Changes in the rules for Schengen and Caribbean visa applications

As of February 2, 2020, new rules will be in force if you apply for a Schengen or Caribbean visa. The changes in the rules for the Schengen visa are a consequence of new EU legislation.

The most important changes per February 2, 2020 are:

Extension of application period

You can apply for your Schengen visa as of 6 months before your planned travel date (this was 3 months). For seafarers this will be 9 months.

Airport transit visa

Do you have a valid visa or a valid residence permit for Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius or Saba? Then you do not need an airport transit visa if you are transiting through the international zone of an airport in the Schengen area to an airport outside the Schengen area.

Increase visa fees

The Schengen and Caribbean visa fees will be increased:

Increase visa fees
Visa type Old fees in EUR New fees in EUR
Schengen visa 60 80
Schengen visa child 6-12 years 35 40
Schengen visa child 0-6 years Free of charge Free of charge
Caribbean visa 35 80
Carribbean visa child 6-12 year 35 40
Caribbean visa child 0-6 years Free of charge Free of charge

Multiple entry Schengen visas for regular travelers

Do you regularly travel to the Netherlands / Schengen area? Then you may qualify for a multiple-entry visa with a longer period of validity. You must however, meet a number of conditions:

  • multiple-entry visa for 1 year: if you have received a Schengen visa* 3 times in the past 2 years and used it correctly;
  • multiple-entry visa for 2 years: if you have received a multiple-entry visa for 1 year in the past 2 years and used it correctly;
  • multiple-entry visa for 5 years: if you have received a multiple-entry visa for 2 years in the past 3 years and used it correctly.

* An airport transit visa does not count.

You cannot derive any rights from the above. It is always up to the issuing authority whether or not to issue a multiple-entry visa with a longer period of validity.

Applying at a Visa Application Center of an External Service Provider (ESP)

In countries where the Netherlands uses the services of an ESP, such as VFS Global or TLS Contact, you must submit your visa application at the ESP.

Biometrics / applying in person for Schengen visa applications

Did you provide biometric data (fingerprints and photo) within the last 59 months prior to your current application? Then you can choose to have someone else submit your application for you. You do not have to appear in person.

Attention: If, during the assessment of your application, it appears that your fingerprints are not in the system, you will have to come and submit them. Also, you can always be invited for an interview if your application gives reason to do so.