Netherlands Visa: Entry requirements and travel information for the Netherlands

Welcome to Netherlands

Embark on a captivating journey to the Netherlands, a land of iconic windmills, vibrant tulip fields, and historic canals. The path to this enchanting destination, however, is often entwined with complex visa requirements that can be overwhelming. We're here to untangle the details for you!

At iVisa, our decade of expertise in simplifying travel documentation has been fine-tuned to ensure your visa process for the Netherlands is as smooth as the country's famous bike paths.

Make your way through Amsterdam's historic streets, marvel at masterpieces in the Rijksmuseum, and indulge in the tranquil beauty of the Dutch countryside. Our user-friendly platform and dedicated support team will guide you through every step.

Netherlands tulips nature

Netherlands visa options: Cycle your way through

A visa is more than just a document; it's your key to unlocking new experiences in international travel. As you set your sights on the Netherlands, a country renowned for its colorful tulip fields, iconic windmills, and artistic legacy, understanding the different types of visas available is crucial.

The Netherlands offers a variety of visas, each tailored to the diverse needs of travelers. Let's explore them all.

Netherlands Schengen Visa

Who is it for?

The Netherlands Schengen Visa is a type of visa that allows eligible travelers to enter and travel within all 27 European countries in the Schengen Area for a short stay.

Visitors from over 100 eligible countries can get a Netherlands Schengen Visa, including:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burma/Myanmar, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Côte D'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, and many more.

Who cannot apply?

  1. Residents of the European Union and nationals of Schengen countries can travel visa-free within the Schengen Zone​.

  2. Nationals of countries with a visa-free agreement with the Schengen Area, such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and more.


  1. Tourism.

  2. Visit family and/or friends.

  3. Business meetings, conferences, or other business activities.

  4. Short recreational courses or sports.

Duration of stay?

The visa allows a stay of up to 90 days Per Entry within 180 days in the Schengen Area. You can get a single- or multiple-entry visa based on your travel history, and the validity can range from 180 days to a whopping 5 years! Learn more about the Netherlands Schengen Visa.


Netherlands ETIAS

The ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) differs from a visa. It's an online registration system, similar to the U.S. ESTA, for travelers from countries that don't need a visa to enter 30 European countries and four microstates. It helps monitor incoming travelers and enhances border protection.

Who is it for?

The Netherlands ETIAS is designed for travelers from countries that don't need a visa to visit the Netherlands and other participating countries for short trips. Citizens of over 60 visa-exempt countries must apply for ETIAS authorization, including:

The United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Israel, and more.

Who cannot apply?

  1. Citizens of countries needing a visa to enter the Schengen Area.

  2. EU/EEA/Swiss/Schengen citizens as they enjoy freedom of movement within the Schengen Area and don't need any visa or authorization.

  3. Individuals with an outstanding entry ban.


Short-term visits for tourism, business, medical visits, or transit through participating countries.

Duration of stay?

The ETIAS authorization allows for short-term visits, typically up to 90 days within 180 days. The validity of the ETIAS is up to 3 years or until the end of the validity of the passport that you registered during the application, whichever comes first. Learn more about the Netherlands ETIAS.


Airport Transit Visa

Who is it for?

The Airport Transit Visa allows individuals from certain countries to transit through the international zone of airports in the Schengen Area without entering the country, on their way to their final destination outside the Schengen Area.

Citizens of the following countries are required to have an airport transit visa when passing through the international transit area of airports in any Schengen country, including the Netherlands:

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, and Sri Lanka.

Who cannot apply?

  1. Anyone not on the list above.

  2. Some people from the above countries may also be exempt based on other criteria, including:

  • Holding a valid visa for certain countries.

  • Being a family member of an EU/EEA citizen.

  • Holding a diplomatic passport.


  1. To allow individuals from certain countries to transit through the international zones of airports in the Schengen Area.

  2. To facilitate travel en route to a final destination outside the Schengen Area.

  3. To ensure a layover within the airport's international transit area without permitting entry into the Schengen territory.

Duration of stay?

The Airport Transit Visa is typically valid for the transit duration, allowing individuals to remain in the airport's international transit area until their next flight. The stay duration is usually limited to a few hours and up to 24 hours.

You can get a transit visa for just one journey, a return journey (for example, when passing through the same airport on your way home), or multiple layovers in various Schengen countries.

Residence permits and long-stay visas (MVV Visas)

Residence permits or long-stay visas are typically required when you intend to stay for an extended period for work, study, or family reunification. In contrast, Schengen Visas and the ETIAS are for short-term stays only.

Who is it for?

