All information correct as of May 2023
If you’re interested in moving to the Netherlands, you will probably need to apply for a visa. Which visa you’ll need to apply for depends on your background, length of stay and reason for travelling. If your stay will last under 90 days and your a citizen of a non-EU member state, you will likely need to apply for a Schengen Visa.
The Schengen Visa, also known as a short-stay Schengen visa or C visa, grants you stay in any country in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. Fortunately, The Netherlands is one of the Schengen Countries and so the Schengen Visa is open for the Netherlands too. The main advantage of having a Schengen Visa is that you can travel freely between the 26 Schengen countries over the 90 day period that your visa is valid for, begining the moment you enter any Schengen country. The Schengen Visa can be used over a consecutive period of 90 days or split up between different stays over a 6-month period for a maximum of 90 days. You can even choose the multiple-entry option when filling in your application that will allow you to leave and re-enter the Schengen area within the 180-day period.
Acquiring a Schengen Visa is not necessary for citizens of EU member states because of the Free Movement Agreement that allows for migration without a visa between theses countries. For non-EU member state citizens, a short-stay Schengen visa is most suitable if you only plan on staying in The Netherlands for a short period, or you want to visit multiple European countries. Extending a Schengen Visa can only be done in exceptional circumstances, so if you wanted to stay in The Nethrlands for longer than 90 days, then you will need to apply for a residence permit.
How to Apply For a Schengen Visa
To gain freedom of movement in The Netherlands and Schengen area, it is crucial that you complete the application process to obtain a Schengen Visa correctly. If the Netherlands is your ‘destination country’, then you will need to submit your Schengen visa application at one of The Netherlands embassy/consulate/visa centre or the embassy/consulate/visa centre of another Schengen state to which the embassy of The Netherlands has outsourced visa submission. You must lodge your application to one of these destinations at least 15 days but no earlier than six months before the start of the intended journey. It is recommended that you file your visa application three weeks before your trip.
The Schengen Visa application is made up of an application form, standard required documents and a few Schengen visa specific documents. The Schengen visa application form has the same format no matter which country’s visa it is that the applicant is applying for. The application form asks for your personal and background information as well as the purpose and details regarding your trip to the Schengen Area.
The documents you will need for the Schengen Visa application can be split into two groups. The first group is the standard required documents, which include:
- Valid photo ID (e.g. passport)
- Two identical photos
- Proof of accommodation (e.g. rental contract)
- Proof of financial means (e.g. employment contract)
The second group of documents are the Schengen Visa specific ones, these include:
- Netherlands Schengen visa health insurance issued in your name to cover a minimum of €30,000 of medical costs.
- A copy of your return-ticket reservation. Your return ticket will prove your intentions of only staying in the Netherlands short-term by specifying your entry and exit dates.
The cost of a Schengen visa application for adults is €80, for minors between 6 to 11 years old €40 and for children under 6 it’s free. The member countries have synchronized the visa fees; therefore, they are static and unchangeable until decided otherwise by the Schengen states. The fee is not refundable if your application is unsuccessful so make sure you meet the Netherlands visa requirements.
Once you have your application form and documents in order and an appointment booked, you will need to complete a short interview with a visa consular. The interview should last around 10-15 minutes and will involve questions about yourself and your intended trip. Make sure your answers are truthful and match with the information in your application form and documents. In most cases, it should take around 15 days to process your visa. There are however, situations where this process can be extended from up 45 days in certain conditions, so give yourself time for delays in your application.
Can The Schengen Visa be Applied For Online?
The Schengen Visa application process cannot be done fully online. However, most countries including The Netherlands do give you the chance to book a Schengen visa appointment online. Do not worry about having to travel long distances for an appointment though, in The UK for example, there a Dutch Consulates all over the country so you dont have to travel too far.
There is a current proposal from the European Union Commission to EU countries digitalise the Schengen visa process. By allowing for the submission of visa applications online through the EU online visa platform, they can reaplca the visa sticker process. On top of that, the New Pact on Migration and Asylum also want to fully digitalise visa procedures by 2025. The benefits of digitalisation being cost reduction, improved security and and lessing the work load for the Member States and applicants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you get a 5-year Schengen Visa?
What countries is the Schengen Visa open to?
How long does a Schengen Visa last?
Since the new Schengen Visa code came into effect from 2nd Febuary 2020, it is possible to acquire a multiple-entry Schengen Visa that can be valid for up to 5 years for certain citizens. With this visa you can travel to and from the Schengen Area as many times as you want. However, you cannot violate the 90/180 rule, which means that you can only remain in the Schengen Zone for 90 days in 180 days.
The Schengen Area covers nearly all of mainland Europe and consists of 26 countries including; Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The Schengen Visa grants you stay in any country in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. It can be used over a consecutive period of 90 days or split up between different stays over a 6-month period for a maximum of 90 days. You can even choose the multiple-entry option when filling in your application that will allow you to leave and re-enter the Schengen area within the 180-day period.