General information on visas.
A visa is a stamp or sticker, affixed in the passport of the bearer. (This is why we always need the original passport to obtain a visa). A visa is an entry permit for a particular country. The visa is issued by the consulate or the Chancellor of the country concerned. In most cases, the consulate is a division of the embassy of that country, but consulates can also operate separately.
Visas are generally valid for the scheduled trip, but each country has its own conditions and types of visas. There are tourist visas, visitors' visas (for visiting family or friends), business visas, work visas (only issued by some countries) and transit visas (only valid for the period between landing at an airport and travelling to a border point of a neighbouring country, valid for only a few days).
Rules for people intending to emigrate to another country (and settle permanently) are quite different. Please visit the F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions) for more information.
The country list provides the visa requirements, as applicable to Dutch citizens. In general, these rules also apply to nationals of the other EU-countries. But for non-Dutch people, even when in possession of a residence permit if they live in The Netherlands, other conditions may apply. On this list, issued by KLM, you can check whether a person of a certain nationality needs a visa for a certain country. There are consulates that do not issue visas to foreigners who do not officially reside in one of the Benelux countries. (Usually we must show the residence permit). Refugees living in The Netherlands (in possession of alien's travel document. i.e. “Reisdocument” ) should bear in mind that for them different visa requirements may apply, if they can get a visa at all. Many countries do not issue visas to refugees, or have to await authorization from their immigration service, which usually takes a very long time.
Visa applications are often considered to be a nuisance that only crops up after the whole trip has already been planned. If at that stage it turns out that visas have to be applied for, problems may occur: too much has to be done in too short a time. In most cases we can still get it done, but unfortunately it does happen that trips have to be postponed because visas are not ready in time. In the attached list (Visa and Country Information) we mention how many (working) days a visa application normally takes. This is not steadfast rule however: sometimes applications take much longer, caused by national holidays, the absence of the diplomat who has to sign, because certain formalities have not been met, etc. And we can even get stuck in traffic jams causing us to get to an embassy too late. Often, we still can manage to accelerate visa applications, but we can not give any guarantees! If an application has to await authorization from the country concerned, or a message from the company to be visited has to be sent to the embassy, you should remember that official procedures abroad often take a long time, and the term 'Emergency' may be quite a flexible concept. It is therefore advisable to start visa applications well in time.
In many embassies and consulates English or French are the common languages, rather than Dutch. Please complete your forms in English or (Brussels!) in French. If you are not entirely comfortable writing in French, it may be better to write in English anyway, unless at the country informatin it is specifically mentioned that French of Spanish is compulsary
Dutch citizens are not allowed to travel with an expired passport. In addition, for a for a visa application passports usually have to be valid for a certain time before expiration. Some countries require a passport validity of a minimum of three months, often six months, and sometimes even a year from the date that the application is lodged or upon arrival or departure from this country. The Visa Information discloses which country requires which passport validity. Please reserve two blank visa pages side by side per visa. So please check your passport validity and empty pages before lodging an application.
As from mid 2012 all EU-citizens need their own passport, children can no longer be added to the parent’s passport.
Application forms should be completed in full, even in your eyes absurd questions must be answered. For most countries it is permitted to use (photo) copies, copied on blank white paper! However, some consulates only accept their original application forms. If so, this is stated. You can download forms or (if original forms should be used) we can send them at your request.
Please complete application forms in full, and also answer any questions that you may find irrelevant. Apparently the country that issued these forms considers these answers to be important. Incomplete applications may result in delays.
Please use real photographs, not (photo)copies. We prefer you to staple or stick them to the application forms. If the application form has reserved space for photos please paste them there, in other cases in the upper left or right corner.
In those cases where a Certificate good conduct (in Dutch: “Verklaring omtrent het Gedrag” or “Bewijs van Goed Gedrag”) is requested, please remember that these are not immediately issued: It may take up to six weeks to get one! It has to be applied for in the town hall of your place of residence.
A letter of guarantee is a letter from a company stating that the person concerned will travel on account and risk of the company, and the company guarantees payment of all costs. See "Downloads" for examples.
In a booking confirmation a travel agent states that a return ticket was booked (and paid) for the person(s) concerned Where stated that a letter of guarantee is requested, this travel booking statement is to be added for tourists.
Please never send any documents that are not requested, (such as original vaccination booklets, tickets, etc), as they can easily get lost. Instead you can send photocopies.
An embassy/consulate may not issue the visa that was specifically applied for. Maybe they do not issue visas for the requested period, maybe they do not issue multiple entry visas. (In general, visas are not issued for a period longer than three months). Possibly the visa authorization was different from the visa was requested. A visa may be wrongly issued because (although rarely) mistakes are made by a consular officer, or, more likely, because the application was unclear. So please complete the forms carefully, in full and correctly. If prior authorization for a visa has to be issued, please check if the application corresponds to the authorization issued. Do not forget to sign the forms.
These visa requirements were correct at the time of compilation of this information. We try to be as up-to-date as possible. Changes are made almost daily. However, since most consulates do not tend to announce future changes well in time. it may occur that something has meanwhile changed. To be on the safe side, we advise you that the information on this site is not legally binding, nor is information supplied by telephone or otherwise. Visa regulations on the date of lodging will apply, even if these deviate from the ones previously announced.
Privacy: we assure you that we will never give any information to third parties, and that we will not store our data (on persons, companies, travelling) in a foreignly based "cloud" that could be accessed by any foreign intelligence service.