A Netherlands Visa is a stamp or sticker attached to the passport of a traveler which serves as permission to enter and remain in the Netherlands for a limited period of time.
In order to visit the Netherlands, certain nationalities may have to apply for a Netherlands Schengen visa – also known as a short-stay visa or a C-visa for the Netherlands.
A Dutch Schengen visa allows the holder to visit any of the countries in the Schengen area, including the Netherlands, and remain there for up to 90 days within a six-month period.
This means, if you are granted a Schengen visa for the Netherlands, you can freely travel to all the other Schengen-area countries as well.
Netherlands Visa Application
The Netherlands application process goes as follows:
- Check if you need to apply for a Dutch Visa.
- Know the type of Netherlands visa you need.
- Determine where to submit your application.
- Determine when to submit your application.
- Book a Netherlands visa appointment.
- Complete a Netherlands visa application form.
- Gather the necessary documents for a Dutch visa application.
- Attend your visa interview.
- Pay the Netherlands visa fee.
Check if you need to apply for a Dutch Visa
Whether you will need a Dutch visa to enter the Netherlands depends on a number of factors, including your nationality, the length of stay, and your destination.
If you are a national of a Schengen area country, you do not need a visa to enter the Netherlands.
Citizens from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland can also travel freely to the Netherlands without a visa or a residence permit.
If you are not a national of the countries exempt from a Netherlands visa, you will need a short-stay or Schengen Visa for the Netherlands.
If you want to remain in the Netherlands for more than 90 days, even if you are exempt from a visa, you will need to apply for a long-stay visa, also called a provisional residence permit (MVV). On the other hand, if you are a citizen of an EU/EEA country or a Swiss national, you do not need a Dutch visa or residence permit for long-stay, but you will be required to register with the local authorities.
Know the Type of Netherlands Visa That You Need
Depending on your period and purpose of stay, you may need to apply for a specific type of Dutch visa. The different types of Netherlands visas may be a tourist visa, a business visa, a student visa, a work visa a visa for medical purposes, or an airport transit visa, among others.
It is important to know the type of visa you need since the Netherlands Visa application requirements and necessary documentation may vary.
A Dutch Schengen visa is granted if you will be traveling to the Netherlands for one of the following travel purposes:
- If you will make a stop at the Dutch airport in order to board a flight to another country outside the Schengen area.
- For business.
- To visit family/friends or as a tourist.
- For medical reasons.
- To attend a cultural/sports/religious event.
- Short-term study and research purposes.
- Official visit.
If Traveling to the Caribbean part of Netherlands
If you are traveling to the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, you may need a Caribbean visa. This visa allows you to stay in the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom for a maximum of 90 days within a six-month period.
The Caribbean parts of the Netherlands are the following:
- St Eustatius
- St Maarten
The Caribbean visa is a multiple-entry visa, so you can use it on more than one occasion within the six-month frame.
Unlike the Schengen visa, the Dutch Caribbean visa cannot be used to travel to the European part of the Netherlands or other Schengen-area countries.
Determine Where to Submit Your Netherlands Visa Application
After finding out what type of Netherlands visa you need, you must determine where you can submit your application. In many cases, you can do this at the Dutch embassy or consulate in your country.
However, sometimes, there may not be a Dutch embassy in a certain country. In that case, you will have to apply in the embassy/consulate of another country to which the Netherlands has outsourced visa submission.
In other cases, you may even have to travel to the Dutch embassy in a neighboring country to submit your application.
If you’re intending to travel to more than one Schengen country
In the event that you are applying for a Netherlands Schengen visa intending to travel to more than one Schengen area country, you should submit your visa application as follows:
- At the embassy/consulate of the country you intend to spend the most amount of time in – if you will stay longer in one specific country.
- At the embassy/consulate of the country which will be your first stop – if you will spend an equal amount of time in each.
Determine When to Submit Your Application
It takes a certain period of time to process a visa application for the Netherlands or any other country. This is why you have to apply for several weeks before you plan to take a trip.
The time period in which you can apply for a Schengen visa to the Netherlands is:
- The earliest: three months before your trip
- The latest: 15 working days before your trip
- Recommended: a minimum of three weeks prior to your trip
Book a Netherlands Visa Appointment
In order to apply for a Netherlands visa, you will have to make an appointment at the appropriate embassy/consulate which will process your application.
The method by which you can book the appointment varies. Many countries allow you to book one online, while in others, you will have to visit the embassy/consulate in person in order to do so.
Complete a Netherlands Schengen Visa Application Form
Many Dutch embassies/consulates allow you to download and print an application form online. You have to complete and sign the application before submission.
Some of the questions on the Dutch visa application form may include personal information such as: name and surname, date and place of birth, sex, nationality, ID number, home address, occupation, marital status, and purpose of travel among others.
