Q&A's Short-stay Schengen visa

Read the frequently asked questions about the short stay Schengen visa.

Last update: 10 September 2020, 15:20.

Can I apply for a Schengen visa?

In countries outside the EU for which the travel ban has been lifted as of 1 July 2020, the Netherlands will in principle (if the local situation allows visa issuance) issue visa again - even if the journey only takes place in 5 months' time. This explicitly concerns residents of those countries, not nationals.

Should the travel ban be reinstated for a third country after a visa has been issued, the validity of the visa issued will expire and the person in question will be refused entry at the border.

The Netherlands visa application centre represents the country I would like to visit. Can I still apply for a visa to another country than the Netherlands?

No, you cannot apply for a visa to another country. Until further notice, the European Union has suspended Schengen visa representation for other EU member countries. This means that the Netherlands visa application centre only accepts visa applications for the Netherlands itself.

If I have a Schengen visa, can I certainly travel to the Netherlands?

Even more than usual, a visa does not confer any right to entry into the Schengen area, but is merely one of the conditions of entry. Checks are carried out at the border to ensure that the conditions for admission are met.

Can I also travel to other Schengen member states with a Schengen visa?

In this period, each Member State may use the travel ban list more restrictively and applicants must therefore enquire in advance as to whether transit through another Member State is possible.

If a country currently still applies exit bans for their residents or keep their border closed. At this moment, access to Europe for these countries is therefore purely theoretical as long as these bans are in force.

For countries for which the entry ban has not yet been lifted, only (Schengen) visa applications will be accepted for the exceptional categories of the entry ban. These can be found in the Q&A's Travel restrictions for the Netherlands (EU travel ban).

When can I apply for a visa again?

In countries for which the entry ban has been lifted as of 1 July 2020 (see above), the Netherlands will in principle - and if the local situation allows it again - issue visas again. This will not be the case immediately on 1 July as time is needed to restart the visa processes. Please keep an eye on this website for up-to-date information.

I am not a resident of any country on the list of safe countries, but I have an essential occupation (e.g. medical profession, border worker, seafarer) and need a visa for my work. Can I apply for one?

This is possible in certain cases. If you can prove that your profession falls under one of the exceptional categories of travel restrictions for the Netherlands, and if the consular department in the country where you want to apply for a visa can take your (urgent) application, you can apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate-general.

Whether a consular department is open depends on the situation in the country of application and may change from day to day. Embassies and consulates-general can only offer assistance in limited cases. Contact the embassy or consulate-general if you believe that the above situation applies to you.

I have urgent reasons to visit my relatives in the Netherlands. When do I fall under the exceptions?

With regard to the category of persons travelling for necessary family circumstances from countries for which the entry ban still applies, this concerns travel in exceptional cases. An exceptional case is visiting a terminally ill family member or attending a funeral.

A partner may attend the birth. This is an important reason for family visits. However, there must be a proven relationship by means of documentation, including upon arrival at Schiphol Airport.

I like to go to the birth of my (great) grandchild. Is that possible?

For the countries for which the entry ban still applies, attending the birth of a child as (great) grandparent is not covered by the exceptions. Under the given circumstances, attending the birth of a child is only reserved for the partner.

As a visa holder, I have obtained a valid visa before the entry ban entered into force. The country of which I am a resident is not yet on the list of safe countries. Can I enter the Netherlands now?

No, you cannot enter unless you fall under the exceptional categories of the travel restrictions for the Netherlands (see Q&A's Travel restrictions for the Netherlands).

I am a family member of a Dutch national with the nationality of a country that requires a visa and I would like to travel to the Netherlands. Can I apply for a visa?

In those countries for which the entry ban has been lifted as of 1 July, this is possible if the local situation permits the issuance of a visa. For those countries for which the entry ban still applies, this is possible in certain cases. If it is possible to submit an (urgent) application to the consular department, you will need to prove the family relationship (only parents, children and partners are eligible) with the Dutch national by means of documents. Whether a (rush) application can be submitted depends on the situation in the country and can change from day to day.

Will I receive my already paid fee back from a submitted short-stay visa application?

The visa fee for visas already issued but not used by COVID-19 cannot be refunded. You must submit a new application. This can be done when the visa service is resumed and the appointment system is reopened.

I have not yet been able to leave for the Netherlands. Can the period of my already issued visa be extended?

The duration of issued visas for travellers who have not yet been able to travel to the Netherlands due to cancelled flights cannot be extended. A new visa application must be submitted. This can be done at the moment that the visa service is resumed and the appointment system is reopened.

I am in the Netherlands, I cannot leave the country and my visa is almost expiring or has expired. What should I do?

Customers who are staying in the Netherlands with a short-stay visa and cannot leave the country can apply to the IND for an extension by telephone. It is therefore not possible to extend a visa at an IND desk. A sticker in the passport is not necessary. The extension is only valid in the Netherlands and is registered in the VIS system.

Does this apply to you? Then call the IND information line: 088 04 30430. Keep your visa number and passport at hand.

After an objection procedure, I have been granted the right to a short-stay visa, but I have to travel within 90 days. Can I travel to the Netherlands now?

If you are a resident of a country for which the entry ban has been lifted, this is possible. With regard to countries for which the entry ban has not yet been lifted, you can only pick up a visa and travel if you fall under an exception category of the entry ban or if the travel ban for your country has been lifted. Please contact the IND for advice if this means that the 90-day period is (almost) expiring.  

I am in the Netherlands without a visa (not subject to a visa requirement), but my free period has expired or is about to expire. Do I have to leave the Netherlands?

You cannot apply for an extension of a free period, the period of 90 days within 180 days that you may be in the Netherlands (and the Schengen area). Is your free period expiring and are you unable to leave? You do not have to report this to the IND. The Dutch government understands that it may be more difficult to return during this period. That is why the government checks less strictly on persons who stay longer than allowed. However, the government does expect you to try to return when your right of residence expires. Do you need help to return? If so, please contact the representation of your country in the Netherlands.

My visa is being processed but my destination and/or flight has been cancelled (e.g. due to European travel restrictions). What happens to my visa application?

Visa applications that are currently being processed and for which the flight has been cancelled will be refused with the note that this will be done as a result of COVID-19. Applications for events/meetings that have been cancelled as a result of COVID 19 related measures will be refused with the reason 'travel destination cancelled'.

I can still travel and my visa can still be issued. I come from a country that is considered safe by the EU. Am I at risk of not being able to travel back due to circumstances?

Visa applications that are currently being processed and can be issued may have a wider validity, in order not to create problems for the traveller if measures prevent him or her from returning to his country of origin (e.g. validity period 90 days, 1 entry visa).