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.
Who Needs to Apply for a Visa to the Netherlands?
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.
How to apply for a Netherlands Visa?
The Netherlands application process differs depending on whether you are applying for a Netherlands Schengen visa or a Netherlands long-stay visa, but the basic process goes as follows:
- 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.
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.
You can find the types of Netherlands Visas below in the article.
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 applying for a Dutch Schengen visa
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 several weeks before you plan to take a trip.
The time period in which you can apply for a Schengen visa to 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 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 adress, occupation, marital status, and purpose of travel among others.
Gather the Necessary Documents for a Dutch Visa Application
Along with the Netherlands visa application form, you will be required to provide a number of other documents when applying for a Netherlands visa.
Different countries may also require additional documents, so make sure to find out what you need before you show up for the appointment.
The requirements for a Dutch visa may change depending on the purpose and length of your stay or individual circumstances. The main requirements for a Netherlands visa application include:
- Possession of a passport or identity document (ID).
- Two photographs in accordance with the requirements.
- A reason for visiting or a purpose of stay. This can include:
- proof of sponsorship from the person sponsoring you
- an invitation to attend a conference
- a hotel reservation
- Proof that you have sufficient means to provide for yourself during your stay (at least €34 per day)
- Appropriate medical insurance depending on the type of visa you are applying for (short or long-term).
- Proof that you do not pose “a risk to public order, national peace or national security”. This means you do not have a criminal record or on-going criminal case.
- Proof that there is no “risk of settlement” (short-stay visa only) like an employment contract, school information, or home rental contract.
- Proof of booked flight tickets and a complete itinerary for your entire stay in the Netherlands.
- Proof of accommodation in the Netherlands.
- Proof of sufficient financial means. If you cannot support yourself financially you may need a sponsor in the Netherlands who can provide for you. Your sponsor would have to earn the minimum wage and complete a proof of sponsorship and/or private accommodation form.
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.
Dutch Visa Types
Depending on your entry purpose and how long you plan to stay in the Netherlands, there are different types of Dutch visas you need to apply for. They are the following:
Netherlands Airport transit visa
A Netherlands transit visa is needed if you will make a stop at the Dutch airport in order to board a flight to another country outside the Schengen area. This type of visa is referred to as an A-visa, and does not permit prolonged stay in the country, meaning you are not allowed to leave the airport.
Keep in mind that if you are changing planes in order to arrive at a country within the Schengen area, you will need a short-term visa, not an airport transit one.
Netherlands Schengen Visa
A short-stay visa for the Netherlands, also known as the Netherlands Schengen visa, enables you to stay in the Netherlands for up to 90 days during a six-month period.
People who frequently travel to the Netherlands for business, may apply for the Orange Carpet Visa Facility. This enables business travellers to obtain a Dutch business visa easier. However, not all countries are eligible for an Orange Carpet Visa Facility, so ask the Dutch embassy or consul in your country for more information.
Netherlands Long-stay visas
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.
Dutch Caribbean Visas
If you are travelling to the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, you may need a Caribbean short-stay visa. Whether you need a Dutch Caribbean visa, depends on your nationality. 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.
When 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.
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 you whether you are eligible to register an objection and how you can do this.
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.