Visas for the Netherlands

As the Netherlands is a Schengen and EU-member state, expats from other EU states are able to travel and live in the country without applying for a visa. However, those from non-EU countries will likely need a visa to enter the Netherlands, whether for work or a short visit.

All visas should be applied for at least four weeks before travelling to the Netherlands. 


Schengen visas for the Netherlands

Expats who need a Schengen visa will have to complete an application form, gather supporting documents and submit them to their closest Dutch embassy or consulate before they travel. All documents must be in English or Dutch. In some cases, applicants may have to provide additional documents at the discretion of the Dutch embassy or consulate.

It's best for expats to bring their documents with them when travelling to the Netherlands, in case border guards request these.

Schengen visas are valid for 180 days and allow entry into any Schengen state (or states) for up to 90 days. To stay longer, a residence permit is required.


Working holiday visas for the Netherlands

Nationals of Canada, South Korea, Argentina, Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand between the ages of 18 and 30 are eligible to live and work in the Netherlands for one year on a working holiday visa. The Working Holiday Program allows holders of the visa to reside in the country on a temporary residence permit.


Residence permits for the Netherlands

Non-EU/EEA citizens will need a residence permit if they intend to stay in the Netherlands for more than three months. Residence permits are generally valid for one year.

Generally they should be applied for at the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service within a few days of arriving in the Netherlands – however, in some circumstances it may be necessary to apply for a long-term entry visa prior to travelling to the Netherlands. This allows entry into the country as a prospective resident rather than a tourist. An application for a residence permit is usually lodged at the same time.

Although EU citizens don’t require a residence permit, they do have to register with their local municipality if they live in the Netherlands for more than four months. Once they've registered, expats will receive a BSN Number (Citizen Service Number).

Expats can apply for permanent residence in the Netherlands if they've lived in the country for an uninterrupted period of five years. Once they have this, they no longer need an employer-sponsored work permit.

*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.

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