The visa procedure is an important part of the immigration process. It is the policy of the Dutch government to determine a person's right to stay in the Netherlands before he/she actually arrives. There are visas for short stays (less than 3 months) and special visas for people who intend to reside in the Netherlands for a longer period.


If you want to stay in the Netherlands for a period of less than 3 months, you will probably need a Short Stay/ Schengen Visa. This visa is for the Schengen area; 26 countries with no border controls between them. Although travellers no longer have to show their passports when crossing borders between Schengen countries, this does not mean that travelling within the Schengen area is the same as travelling within a single country!

Who needs a Schengen visa

If you are a national of one of the Schengen countries,  you do not need a Schengen visa. Additionally, there are a few other countries whose nationals do not need a Schengen visa, and countries whose nationals do need a Schengen visa.


A Schengen visa's validity may be limited to only one country (e.g. the Netherlands) or a specified number of countries (e.g. Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands). In such cases, the visa holder may visit only the countries for which the Schengen visa is valid. 


Other conditions for entering the Netherlands

As a rule, all visitors from outside the European Economic Area (with or without visa requirement) may enter the Netherlands as long as they meet the following conditions:

  • You have a valid passport
  • You have enough money with you (at least € 34 for each day of your stay)
  • You have a valid reason for visiting the Netherlands
  • You are not considered a threat to public order, national security, or international relations


Where to apply for a Schengen visa

You can apply for a Schengen visa at a Dutch Mission (embassy or consulate). Go to the mission in the country where you reside or are entitled to reside. In some countries, you may apply for a visa to an outside agency authorised to accept visa applications. For more information about visa, please check the website of the website of the IND.




The nationals of all countries except the EU member states, and a few other countries who want to visit/stay in the Netherlands for an uninterrupted period of time that is longer than 3 months, will need an Authorisation for Temporary Stay (also referred to as an Entry Visa or a Type D visa). See the list of countries whose nationals do not need an MVV for a stay longer than 3 months.

An MVV is a special visa, on which you can travel to the Netherlands and subsequently apply for a residence permit (which is required for all non-EU citizens who wish to stay for more than 3 months). If your nationality requires an MVV, it is impossible to apply for a residence permit without it! An MVV can only be applied for from your country of origin or the country where you legally reside at that moment. If you enter the Netherlands with a Schengen visa (or short stay visa) for a period shorter than 3 months, it is not possible to change this visa into an MVV.

If you do not need an MVV and wish to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 3 months, and you are not an EU citizen, you must still apply for a residence permit. For more detailed information about the MVV procedure plus the entry conditions for all nationalities for stays both longer and shorter than 3 months, see the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

The kind of residence permit you will need depends on your purpose of stay; for each purpose different conditions can apply. The same goes for the MVV. So please select the right reason of your stay when checking the Residence Wizard.


The MVV allows you to multiple enter the Netherlands and move within the Schengen area. You can enter the Schengen area within 180 days from the date of issue. After entering the Schengen area it allows you to stay a maximum of 3 months in the Schengen area.


I have a Dutch employer / I am a student

If you have an employer or want to study in the Netherlands, the employer or the educational institution will play an important role in the application procedure. It is even possible (sometimes necessary) that they apply for the MVV on your behalf and make use of the so-called 'accelerated application'. The normal procedure for obtaining an authorisation for temporary stay (MVV) usually takes between 3 and 6 months. If your educational institution or employer brings in employees, trainees or students from abroad on a regular basis, he may be eligible for the accelerated MVV procedure. This procedure takes just a few weeks.

Voluntary MVV

Foreign workers from a nationality that does not require an MVV to enter the Netherlands can voluntary ask for an MVV as well. The reason to do this lies in a big advantage in the residence permit application. When you apply for an MVV, your case is reviewed before your arrival and when applying for the actual residence permit you will receive a sticker in your passport that serves as a residence permit. This will allow you to work immediately after your residence permit application. Furthermore, the BSN can be issued much faster.






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