Departure to Amsterdam

Passport, Visa & Permits to Amsterdam

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There are different visa requirements for people of different countries. For EU members and international guests of certain countries a tourist visa is NOT required if the duration of stay is less than three months. Guests from all other countries need to get a tourist visa before they leave for the Netherlands. For more information on who requires visa and the process involved, please click here:

Once you have entered the Netherlands on a tourist visa it is NOT possible to change your status as a tourist and to obtain a Residence Permit. All international guests must report to a police station (the Aliens Department) within 8 days of arrival in the Netherlands

Visa Types

Below is a brief guide to the various types of visa available for the Netherlands. For a more complete and comprehensive guide, please click here.

  • A-Visa: Transit visa for airports.
    This visa allows residents from some countries to transit in the Netherlands on their journey forward to another county. This type of visa does not give you the right to get into the country. You need this transit visa if you are a national from; Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Congo (Democratic Republic), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Sri Lanka.
  • B-Visa: Travel through visa for a maximum of 5 days.
    This visa is intended for those whose final destination is not within the Schengen area, but are travelling through it. It gives you the right to enter for a maximum period of 5 days.
  • C-Visa: Short stay visa for a maximum of 3 months.
    You can obtain this visa for a number of reasons including holiday, tourism, business, friend/family visit or participation in congresses/sporting events. This visa is valid for a maximum stay of 3 months within a 6 month period. You cannot apply for a residency or work permit with this type of visa.
  • D-Visa: Permission for temporary stay longer than 3 months, MVV
    The MVV ( Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf) is a visa/permit for a period of 3 months to a maximum of 1 year, after which it can be renewed without leaving the country. You need to have an MVV if you want to apply for a residency or work permit. You could need to take an Immigration and Citizenship Exam (Inburgeringscursus) at the Dutch embassy in your home country before you leave for the Netherlands.

The work permit for foreign nationals

EU citizens

People from another EU country do not need a work permit to be able to work in the Netherlands. This includes people from a European Economic Area country.

EU/EER countries are: the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Greece, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Cyprus, Malta (allowed to work) 

New EU countries since 2004 are: Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Czech and Slovakia. (allowed to work since 1 May 2007). There are however restrictions on citizens from Bulgaria and Romania working in the Netherlands. Please contact the IND website for more information (

Non-EU citizens

There are only two ways for a non-EU citizen to get a work permit:

The first way is to apply directly to companies. If the company would like to hire you, then they will start the permit process for you. There is however a long process involved. First, the company has to prove that it is in their best interest to hire you above all other Dutch and EU candidates. Next, they also have to prove that the job has been advertised for at least six weeks. They also need to confirm that they have interviewed Dutch and EU candidates but still think that you were the best person for the job. If you obtain a work permit through a company, this work permit is bound to the company. If you stop working for that company, the permit will no longer be valid.

The second way of getting a work permit is to have a Dutch or EU partner. Your partner must be living and working in the Netherlands and be willing to sponsor you. i.e. they agree to be financially responsible for you while you are looking for a job or if you happen to lose one. The two of you must prove that you are in a relationship and that you live together. If the relationship should end or one of you should move out, the permit will no longer be valid.

For more information, please log onto

Update 8/06/2012


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