What travel documents do I need when travelling outside the Netherlands?

What documents you need depends on what country you are visiting. In countries outside the European Union (EU), you need a valid passport. For Dutch citizens, an identiteitskaart (identity card) is often enough for travel within the EU. Some countries require a visa.

Travel documents within the EU

Citizens of the Netherlands will need an identity card or passport for travel within the EU, and not just when you cross a border (for example, via an airport). You must also be able to show an identity card or passport if you are staying in an EU country.

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

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

Travel documents outside the EU

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

Visas for the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

If you are a Dutch citizen, you do not need a Caribbean visa to stay in the Caribbean parts of the Koninkrijk der Nederlanden (Kingdom of the Netherlands).

Dual citizenship

If you have dual citizenship (and therefore 2 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 Area country.

Emergency passports and laissez-passers

If you do not have a valid travel document while outside the Netherlands, 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.