Whether you're looking to work, study, or reunite with your family, there's a visa to suit your needs. Here's a brief overview of each type of long-stay visa and residence permit for the Netherlands:

  • Netherlands Family Visa: A Netherlands Family Visa is meant for people who want to join a family member or partner living in the Netherlands.

  • Netherlands Work Visa: Apply for a Netherlands Work Visa if you intend to live and work in the Netherlands for a Dutch company.

  • Netherlands Student Visa: International students registered at a Dutch educational institution should apply for a Netherlands Student Visa.

  • Netherlands Au Pair Visa: Travelers between 18 and 30 years old can get a Netherlands Au Pair Visa to stay with a host family for one year. This allows you to do light household work and care for children in exchange for board and lodging.

  • Netherlands Working Holiday Visa: The Netherlands Working Holiday Visa is for travelers between 18 and 30 years old and is part of the Working Holiday Program (WHP) or Working Holiday Scheme (WHS). You can stay in the country for 1 year.

  • Netherlands Self-employed & Startup Visa: This visa allows you to move to the Netherlands to start your own business or work as a freelancer.

Who cannot apply:

  1. Individuals from EU/EEA/Switzerland already enjoy freedom of movement within the Netherlands and the wider Schengen Area.

  2. Individuals with entry bans: Those who have been issued entry bans due to previous violations of immigration or other laws.

  3. Individuals needing to meet visa requirements: Those who cannot provide the necessary documentation or meet the specific criteria for the visa category they are applying for.


The different long-stay visas the Netherlands provides aim to cater to various purposes, tailored to individuals' specific needs and circumstances.

Duration of stay?

The duration of stay permitted under each national visa varies based on the nature and purpose of the visa.

If you're still unsure what visa type you need, use our Visa Checker Tool for more guidance. At iVisa, we're committed to turning your Netherlands dreams into reality, simplifying your visa journey at every step!

Netherlands cycling woman

Netherlands visa application process: Mapping your way

Applying for a Netherlands visa can take time and effort. We make the process quick and easy to improve your chances of approval as much as possible.

How to apply for the Netherlands Schengen Visa

Secure your Netherlands Schengen Visa swiftly with these steps, cycling your way through the intricate application rules and process:

  • Step 1: Provide your basic information and travel details via our online application platform or mobile app.

  • Step 2: Review your information and pay the iVisa service fee. During your visa appointment, the government fee is paid separately at the embassy, consulate, or Visa Application Center (VAC).

  • Step 3: Upload a scanned copy of your passport and a passport photo. You'll receive a guide on completing your application, the documents needed, and how to prepare for your visa interview.

We'll schedule the appointment and provide essential details for the day!

Apply for your Netherlands Schengen Visa today!

How to apply for the Netherlands ETIAS

We make getting your Netherlands ETIAS easy! Follow these three steps:

  • Step 1: Fill out the online form with your personal and travel details.

  • Step 2: Review your info, select your preferred processing time, and pay the processing fees online.

  • Step 3: Upload any required documents, usually just a copy of your passport, and submit the application.

Once approved, you'll get your ETIAS confirmation by email. It will be electronically linked to your passport, but we recommend printing the confirmation too.

Apply for your Netherlands ETIAS today!

Please note that the ETIAS isn't yet implemented. Check back frequently to find out when exactly you'll need to register for your ETIAS to visit the Netherlands.

How to apply for a Netherlands Airport Transit Visa

An Airport Transit Visa is pretty straightforward when you follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Fill out the visa application form from the nearest Dutch consulate or embassy.

  • Step 2: Gather the required documents, submit the application form, and pay the fees.

  • Step 3: Await the decision!

Once approved, collect your visa or receive it by courier service.

How to apply for a Netherlands Long-Stay Visa

Getting a long-stay visa is a little more complicated. Follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Fill out the specific visa application form at the nearest Dutch consulate or embassy.

  • Step 2: Gather the required documents, complete the paperwork, and pay the fees.

  • Step 3: Schedule a visa interview (if applicable) and attend the appointment (if applicable) with your documents.

Await the decision; once approved, collect your visa or receive it by mail. Sometimes, you'll still have to pick up a residence card when you arrive in the country.

Note: We don't currently offer transit or long-stay visas for the Netherlands. Contact your nearest embassy for more info on how to apply.

Netherlands entry requirements

Embarking on a journey to the cultural heart of Europe, the Netherlands, requires some preparation. Don't fret; we have simplified the entry requirements for you!

This table is your roadmap to a smooth entry into the Netherlands, ensuring a memorable exploration of its rich heritage and stunning landscapes.

