Which visa do I need to travel to the Netherlands?
You may need a Schengen visa to stay in the Netherlands for a period of maximum 90 days in any 180-days period (short stay visa). Do you want to pass through the Netherlands? You may need a transit visa. Different rules apply if you wish to stay longer than 90 days in the Netherlands. In that case you may require an authorization for temporary stay: 'machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf' (MVV).
Whether you need a Schengen visa or not depends on your nationality.
Schengen visa: where and how to apply
If you intend to travel in more than one country in the Schengen area, you must apply for a visa at the mission of the Schengen country where you intend to stay longest. If you intend to stay in each Schengen country for the same length of time, you must apply for the visa at the mission of the Schengen country to which you will travel first when entering the Schengen area.
Do you intend to travel to the Netherlands as your main destination? You will have to apply for a Schengen visa at one of the embassies or consulates of the Netherlands. In general, you must apply for a Schengen visa at the embassy or consulate in the country where you legally reside.
Is there no embassy or consulate of the Netherlands in the country where you reside? The list of embassies and consulates responsible for short stay (Schengen) visa for the Netherlands shows where you can apply for a visa in each country.
If no embassy or consulate is available and there are no visa representation arrangements with other Schengen countries, apply at an embassy or consulate of the Netherlands in a country nearby.
An application for a Schengen visa must be submitted to the consulate at least 15 working days before the intended visit. In general, an application cannot be lodged earlier than 3 months before the start of the intended journey.
Transit visa or airport transit visa
Do you make a stopover at the airport in the Netherlands? Then you may need a visa to transit. This visa is called airport transit visa or Type A visa. Whether you need an airport transit visa or not depends on your nationality. With an airport transit visa you may only change to another airplane to a destination outside the Schengen area. You may not leave the airport and you do not have access to the Schengen area. When you are traveling from the airport (by plane, car, train or bus) to another Schengen country, you need a Schengen visa (C-visa).
Taking supporting documents with you when travelling on a Schengen visa
A short stay Schengen visa does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen area. At the border or during other controls you may, for instance, have to provide information on your means of support, how long you intend to stay in the Schengen country, and why you are visiting the Schengen country.
You also should be able to prove you have sufficient funds for your stay in the Schengen area. In the Netherlands this is a minimum of € 34 per person per day. In some cases, such checks may result in a refusal for the visa holder to enter the Schengen country or the Schengen area.
It is therefore recommended that you carry with you copies of the documents which you presented when you applied for the visa (for example letters of invitation, travel confirmations, medical health insurance, other documents stating the purpose of your stay). This will help to make the border control procedure easier and avoid delays at the border.
Visa for staying in the Netherlands for longer than 90 days: authorization for temporary stay (MVV)
Do you want to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 90 days? You may need an authorization for temporary stay: a 'machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf' (MVV). Read more about the application procedure for an MVV on ind.nl.
Visiting the Netherlands without a visa
In a few cases you can visit the Netherlands without a visa. For example, if your nationality is on the list of nationalities that do not require a Schengen visa, you may stay in the Netherlands for a period of maximum 90 days in any 180-days period.
If you wish to stay longer than 90 days in the Netherlands, you may not need an authorisation for temporary stay (MVV). This applies for example to residents of the EU and their family members. You can read more about this on the IND's page on registration for EU citizens.
You can visit Aruba, Curaçao, St Maarten, Bonaire, St Eustatius or Saba without a visa if your nationality is on the list of countries whose nationals do not require a Caribbean visa.