Netherlands Immigration – Visa Information
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Who requires a visa?
In the Netherlands, the rules and regulations for visitors from abroad are contained in the Aliens Law. For an overview of all regulations applicable, click here and carefully read the information.
The following section contains general information only.
Whether a prospective visitor requires a visa depends on his nationality and how long he intends to stay in the Netherlands. Nationals of many countries require a visa for an uninterrupted stay of up to three months.
Countries whose nationals need a visa for a stay of under three months:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burma (see Myanmar), Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, China (People’s Republic), Colombia, Comoros, Congo (Democratic Republic), Congo (Brazzaville), Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), Fiji Islands, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia, Moldavia, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Marianas (Islands), North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Palestinian Authority, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Salomon Islands, São Tomé and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, West Samoa, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
* The Kingdom of the Netherlands does not recognise Taiwan as a sovereign state and recognises Taiwanese passports as travel documents only.
Countries whose nationals do not require a visa for a stay of three months or less:
Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany (Federal Republic), Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, (FYR) Macedonia *, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro *, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia **, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, St Kitts and Nevis, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela.
* The visa exemption applies only to holders of biometric passports.
** Except for holders of a Serbian passport issued by the Serbian Coordination Directorate (Koordinaciona uprava).
Please see Netherlands Visa regulations for more country specific & detailed information.
Conditions for applying for a visa
For a stay of up to 90 days, you will require a Schengen visa if you are a national of a country whose nationals require a visa. To apply for a Schengen visa, you must complete an application form and submit it to the Dutch mission (embassy or consulate) in the country where you live. It is not permissible for someone in the Netherlands to apply for a visa on your behalf. If you intend to travel in more than one country in the Schengen area, you must apply for a Schengen visa at the mission of the Schengen country where you intend to stay longest. If you intend to stay in each Schengen country for the same length of time, you must apply for a Schengen visa at the mission of the first Schengen country you intend to visit.
As a Schengen visa applicant, you must not:
- pose a threat to public order, national security or international relations;
- have previously been barred from entering the Schengen area;
- be likely to settle illegally in the Schengen area.
When you apply for a Schengen visa, you must present a number of documents, including your passport, which must be valid for at least 3 months after your visa period ends.
The conditions for a Schengen visa also vary according to the application and the applicant's nationality. You should seek information in advance from the Dutch mission (embassy or the consulate) in the country where you live.
I have more than one nationality. Do I require a visa?
If you have more than one nationality, whether you require a visa depends on which travel document you intend to travel on. If it is a passport of a country whose nationals require a visa, you will also require a visa even if you have another nationality for which no visa is required. The country in which you are residing is irrelevant to whether you require a visa, although you must be residing legally in the country in which you submit your application.
Do I require a visa with a travel document for a third country?
Yes. Persons with travel documents for aliens and refugees issued by third countries always require a visa no matter what their nationality or which country issued these documents. An exception is made for refugees with travel documents issued by 16 European countries: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Nationals of certain countries also require an airport transit visa to change aircraft at a Dutch airport, even though they do not actually enter Dutch territory.
Countries whose nationals need an airport transit visa:
Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Colombia, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana**, Guinea *, Guinea Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Nepal, Nigeria**, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria
* Nationals of Guinea do not need an airport transit visa for Belgium provided they are in possession of a valid visa for one of the EER-countries, Andorra, Canada, Japan, Monaco, San Marino, United States of America or Switzerland.
** As from 1 May 2008 nationals of Ghana and Nigeria do not need an airport transit visa for Benelux, Germany, Italy and Spain provided they are in possession of a valid visa for the United States, Canada, Japan, EER-countries and Switzerland.
I want to stay for longer than three months.
To stay for an uninterrupted period of more than three months, you will require a special visa called an authorisation for temporary stay (MVV). Such a visa is required by the nationals of all countries except the EU member states and a few other countries.
Countries whose nationals do not need an MVV for a stay of over three months:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.
For which countries is a Schengen visa valid?
On 26 March 1995, the Convention applying the Schengen Agreement came into force in seven countries. Since then, more countries have joined the Schengen Area. There are now 24 Schengen countries, with no border controls between them: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden, Switzerland.
