

How does the ISD support faculty employees?

Supervisors, as well as scientists, are advised to discuss the employment or reception of an international scientist as soon as possible with the faculty HR advisor. Scientists from non-EU countries, in particular, who require a visa need to prepare for their stay at least two to three months in advance. If the legal procedures are not observed, this may have large consequences for the university as a whole. The faculty HR advisors will inform the ISD about the request for the necessary documents as soon as possible.

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Where can I find the ISD?

The ISD is centrally located on campus Utrecht Science Park/De Uithof.
Opening hours: Monday and Wednesday from 9 am till 2 pm

  • Visiting address:
    Heidelberglaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht
    Room 0.38

  • Postal address:
    PO Box 80125
    3508 TC Utrecht

Telephone number: +31 30 253 1934