The Netherlands requires from international students that they make enough study progress yearly in order for their visa to be extended. The general rule is that at least 50% of the study progress has been made; generally this means that 30 EC has to be obtained yearly, otherwise the student gets signed-out by the university at the IND (Article 3.87a, Vreemdelingenbesluit 2000). But this is not always the case! There are two other requirements that have to be met in order for this step to be made: firstly, a research has to be conducted by the university to determine what the cause is for the lack of progress. Secondly, this inquiry has to determine that no personal circumstances were the cause for delay.
These requirements follow from the Dutch's Behavioral Code for International Students (Gedragscode Internationale Studenten Hoger Onderwijs), articles 6.5 and 6.6. Article 6.5's second paragraph states that the university has to make the inquiry to figure out if there are personal circumstances as mentioned in article 7.51 WHW or article 2.1 of the executive order for WHW. Whether the circumstance qualifies as a circumstance in the mentioned articles has to be set by the university. If the circumstance qualifies as one of them, article 6.6 allows the university to not write out the student from the IND.
Two other important notes that follow from article 6.6: this circumstance can only lead to one year of exception. Meaning that in the next years the exact same reason for the delay cannot lead to another extension. It does seem to be possible that a new circumstance for delay can lead to another extension for a year. Another note is that the university and the student are required to make an arrangement if the extension is being applied. If these arrangements are not met in the following year it does seem that can be sustainable to write out the student after the extended year. These arrangements have to be written down.
Om February 8th, 2023, the Council of State Act (Raad van State) weighted the personal circumstance of a student whether is was justified to get her signed-out by the university (case: ECLI:NL:RVS:2023:496). The student lost the case, considering that she was only sick with corona during one of her three exam chances for one subject. But this case shows that it is a possible to get a year of extension if personal circumstances lead to a lack of progress. The Council has specifically mentioned that 'the reasons brought upon do not qualify as justifiable reasons', seemingly implying that there can be reasons for the Council to nullify a decision of a university to write out a non-EU student for not achieving enough progress.