When coming to the Netherlands, there are a few things you need to check beforehand regarding visas. If you are residing in the Schengen area, you might not need a visa to come to the Netherlands, while for some other nationalities, it is required to apply for a visa before coming to the Netherlands.
There are four types of visas:

  • Short stay Schengen visa for people who want to stay in the Netherlands for up to 90 days.
  • Transit visa for transfers in the Netherlands.

  • Return visa for people already owning a residence permit but it was not valid for the moment of travel.

  • Long stay visa or “MVV” for people who already applied for a residence permit and waiting to acquire one.

Short stay Schengen visa

If you are a resident of a country that does not have a visa- agreement with the Netherlands and you are intending to visit the Netherlands for a short period of time, for a vacation, business trip, or family visit, you must apply for a short stay visa. The Schengen visa, commonly known as a short stay visa (C-visa), allows you to visit the Schengen Area, which includes the Netherlands, for up to 90 days (during a 180-day period). The 180-day term begins when you arrive in the Netherlands or another Schengen country.

Transit visa

The transit visa, often known as an A-visa, is for international airport passengers who are stopping over at a Dutch or Schengen country airport (such as Schiphol) on their way to a location outside the Schengen region.

A transit visa does not allow you to leave the airport, not even to collect your arriving luggage. If you want to leave the airport and go to another Schengen nation by car, rail, or bus, you’ll need to apply for a Schengen visa. See a list of nations that need an airport transit visa.

Return visa

The return visa is for internationals residing in the Netherlands who need to fly overseas urgently, such as for a family wedding, sickness, or death, and currently do not have a valid residence permit, or will expire while they are abroad.

Even if your residence permit is lost or invalid, the return visa permits you to go abroad and then lawfully return to the Netherlands. Because the return visa is a national (Dutch) visa, it cannot be used in any other Schengen country. In the Netherlands, you may apply for a return visa at your nearest IND desk.

Long stay visa “MVV”

If you want to visit the Netherlands for more than 90 days and need a Schengen visa, you must first apply for an MVV and a residence permit (TEV Procedure) before departing.

The MVV or “Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf” is a temporary residence permit that is comparable to a visa that allows you to enter the Netherlands. You may enter the Netherlands as a possible resident rather than a tourist with the MVV. The MVV can also be used as a temporary residence permit allowing you to stay in the Netherlands while your application is pending.