Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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Every hour of every day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs promotes the interests of the Kingdom abroad. The Ministry coordinates and carries out Dutch foreign policy at its headquarters in The Hague and through its missions abroad. It is likewise the channel through which the Dutch Government communicates with foreign governments and international organisations.

As a country that looks beyond its borders, the Netherlands is committed to building a safe, stable and prosperous world. In The Hague, and at more than 150 embassies and consulates worldwide, staff are actively involved in addressing issues such as poverty reduction, climate change, respect for human rights and the rule of law and eliminating conflict. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also works closely with the other ministries to help shape the Europe of the future and ensure that the Netherlands speaks with one voice in the European Union.

Our expert staff serve Dutch citizens, businesses and institutions in over 150 cities all over the world and in The Hague. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs - at home all over the world.

(Next to the Dutch coat of arms, someone writes: Government of the Netherlands. Ministry of Foreign Affairs.)

VOICE-OVER: The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
aims to provide high-quality services to Dutch people travelling or living abroad
and to foreign nationals wanting to visit the Netherlands.
That's why we're working on offering our customers
the very best consular assistance tailored to their needs.

(An animation.)

If they require help or advise abroad, wherever they are in the world,
they can now call the Ministry's 24/7 Contact Centre in The Hague
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

(On-screen text: +31 247 247 247. 24/7 BZ Contact Center.)

Whether it's an emergency,
a question about a travel document or visa application
or a request for travel advice.
Every day our contact centre, embassies and consulates
help some 3,000 customers by phone or e-mail.
And they can get in touch with us on Twitter, too.
To help people in the Netherlands plan their trip abroad,
the Ministry has easy-to-access travel advisories for around 200 countries,
and they're constantly updated.
They provide information on the security situation in a particular country,
and also on local customs and traditions.
People consult our travel advisories over 250,000 times a month.
In 2017, we're launching an information service that travellers can subscribe to.
They will automatically receive travel advice updates,
as well as messages in an emergency.
Travellers can also use the 24/7 BZ Travel App to get travel advice on the go
and get in touch with the contact centre.
You'll find us at major events around the world, too.
Anywhere where a lot of Dutch people are expected.
We're constantly becoming more visible to our customers.
Such as the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,
where we opened a pop-up embassy
to provide Dutch nationals with consular assistance.
The consular officers at our embassies and consulates play a crucial role.
Thanks to their local knowledge and presence on the ground.
They receive customers, answer questions
and help Dutch citizens as much as possible when crisis strikes.
They also pay around 5,000 visits a year to Dutch prisoners abroad.
In 2016, 125,000 Dutch nationals applied for a travel document
at one of our embassies.
We process these applications centrally, in The Hague.
Dutch nationals can also apply for a passport
at the municipality of Haarlemmermeer's desk at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
or in one of eleven border municipalities.
In 2016, this service was used 70,000 times.
The Netherlands also welcomes many visitors from abroad.
In 2016, half a million of them needed a short-stay visa.
They can apply for one at our embassies abroad,
as well as at 80 visa application offices worldwide.
And soon, we'll process these applications centrally, in The Hague.
Many more application offices will be added in the years ahead.
We continue to improve our services and make them more accessible.
Visitors from abroad will soon be able to apply for and pay for their visa online.
We're also looking into making more consular services available online
or at visa application offices in the future.
That's how we make sure the Netherlands is always connected.

(Next to the Dutch coat of arms, someone writes: Government of the Netherlands. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On-screen text: www.government.nl/ministries/ministry-of-foreign-affairs.)