Requirements & Details Netherlands Schengen Visa Netherlands Airport Transfer Visa Netherlands ETIAS Netherlands
Long-Stay Visa
Application Form
Completed and signed.
Passport Photos x
Two recent photos with a light background.
You can get updated, government-compliant passport pictures using our online passport photo service.
Valid Biometric Passport
At least two blank pages for stamps or stickers.
Issued within the last ten years.
Valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended stay.
If your passport is expiring, check out our passport renewal service to see if we can help you get a new one before your trip.
Round-trip Flight Itinerary x
Document showing booked flight to enter and leave the Netherlands.
Proof of Accommodation x x
Hotel reservation.
Proof of Financial Means or Employment Status x x
For example, an employment contract, bank statements, leave permission, etc.
Proof that a Family Member Can Support Your Visit x x
Proof that the EU citizen has a work contract or sufficient economic means to cover your trip to the Netherlands.
Proof of Relationship x x
You may be requested to have a letter from a friend or family, a marriage certificate, or a birth certificate to prove your relationship.
Proof of Enrollment, Employment, or other documents pertaining to your travel purpose. x x
Meant for students, workers, and other visitors coming to the Netherlands for a specific purpose and a longer stay.
Travel (Medical) Insurance x x
Covering medical costs and repatriation of at least €30,000 in the entire Schengen Zone.

Health information for travelers to the Netherlands

The Dutch healthcare system is known for its high standards, but navigating it as a traveler can differ from what you're used to. Here are the key points to keep in mind.

Requirement Explanation & Consideration for Travelers
Vaccinations - Generally, the Netherlands doesn't require mandatory vaccinations for most travelers.
- Stay updated on the Netherlands' COVID-19 entry policy through the Ministry of Health.
Medical Facilities - The Netherlands boasts a plethora of high-quality medical facilities and English-speaking medical professionals. However, remember that general practitioners (GPs) are the first point of contact for non-emergency medical care.
- In case of emergencies, go straight to a hospital's emergency department or call the emergency number (112).
Health Insurance - Always travel with a comprehensive health insurance policy that covers international travel. Ensure it includes coverage for medical treatments, emergency services, and, if necessary, medical repatriation. The Netherlands may not cover health expenses for tourists without valid insurance.
- While healthcare in the Netherlands is of high quality, it can be expensive, particularly for non-residents without proper insurance. Ensure it covers medical expenses and emergency evacuation of at least €30,000.
Local Hazards Cannabis: The potency of cannabis in the Netherlands may be higher than in other countries. This can increase the risk of adverse effects, particularly for inexperienced users, including anxiety, paranoia, and, in rare cases, psychosis. Be careful and only buy from regulated sources.
Drug-checking services: In some places, there are services where you can have drugs tested for purity and composition. This is part of harm reduction policies, but using these services doesn't legalize the possession of illegal substances.
Medication Declare all medications: Always declare any restricted substances at customs.
Original packaging: Keep medicines in their original containers with prescription labels.
Prescription or doctor's letter: Carry a valid prescription or a letter from your doctor explaining the need for each medication.
Check for restrictions: Research beforehand to ensure your medications are allowed in the Netherlands, as some substances are restricted or prohibited. Check the government website for comprehensive information about medication regulations.
Quantity matters: Bring only a reasonable quantity of medication aligned with your stay duration to avoid complications.
Cannabis: While the sale of cannabis in coffee shops is tolerated in many Dutch cities, it remains technically illegal. As a traveler, be aware that consumption is only allowed in designated areas (like coffee shops), and public consumption can lead to fines. It's also not legal to import cannabis and other illegal drugs.

Traveling to the Netherlands is all about being prepared. Being informed and taking the necessary precautions can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to the Netherlands.

Netherlands windmills view

Need help in the Netherlands?

Embassies and consulates act as vital support systems when you're in a foreign nation such as the Netherlands. For Dutch residents, tourists admiring the stunning landscapes, or any international traveler seeking assistance, being familiar with how to reach out to your embassy or consulate is a key factor in ensuring a secure and worry-free experience.

For Dutch residents and citizens abroad:

Dutch people traveling abroad can rely on the extensive network of Netherlands Embassies and Consulates for assistance in emergencies and other questions.

For international travelers in the Netherlands:

International travelers in the Netherlands can get support from their home country's embassy or consulate for urgent help or lost passports. Find your home country's embassy or consulate information in the Netherlands using our embassies and consulates list.

How to connect with your embassy or consulate:

  • Find embassy and consulate information, including contact details and services, in our embassies and consulates directory.

  • Regarding emergencies, find the contact information on the embassy or consulate's website for quick assistance.

  • Contact them by email for non-urgent inquiries or appointment scheduling.

  • If an in-person visit is necessary, book an appointment in advance for a smoother experience.

Explore the Netherlands confidently, knowing assistance is just a call or click away!

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