Visitors to any one of these countries receive a uniform visa valid for travel to all 24 of them. The Schengen countries have also harmonised their conditions for entry and their policy on countries whose nationals require a visa to visit the Schengen Area.
Some visitors are permitted to enter the territory of only one Schengen country or a limited number of them (such as the Netherlands or the Benelux countries). A Schengen country may issue such a visitor with a visa valid only for that country or for a specified number of Schengen countries.
Chinese students need a NESO certificate to apply for an ATR. Please click here for more information.
Processing times for visa applications
The processing of visa applications usually takes up to 15 days. But it can sometimes take up to 60 days, for instance if additional inquiries such as security screening are necessary. You will not be permitted to apply for a visa more than three months before your intended departure.
The fee for a Schengen or transit visa is €60. A reduced rate of €35 is charged for children between six and twelve years old. For children under six years old, it is free.
The reduced rate is also charged to adult visa applicants from Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine.
Urgent visa applications
If you need to visit the Netherlands urgently (for instance, to attend a family funeral or visit a family member suffering from a terminal illness), you can apply for an emergency visa. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) decides on a case by case basis whether an emergency visa should be granted. For more information, contact the IND.
How long is the Visa valid for ?
Visas are normally issued for the duration you specify, with a maximum of three months (90 days) per six months. The visa-issuing authority will want to see your flight ticket to check the dates on which you will be entering and leaving the country.
In the “duration of stay” box on the sticker, you will find the number of days during which you may remain in the Schengen Area. In the “from” box, you will find the date on which your visa becomes valid. You may enter the Schengen Area on that date or afterwards. In the “to” box, you will find the date on which your visa expires.
As soon as you enter the Schengen Area, the days in the “duration of stay” box start to count down. You must leave the Schengen Area no later than the day on which you have reached your maximum number of days or on the date stated in the “to” box.
I want to enter the Netherlands more than once. Can I do so?
A visa can also be “multiple entry”. This will be stated on the visa sticker. The holder may enter and leave the Schengen Area an unlimited number of times during the visa’s period of validity (see the “from” and “to” boxes). But he may stay no longer than the number of days stated in the “duration of stay” box. Nor may he stay longer than three months within a six-month period or six months within a 12-month period, since to do so would amount to settling in the Netherlands, for which an authorisation for temporary stay (MVV) is required.
Chinese students need a NESO certificate to apply for an ATR. Please click here for more information.
Where can I apply for a visa?
You can apply for a visa at a diplomatic mission (embassy or consulate) of a Schengen country, even if you are not a national of the country where the mission is situated. Under the Schengen Agreement, honorary consuls are not authorised to grant visas.
You should apply for a visa at a mission belonging to the Schengen country that is the main destination of your journey. If you cannot specify your main destination, you should apply at a mission belonging to the Schengen country you will enter first. In places where the diplomatic mission uses the services of a private company to collect visa applications, it is also always possible to apply for a visa directly at the diplomatic mission.
How do I apply for a visa?
The first step is to complete a visa application form. You should then go to the mission, taking the completed and signed application form and one passport photo (also if you are applying for an authorisation for temporary stay).
When submitting your application, you must be able to produce a travel document that will be valid for at least three months after your visa expires.
Neso (Nuffic) Certificate
Apply for Neso (Nuffic)
Netherlands Visa regulations
Visa application group A
Visa application group B
Visa application group C
Visa application group D
Visa application group E
Registration with Municipality
Registration with Aliens Police
Registration with University
Short Stay permit
Temporary stay visa
Contact nearest Netherlands embassy for more information
Disclaimer: The contents of these pages are provided as an information guide only, in good faith. The use of this website is at the viewer/user's sole risk. While every effort is made in presenting up-to-date and accurate information, no responsibility or liability is accepted by the owners to this website for any errors, omissions, outdated or misleading information on these pages or any site to which these pages connect or are linked.
Source & Copyright: The source of the above visa and immigration information and copyright owner/s is the:
- Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs - URL: www.minbuza.nl
- Netherlands organization for international cooperation in higher education - www.nuffic.nl
The viewer/user of this web page should use the above information as a guideline only, and should always contact the above sources or the user's own government representatives for the most up-to-date information at that moment in time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.