Gather the necessary documents
Along with the Netherlands visa application form, you will be required to provide a number of other documents when applying for a Netherlands visa.
The requirements for a Dutch visa may change depending on the purpose and length of your stay or individual circumstances.
Attend Your Visa Interview
When you arrive at your visa application appointment, you will be required to enter an interview. The interview is conducted by the visa consular who will be handling your application.
You will likely be asked about the purpose and duration of your visit, who will be financing your trip, your job and education background, your marital or relationship status and other personal questions.
You may be asked to hand out certain documentation. Do not hesitate to do so if you are.
The point of the interview is to determine whether you have fulfilled the requirements to be granted a Netherlands visa, so make sure to answer the questions without hesitation and frankly.
The interview usually lasts 10-15 minutes.
Pay the Netherlands Visa Fees
You may also have to pay additional administrative fees or a fee to legalize a sponsor’s signature back in the Netherlands.
Those exempt from a Dutch visa application fee include:
- children under six years of age.
- an academic researcher.
- a family member of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens.
- students or teachers traveling for studying or training purposes.
- people under 25 who are traveling to partake in non-profit organizational events.
The prices for the Dutch visas could change. For more information regarding the Netherlands visa fees, visit the article.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Dutch Schengen Visa?
The processing for your Netherlands Schengen visa application may take anywhere from 15-30 working days. In some cases, it could take longer while in others, it could take less. Therefore, make sure to consult the officer in charge of processing your application.
However, the latest you can apply for a Netherlands Schengen visa is 15 working days before your trip, while the earliest is three months.
How Will You be Notified if Your Netherlands Visa Application was Accepted?
After submitting your visa application, you will likely be notified within fifteen to thirty working days. However, sometimes the processing may take longer than that, so check in with the Dutch embassy/consulate.
If your visa application to Netherlands is accepted, the embassy/consulate in charge of your application will add a visa sticker to your passport showing the dates during which the visa is valid.
If your Netherlands visa application is rejected, you may be eligible for an objection. You will receive a letter along with the rejection letting you know whether you are eligible for objection and how you can do that.
How Many Times Can I visit the Netherlands With a Schengen Visa?
If you are issued a Uniform Dutch Schengen Visa (USV), it allows you to remain within the Schengen area, including the Netherlands, for up to 90 days within a period of six months. The USV can be a:
Single entry Netherlands Schengen visa
A single-entry visa for the Netherlands allows the holder to enter the Netherlands only once and remain there for up to 90 days. However, once the holder has left the Schengen Area, they cannot re-enter it even if they haven’t spent all the permitted days.
Double-entry visa for the Netherlands
A Netherlands Schengen double-entry visa is much as it sounds like: it allows the holder to enter the Netherlands twice and remain within the Schengen zone within the permitted time frame.
Multiple-entry visa for the Netherlands
If someone is issued a multiple-entry visa for the Netherlands, they may enter and leave the Schengen zone, including the Netherlands, as many times as they want within the allowed time frame.
Dutch Limited territorial validity visa (LTV)
A limited territorial validity visa (LTV) only allows the holder to travel to the Netherlands only.
What if My Dutch Visa Application is Rejected?
If your Dutch visa application is denied, you will receive a letter along with the rejected application. This letter will tell you whether you are eligible to register an objection and how you can do this.
Can I Apply to Stay in the Netherlands for More Than 90 Days?
If you want to stay in the Netherlands for more than 90 days you might need to apply for a Dutch long stay visa, also known as the MVV visa.
In some cases, you may need to apply for both a provisional residence permit (MVV) in order to enter the Netherlands as well as a residence permit. You may also be required to enter an integration exam.
Depending on the purpose of your stay, you could apply for a:
- The Netherlands Student visa, which can be issued to students accepted into higher education institutions in the Netherlands.
- Netherlands Work visa or Dutch work permit which allows someone to live and work in the Netherlands without being a resident.
- Netherlands visa for Au Pairs allows the holder to stay in the country for up to one year and perfom light chores for a household.
- The Netherlands working holiday visas allow youngsters from certain countries to live and work in the Netherlands for up to one year.
- The Netherlands family reunion visa allows family members of Dutch residents to join them in the Netherlands.
- The Netherlands Startup and Self Employment visa allows people to go to the Netherlands and start a business.
- The Dutch American Friendship Treaty Visa – DAFT allows American investors obtain a residence permit in the Netherlands
Quick facts about the Netherlands
The Netherlands, also known as the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is a European country whose largest territory is in Western Europe but also has small island territories in the Caribbean Sea.
It has an area of 41,543 square kilometers and over 17 million residents, 77% of whom are Dutch.
Many people refer to it as simply Holland, though that is incorrect since Holland (made up of Noord- and Zuid-Holland) constitutes of only two of its 12 provinces.
The Netherlands is a member of the Schengen area and trilateral Benelux Union, as well as a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO.