Is criminal record asked about when applying for student visas?

To preface, I currently live in the USA. I read that the student visas don't ask about criminal record, but it would help to find out in advanced. All of the post I've seen on the topic of student visas don't mention a background check ever being asked about. I recall one person mentioning that they only ask you if you "committed a crime" which you had to pay a fine for or a greater penalty, but do not require an actual background check from the state of origin.

I'd been planning to move to NL for several years now to study at University, however recently I ended up getting in some mistaken legal trouble and was arrested and charged with some pretty severe drug crimes. However, there is no evidence to the crimes I was charged with and my lawyer insist it will be getting dropped, however that could take years, and it may not ever disappear from my FBI background check. As of right now I am still considered innocent, though I am afraid the false arrest will haunt me and prevent me from being able to go study in Europe.

I know I would technically be able to enter Europe but I do not really want to be forced to go to Uni by staying beyond the allowed 90-day's of schengen access. Would renting an apartment and getting accepted by the Uni before applying for the student Visa give me leverage? I also have proof of funds to sustain myself throughout the time of the visa/education.

Does anyone have any advice or experience handling this sort of situation?

I've seen that page, but how accurate is it? Is it a safe conclusion that they do not ask about criminal background?

I'm also largely interested in hearing from someone who has gone through the Visa process themselves.

Unless the word "presence of criminal records" be placed in your passport, it is almost never asked for a student.

The Dutch authorities will instead check the reality of your financial means that you do not risk to be borne by the state ... As the refugees ...

Looks like you're buggered.
I was surprised by the possibility of no background checks after the problems of late, so I searched again.
A serious drugs case could be a big problem. … dent-visa/ … ion_en.pdf

WOWWWW They strongly changed their system ...

Fred :

Looks like you're buggered.
I was surprised by the possibility of no background checks after the problems of late, so I searched again.
A serious drugs case could be a big problem. … dent-visa/ … ion_en.pdf

I notice something interesting on that first link. Towards the bottom it says "The citizens of the following countries do not require a student visa or residence permit to stay and study in the Netherlands for a period of more than 90 days:"

On that list is the USA.... So, I wouldn't need a student visa at all it seems?

Whoops, Fred quoting your post seems to have messed up ^.

In that first link it seems to suggest that US Citizens wanting to go study in the Netherlands do not require a student visa to stay beyond 90 days; the  "student visa exemption program". Those are some interesting implications. Maybe simply showing that I am enrolled in school there is enough.

I can't seem to find info about that program online. Has anyone ever heard of it?

Assuming these sites give the correct information, there will be checks on any possible criminal past.
A major drugs offence could finish off your dreams.

I am interested to understand why a case was brought against you with no supporting evidence. Any such case would make the police look very silly, leave them open to a charge of false arrest, and you could probably sue them for a large wad of cash if the case stops you going to your desired university.
If you are truly innocent, your lawyer can have a field day. … dent-visa/

You must not have a criminal record … ion_en.pdf

The ‘public order check’ is performed on the basis of a personal declaration signed by
the third-country national concerning criminal records; in addition to security checks
carried out by consulting the registration systems of NSIS, OPS and HKS.

Under US Law I am still considered to be innocent. If asked whether or not I have a criminal record in my home country, the answer would be "no".

The case is complicated because they are conspiracy charges, which allow them to charge without any direct evidence. They have no evidence I broke any law nor was I found in possession of any drugs. My lawyer isn't worried and we've been considering all possibilities of compensation, but none of that can happen until the case is over, which itself could take years.

Do you have any information on that bit from the above page, the "netherlands student visa exemption program" which says US Students do not require a student visa to stay beyond 90 days? I find that very interesting because it seems to lump US citizens in with the rest of EU citizens who don't need a student visa, let alone a resident permit.

Why don't you contact the immigration?
They are the official source who can give you the right and updated information.

Go to

The information is also available in English.

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