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Do you need a visa to stay in Amsterdam?Foreign nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland are exempt from the visa requirement. For some nationalities outside the EU there is no visa requirement either. Full details can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken). Click here for the list of countries whose nationals require a visa for a stay of up to 90 days.
Schengen area visaA Schengen visa allows a foreign national to stay and travel in the Schengen area for up to three months within a six month period. If you have a Schengen visa for the Netherlands, you will also be permitted to travel in the other countries belonging to the Schengen area. A handy short-stay calculator (and a user's guide for it), which can be used to calculate the period of allowed stay, can be found on this page.
Where to apply for a visaForeign nationals need to apply for Schengen visas at the Dutch embassy or consulate in their country of origin. Click here for a list of Dutch missions that issue short stay visas. A visa is a sticker issued by the embassy or consulate which is pasted into your passport.
How to applyWhen a foreign national applies for a visa, they must supply various documents, including documents that demonstrate the purpose of their journey, such as a letter of invitation from a Dutch company (in the case of a business trip) or a hotel reservation. There are some exceptions.
If the applicant wishes to visit family or friends, they need to supply a form called ‘proof of sponsorship and/or private accommodation’ (bewijs van garantstelling en/of particuliere logiesverstrekking) and a copy of the sponsor’s passport or European identity card. A sponsor may act as a host or a guarantor. Click here for more information on applying and here for details on invitation, sponsorship and guarantor procedures and a list of the required documents for visa application.
Processing timeThe processing of visa applications usually takes up to 15 days. But it can sometimes take up to 60 days, for instance if additional inquiries are necessary. If you need to visit the Netherlands urgently (for instance, to attend a family funeral or visit a family member suffering from a terminal illness), you can apply for an emergency visa.
Visa costsThere is a non-refundable administration fee when applying for a visa. Visa costs have been harmonised in Schengen countries. Details of the costs can be obtained at the mission in the country where the application is made.