Whether or not you need a visa to visit the Kingdom of the Netherlands, known usually as simply the Netherlands, depends on a number of factors like your purpose of visit, length of stay, and most importantly, your nationality.

If you are thinking of paying a visit to Amsterdam, but are not sure if you need a visa, this article will help you. So, scroll down to see whether you need to apply for a Dutch visa.

Do I need a Netherlands Transit Visa?

You only need an Airport Transit Visa for Netherlands if you are traveling to a non-Schengen area country and if your country appears on the list of nationals who require one. Those countries include:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Congo (Democratic Republic)
  • Cuba
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Nepal
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Syria

However, this does not apply if you hold a service or special/official passport.

Dutch Airport Transit Visa Exemptions

Exemptions for an airport transit visa (ATV) also apply in the following cases:

  • If you are a holder of a visa or residence permit for a country in the EU, the EEA, or the Schengen Area
  • If you hold a visa for Japan, Canada, or the United States
  • If you hold a diplomatic passport
  • If you are a family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
  • If you have a residence permit which gives you unlimited return for Canada, Japan, the US, Andorra, and San Marino
  • If you are part of an on-duty aircrew as well as a citizen of a member country of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

Please note, however, that you only need an airport transit visa if your final destination is a non-Schengen area country. If you are stopping in the Netherlands to board a plane to a Schengen country, you need a regular short-stay visa also known as a Schengen visa.

Also note that a transit visa does not permit you to stay in the country for any period of time, meaning you cannot leave the airport.

Do I need a Netherlands Schengen Visa?

A Netherlands Schengen visa, also known as a “C” visa, allows you to stay in any member country of the Schengen area, including the Netherlands, for a maximum of 90 days within a six-month period.

You do not need a Schengen visa visa to visit the Netherlands if you are:

  • A national of a Schengen area country (the passport-free zone encompassing 26 Eurpoean countries).
  • A national of a country in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), or from Switzerland.
  • Your country is exempt from a Schengen visa.

You need a Schengen visa to visit the Netherlands if you are a national of the countries listed here.

Who does not need a Netherlands Schengen visa?

Citizens from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland can travel freely to the Netherlands without a visa or a residence permit.

You do not need a visa for the Netherlands if you have a residence permit or long-stay visa issued by another country of the Schengen area.

Also, you do not need a Netherlands Schengen visa if you hold a valid residence permit for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania or the United Kingdom which states that you are a family member of a citizen from the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland.

Note that citizens of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia do not need a visa for the Netherlands only if they possess a biometric passport.

Citizens of Taiwan do not need a visa only if their ID card number is included on their passport.

Do I need a Netherlands Caribbean Visa?

The countries who need to apply for a short-stay visa to visit the Caribbean parts of the Netherlands of are the same as the ones who need a Schengen visa.

The Caribbean parts of the Kingdom include: Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St Eustatius and St Maarten.

A Dutch Caribbean visa, like a Schengen visa, allows you to stay in the Caribbean parts for a maximum of 90 days within a six-month period. Unlike a Schengen visa, however, you cannot use a Caribbean visa to visit another Schengen area country.

You will most likely not need a Caribbean visa if you are simply transitioning through the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom or are a part of a cruise ship.

If you want to stay in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom for more than 90 days, you will have to apply for a Dutch long-term visa and a residence permit.

Do I need a Netherlands Long-Stay Visa?

Depending on your nationality and purpose of stay, you may need a Dutch MVV visa and/or a residence permit to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 90 days.

You do NOT need a Dutch long-stay visa nor a residence permit to stay in the Netherlands only if you are a citizen of:

  • An EU member state.
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Switzerland

You do NOT need an MVV, but DO need a Dutch residence permit if you are a citizen of:

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • San Marino
  • South Korea
  • The United States
  • Vatican City

If you are a citizen of another country, other than the ones listed above, whether you need a long-stay visa, a residence permit, or both depends on the reason you are travelling to the Netherlands.