All information correct as of May 2023
Whether you require a visa to enter The Netherlands or the type of visa that you will need, is dependent on your nationality, length of stay and the purpose of your visit. Many European countries have reciprocal agreements with the Dutch government which allows their citizens to enter The Netherlands without a visa. These countries include all the EU member states, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. For their residents, it is possible to travel to The Netherlands without a visa and stay for up to 90 days within a 180 day period. For them to stay longer, a Netherlands residence permit is required.
Citizens from countries not included in the free movement agreement will need to apply for a Dutch visa before migrating to The Netherlands, although the type of visa can vary depending on the factors previously mentioned. For shorter stays of less than 90 days, a Schengen Visa will need to be applied for. But if someone would like to stay for longer than 90 days, then they will need to apply for a residence permit with an MMV, also known as the TEV Procedure.
Even without a visa, there is a set of general requirements that must be fulfilled to enter the Netherlands. These include:
- You must have a valid passport with at least 6 months of validity from when you arrive in The Netherlands.
- You should be able to support yourself financially.
- You need to be able to prove your purpose of travel, that you have travel insurance and that you will return to your country of origin.
- You do not pose a threat to the public and are not on a list of refused people from other Schengen countries.
To acquire most Dutch visa types and a residence permit, you will likely need the following Netherlands visa requirements prepared for your appointment:
- A correctly filled out Netherlands visa application form, which can be found on the Dutch government website.
- Passport pictures from the last six months with 35 by 45 mm dimensions.
- Your passport or other travel documentation and copies of any previous visas along with all entry/exit stamps.
- Evidence of legal residence. You need to provide proof that you are a legal resident for the whole duration of the intended stay in The Netherlands.
- A document from your employer that details your job, your salary (proof of income), and the duration and purpose of your visit.
- Proof of civil status (marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, etc)
- The visa application payment fee (non-refundable).
It is advised you contact your nearest Dutch embassy in advance to know the exact and up to date requirements.
On top of all of that there are added Netherlands visa requirements depending on your employment status upon arrival:
- If Employed:
You will need to be able to provide your payslips from the last 3 months, an employment contract and an approved leave of absence from your employer if necessary. You also need to have evidence of your income tax return and a company bank statement of the latest 6 months.
- If Self-Employed:
You will also need to supply evidence of your income tax return and a company bank statement for the latest 6 months as well as your company’s certificate of registration.
- If Retired:
You must be able to show your proof of income from the ownership of a business or property and your pension statements from the past three months.
Other than short and long-stay visas, there are a few other Dutch visa types with minimal Netherlands visa requirements. If you are only transferring to another flight at a Dutch airport, you might need an airport transit visa to prove your final destination. Planning on visiting the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom of The Netherlands like Curaçao or Aruba? Then you may require a Caribbean visa. Finally, a visa facilitation is also possible if you only wish to visit EU family members, who may act as your sponsor to visit.
Schengen Visa Requirements
If you are not from a country that doesn't require a visa to enter The Netherlands, and you would like to visit for a short time, then you will need to apply for a Schengen Visa. Also known as a short-stay Schengen Visa or C visa, the Schengen Visa allows you to stay in The Netherlands for a maximum of 90 days within a six month period. It is called the Schengen Visa because it is valid across the whole Schengen Area of 26 European countries. The Schengen area's common visa policy allows for free movement across its borders for the duration of the 90 days, which begins the moment you enter any Schengen country with your visa.
When you submit a Schengen Visa application, you provide the information previously listed as well as a few extra documents. Namely, proof of Netherlands Schengen visa health insurance issued in your name to cover a minimum of €30,000 of medical costs and a copy of your return-ticket reservation. Your return ticket will prove your intentions of only staying in The Netherlands short-term. The cost of a Schengen Visa application for adults is €80, for children between 6-12 years old €40 and for children under 6 it’s free. The fee is not refundable if your application is unsuccessful so make sure you meet The Netherlands visa requirements.
The Schengen Visa can be used in one consecutive period of 90 days or 90 days split up between different stays over a 6 month period. The Schengen short-stay visa can only be extended in exceptional cases where new facts and special reasons arise after entry to The Netherlands, though this is very rare. Instead, most citizens who would like to stay longer than 90 days will need to apply for a residence permit.
Long Stay Visa Requirements
Any non-Dutch citizen who would like to stay in The Netherlands for over 90 days will need a long-stay visa, also known as a residence permit. To acquire a residence permit, the purpose of your stay must meet the criteria the Government is looking for. You or your host (employer) can apply to the IND for your residence permit depending on the purpose of your stay. Any non-EU citizen who wants to work in The Netherlands must also obtain a valid work visa along with their residence permit. Both the work and residence permit will only be valid until the employee leaves the role they got the work permit for, as after they leave a new application will be needed to stay in the country.
Other than a select few non-EU countries like The UK, USA and Australia, the rest will need a provisional residence permit (MVV) as well as a residence permit. Make sure to check the Dutch Government website for the most recent list of countries' citizens exempt from getting an MVV. Also known as an authorisation for temporary stay and part of the TEV Procedure, an MVV grants entry to The Netherlands as a potential resident rather than a tourist. It acts as a Netherlands long-term visa requirement as it allows you to stay in The Netherlands while your residence permit application is being processed. It should be acquired from a Dutch embassy before travelling to The Netherlands as you will need it to enter the country.
One of the most common types of long-stay Dutch visas is the combined work and residence permit (GVVA), which consists of a Dutch residence permit and a work permit stating the employer that the foreign citizen is permitted to work for. Intended for non-EU workers staying in The Netherlands for more than three months, the GVVA Single Permit also applies to the people coming to The Netherlands to gain work experience, either for study or work purposes. The criteria for getting a GVVA is based on the Aliens Employment Act and the work and residence documents must be collected in person by the employee.
Other work visas include a single work permit (TWV) which is only valid for a year and doesn't include a residence permit. If an employee meets certain employment and income conditions, then they can apply for a highly skilled migrant permit that has similar Netherlands visa requirements. It also covers both work and residence and brings extra benefits like eligibility to the 30% ruling. Similarly, an EU Blue Card is a residence permit reserved for highly qualified employees of third-country nationals in the European Union. Students who would like to move to The Netherlands can also apply for a student visa, which grants them access to The Netherlands for the duration of their university course for studying purposes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can I stay in The Netherlands without a visa?
What is a Schengen Visa?
Do I need a provisional residence permit (MVV)?
For all the EU member states, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, it is possible to travel to The Netherlands without a visa and stay for up to 90 days within a 180 day period. Other countries may require a Schengen Visa, provisional residence permit or a residence permit straight depending on the length of their stay.
A Schengen Visa allows you to stay in The Netherlands for a maximum of 90 days within a six month period. It is called the Schengen Visa because it is valid across the whole Schengen Area of 26 European countries. The Schengen area's common visa policy allows for free movement across its borders for the duration of the 90 days, which begins the moment you enter any Schengen country with your visa.
Other than a select few non-EU countries like The UK, USA and Australia, the rest will need a provisional residence permit (MVV) as well as a residence permit. An MVV grants entry to The Netherlands as a potential resident rather than a tourist. It acts as a Netherlands long-term visa requirement as it allows you to stay in The Netherlands while your residence permit application is being processed. It should be acquired from a Dutch embassy before travelling to The Netherlands as you will need it to enter the country.