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Guide to the Netherlands visa to transit through a Dutch airport, the required documents and eligibility

Depending on your nationality, you may be required to apply for a Netherlands transit visa if you will be stopping in a Dutch airport before further travel.

If you are not sure what a transit visa is or whether you need one when transiting in an Amsterdam airport, here are some of the most common questions answered.

Netherlands Airport Transit Visa

An airport transit visa for Netherlands allows the holder to change planes at a Dutch airport before travelling to a country outside the Schengen area. It is also called an A-visa.

A Dutch airport transit visa does not allow the holder to enter the Netherlands nor any other Schengen area country. This means you are not allowed to leave the airport – not even to travel to an airport in another city.

Note that if your connecting flight is to another Schengen area country, you don’t need a transit visa. Instead, you will need a regular short-stay Schengen visa for the Netherlands. This also applies if you need to transit through another airport within the Schengen Area, other than a Dutch one.

Netherlands transit visas are divided into:

  • Netherlands Airport Transit Visa
  • Netherlands Schengen Visa for Seafarers

Who needs a Netherlands Airport Transit Visa?

The nationals from the following countries need a Netherlands airport transit visa if they have to pass through a Dutch airport.

  • 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

If your country is included on the list, you may still have an exemption.

Who Has an Exemption From a Netherlands Airport Transit Visa?

Exemptions for an airport transit visa (ATV) apply if:

  • You are a holder of a visa or residence permit for a country in the EU, the EEA, or the Schengen Area
  • You hold a visa for Japan, Canada, or the United States
  • You hold a diplomatic passport
  • You are a family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
  • 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)

What are the Requirements for a Netherlands Airport Transit Visa?

When applying for an airport transit visa to Netherlands, you need to have the following documents:

In some cases, you may also need to provide a court statement saying which of the parents has custody of the minor and/or a declaration from the minor’s school stating they consent to the minor’s absence.

How to Apply for a Netherlands Transit Visa?

In order to apply for a Dutch transit visa, you will have to gather the required documents and apply in person. The submission of application is done at the Dutch embassy/consulate in your country. If your country does not have a Dutch embassy/consulate, you will have to submit them to the embassy/consulate of the Schengen Area country to which they have outsourced visa submissions.

For a detailed guide to the Netherlands Visa Application process, see the article.

Netherlands Seafarer Schengen Visa

A Netherlands Schengen Visa for Seafarers allows seaman to disembark in one of the Netherlands’ seaports.

With a Netherlands seafarer visa, seamen can leave their vessels at a Dutch seaport and stay in the country for up to 5 days before boarding another vessel towards a non-Schengen country.

Who needs a Netherlands Seafarer Visa?

Any national of a country who needs a Schengen visa to enter the Netherlands also needs to apply for a Seafarer Schengen visa. A Netherlands Seafarer Visa is also known as a Blue Carpet Visa Facility.

What are the requirements for a Netherlands Seafarer Visa?

When applying for a Netherlands seafarer visa, you will need to provide the standard documents for a Schengen visa application.

In addition, you will also need to provide:

  • An official letter of guarantee from a principal/shipping agency in the Netherlands. It has to contain the purpose of travel and your personal information, including the number of seaman’s book, position of the seafarer on the boat, the name of the boat, port of boarding.
  • The seaman’s book. Including photocopies of all used pages and stamps.
  • Employment contract with the navigation company/ship.
  • Residency permit (if applicable).

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