The Schengen countries

The Schengen countries are a group of European countries between which border controls have been abolished. The Netherlands is a Schengen country.

The Schengen countries have reached agreements with each other on visa policy, asylum policy, and cooperation between their police and judicial authorities.

Valid travel documents within the Schengen area

You must always carry a valid travel document when travelling within the Schengen area. You will be subject to the legislation governing foreign nationals of the countries you are visiting or travelling through. You must always be able to identify yourself by means of a valid travel document.

Schengen visas

Most travellers from outside the EU require a Schengen visa to enter the Schengen area. Whether a traveller requires a visa depends on his/her nationality. A Schengen visa is valid for a maximum of 90 days stay in any 180-days period (short stay visa).

If a traveller from outside the Schengen area wishes to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 90 days, he/she will require a national long-stay visa or a residence permit. National visas fall outside the Schengen Agreement and thus remain within the competence of the individual Schengen countries.

Schengen countries' obligation to inform and consult each other

Since a short-term visa for the Netherlands is also valid for the whole Schengen area, the Schengen countries have agreed to: