Issue: Visa

This issue contains 3 sections.

people standing in line at the airport

Short stay visas in the Netherlands

If you want to stay in the Netherlands for up to 90 days, you may require a Schengen visa. If you want to change flights in the Netherlands on an international journey, you may require a transit visa.

Countries whose nationals require a Schengen visa

If you want to stay in the Netherlands for up to 90 days, you may require a visa, depending on your nationality. You will require a visa if you are a national of one of these countries. A visa for up to 90 days is called a 'Schengen visa'; it is also known as a 'short stay visa' (VKV) or a 'type C visa'.

You can apply for a Schengen visa at the Dutch mission (embassy or consulate) in the country where you live. Consult the list of embassies and consulates that issue short stay (Schengen) visas to see where you can apply for a visa.

Schengen visas are valid in all Schengen countries

If you have a Schengen visa for the Netherlands, you will also be permitted to travel in the other 25 countries belonging to the Schengen area. A Schengen visa is valid for 90 days within a 180-day 'free period'. The free period begins on the date on which you first enter the Netherlands or the Schengen area.

You can use the free period in 2 ways:

  • You can stay in the Netherlands or the Schengen area for 90 consecutive days. After your 90-day stay – plus a further 90 days outside the Netherlands or outside the Schengen area – you can apply again for a Schengen visa.
  • You can also spread your 90-day stay over the whole 180-day free period. To do so, you will require a 'multiple entry' Schengen visa. When you apply for a Schengen visa, you can specify whether you want it to be single or multiple entry.

Transit visas

Do you only want to pass through the Netherlands? If so, you may require a transit visa. You will require a transit visa if you are a national of one of these countries. With a transit visa, you can change flights in the Netherlands, but you will not be permitted to leave the airport. A transit visa is also known as an 'airport transit visa' or a 'type A' visa.

You can apply for a transit visa at the Dutch mission (embassy or consulate) in the country where you live.

Are you coming to the Netherlands for a short stay? You no longer need to report to the Aliens Police. This requirement was abolished from 1 January 2014.

Taking supporting documents with you when travelling on a Schengen visa

A Schengen visa will not automatically permit you to enter the Schengen area. At the border, you may have to show documents concerning your finances or the purpose of your journey. So when you travel, you should always take with you copies of the documents you had to present when applying for a Schengen visa.

Decisions on visa applications

The Dutch mission where you submit your application will usually decide whether you should be granted a visa. With a visa for the Netherlands, you will also be permitted to travel to any other Schengen country.

The Schengen countries have agreed to:

When a Dutch mission receives a visa application, it will sometimes seek the advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

Visiting the Netherlands without a visa

The nationals of some third countries do not require a visa to stay in the Netherlands, but they must:

  • have a valid passport;
  • have enough money (€34 for each day of their stay);
  • be able to demonstrate the purpose of their stay to border officials;
  • pose no threat to public order, national security or international relations.

The EU Visa Information System

In 2011, the EU member states set up the Visa Information System (VIS), a joint database containing the photographs and fingerprints of people who have applied for a Schengen visa. VIS makes it easier for EU member states to exchange information on visa applications.