Netherlands: The Different Types of Visa

Are you planning to visit, work, study or move to the Netherlands and you don’t truly know what visa and permit you might require? Here’s a detailed guide to help you understand the different types of Dutch visa and other immigration requirements. 

Relocating to The Netherlands

The Netherlands is one of the most dense countries in Europe. It has long been a multicultural society that has encouraged immigration and has also benefited from it economically and culturally. Nearly a quarter of the Dutch population has a migrant background. This figure rises to over 50% in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.

Similar to many other EU countries, the Netherlands has a two-tier immigration system. EU/EFTA citizens have freedom of movement to travel or relocate to the Netherlands. But on the other hand, non-EU/EFTA nationals have to meet certain criteria in order to live, work, study or even join family in the amazing Netherlands. The country is also a part of the Schengen Area, which means that many European citizens can travel there passport-free and stay for a certain period of time without the need of a passport. 

Who Requires a Netherlands Visa?

The EU/EFTA citizens as well as those living in Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Norway don’t require a visa to study, work, visit or live in the country regardless of the length of stay; however a valid ID is mandatory and if you are a citizen belonging to these countries, you also don’t have to register your stay with the IND unless you have a travelling partner with a non EU/EFTA passport. 

If you are an EU/EFTA  citizen staying for more than three month you will have to register with their local authority. They will then be entered into the Personal Records Database and will then provide you with a  citizen service number which will then be used as a Dutch social security and  tax number. 

In case you are an EU/EFTA staying for more than three months and not working, you will need to provide proof that you have health insurance and that you are financially 

stable to sustain yourself or any dependent partner or family member. 

Non-EU/EFTA nationals

If you belong to a country outside the EU/EFTA, you will require a visa to get into and stay in the Netherlands.  Netherlands visa requirements depend on nationality. Residents from countries such as the US, Japan and Australia, can travel to the Netherlands for up to 90 days without a visa while others will have to benefit from a short stay visa. You might want to check here ( for more information. 

Types of Netherlands Visa

When getting a visa to the Netherlands, you should reflect upon which is the best suitable for your requirements. For example, there are long stay visas, short stay visas and temporary visas. 

Long Stay Dutch Visas

If you are coming to the Netherlands for work, study or to join a family member on a long term basis, you should consider getting a long term Dutch visa. 

Just like with the temporary Dutch visas, long stay visas are residence permits that enable you to leave and return to the Netherlands for as long as they are valid. The same general requirements apply for long stay visas as for temporary visas, including TB testing and possessing health insurance. Generally, long stay permits have a maximum duration up to 5 years. 

Work Visa

If you are eligible to come to the Netherlands for work purposes longer than 3 months, you will need a single permit. The single permit is a residence permit along with a work permit. You might as well require a MVV temporary permit if you require a visa to enter the Netherlands. 

Study Visa

If you are studying in the Netherlands and you will take more than three months to complete your studies, you will need a residence permit. In order to qualify for a student resident permit, you need to have an offer from a recognized educational institution in the country and meet certain criteria for acceptance into the course. You will also need to prove that you can sustain yourself financially during your stay or have someone sponsoring your studies and stay. As a student you are allowed to work for 16 hours during term time and full time during holidays which is mainly in June, July and August.  

Family Visa

You would be pleased to know that the Dutch immigration law accepts family reunions. Relatives of EU/EFTA citizens living in the Netherlands can travel visa-free and apply to have the same rights as EU citizens 

Short Stay Visas

Short stay Netherlands visas are valid for a maximum of 90 – 180 days. The main type of short stay visa is the Schengen C visa. This visa enables you to travel across the Schengen Area region. However, you will need to make sure you have a multi-entry rather than a single-entry visa if you plan to leave and then return to the Netherlands within this period. You can usually change a single-entry visa to a multi-entry one at a cost of about $40 if you provide a valid reason. 

Business Visit Visa

Business visa is another variation of the Schengen C visa.  If you are coming to the Netherlands for the reasons below a business visa is what you need to apply for.

  • Completing a short-term study course
  • the country to carry out a business transaction
  • Attending a conference or seminar
  • Taking part in a cultural or sports event
  • Working or volunteering on a temporary placement
  • Work or business training
  • Carrying out a diplomatic or political visit
  • Visiting the country to carry out a business transaction

Holiday & Family Visit Visa

This is the general short-stay tourist visa for the Netherlands. You will typically need to apply in-person at the Dutch embassy or consulate in your home country six months prior to traveling plans.

Temporary Dutch Visa

Temporary Netherlands visas are available for stays that are typically between three months upto a year. These visas are issued as residence permits in the Netherlands and can also be for studies, work or exchange purposes and some can also be renewed. 

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