What travel documents do I need when going abroad?

What documents you need depends on what country you are visiting. In countries outside Europe, you need a valid passport. An ID card is often enough for travel within Europe. Some countries require a visa.

Travel documents within Europe

You will need an ID card or passport if you are travelling within the European Union. And not just when you cross a border (for example, via an airport). You must also be able to show an ID card or passport if you are staying in a European country.

Some countries also require a visa. You can apply for a visa at the embassy of the country you intend to visit in the Netherlands.

A driving licence is not a valid form of ID outside of the Netherlands.

Travel documents outside Europe

Countries outside Europe only accept a valid passport as proof of identity. Most countries will not accept an expired passport. Many countries outside Europe also require a visa.

Visas for the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

If you are a Dutch national, you do not need a Caribbean visa to stay in the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Dual nationality

If you have dual nationality (and therefore two passports) you can choose which passport you use. It is best to use the passport that has a visa for the Netherlands or another Schengen country.

Emergency passports and laissez-passers

If you do not have a valid travel document while abroad, in some cases you can obtain an emergency passport or a laissez-passer. You are only eligible if you:

  • can prove that you cannot delay your visit;
  • are unable to obtain a valid travel document in time.

You will be issued with a laissez-passer if it is not possible to obtain an emergency passport in time. Emergency passports and laissez-passers are only valid as travel documents, and not as identity documents.