Exemption to the entry ban for professional journalists
Please note: there is a ban on passenger flights from South Africa and countries in Central and South America.
Journalism benefits from rapid reporting at the location where events are unfolding. It is important to ease the entry restrictions in order to preserve freedom of the press and facilitate reciprocity. This will enable foreign journalists from other countries to report on newsworthy events that take place in the Netherlands.
The target group is news journalists who have an International Press Card (IPC) issued by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and who are engaged in topical news reporting that requires their immediate, physical presence.
The following framework is to be used as a basis for assessing whether a journalist can enter the Netherlands.
International Press Card holders
- Only news journalists who can demonstrate that their wish to enter the Netherlands is directly related to the performance of their work as a journalist fall under this exemption category.
- This is demonstrated by possession of an International Press Card issued by the International Federation of Journalists.
- The card is issued through a national organisation of journalists in the country of origin. The IPC is issued only to working journalists who are members of IFJ-affiliated journalists’ organisations.
- Before an IPC is issued to a news journalist, the journalists’ organisation carries out a thorough check to verify that the journalist concerned is a working professional. Only practising journalists are permitted to apply for the card.
- The IPC bears the name and photograph of the journalist and a unique card number. Each national journalists’ organisation maintains a database containing the names and card numbers of its members.
- The telephone numbers of all affiliated countries and journalists’ organisations can be found on the IFJ website.
- The Dutch Association of Journalists (Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten, NVJ) has drawn up a standard letter explaining what an IPC is and requesting that the holder be admitted to the Netherlands. The letter is not person-specific and therefore does not contain the name of the journalist in question. Journalists must download the letter from the International Federation of Journalists website and present it along with their IPC at the border.
Journalists who are not IPC holders
- If a news journalist wishes to travel to the Netherlands, but is unable to show an IPC because they are from a country that is not a member of the IFJ, they must contact the Dutch embassy or consulate in their country of residence. Please note: this applies even if the journalist is resident in a country that is a member of the IFJ.
- The journalist should provide the Dutch embassy or consulate with their national press card or a card from the media organisation they work for. On the basis of this card, the embassy or consulate will draw up a note verbale that the journalist can use to enter the Netherlands.
- All the other conditions set out in this framework, including documentation and self-quarantine requirements apply.
- When a journalist travels to the Netherlands to engage in topical news reporting that requires their immediate, physical presence, they must possess an IPC in order to enter the country. Alternatively, they must hold a note verbale and a national press card or card from the media organisation they work for.
- The journalist must also be in possession of a return or open-ended ticket.
- If the journalist requires a visa, the regular visa application conditions apply.
- The journalist must be able to present all the aforementioned documents – an IPC, the standard letter issued by the NVJ, a return or open-ended ticket and, if necessary, the requisite visa documents – in order to prove they qualify for exemption.
- These documents must be presented to the border authorities upon arrival in the Netherlands.
- The regular border procedures based on the Schengen Borders Code apply. The Dutch border authorities are at all times authorised to refuse a news journalist entry if there is a valid reason to do so.
- Journalists must comply with the measures to combat the spread of coronavirus in the Netherlands, but they are exempted from the self-quarantine measure for activities that are necessary to carry out the reporting for which they travelled to the Netherlands.
- This framework applies exclusively to news journalists who meet the conditions. Family members of news journalists do not fall under the framework.
Journalists who are exempted from the entry ban should self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in the Netherlands. An exception is made only for activities that are necessary for carrying out the work for which they have travelled to the Netherlands.