Schengen visa (Short Stay visa, VKV)
Depending on your nationality, you might need an entry visa in order to enter the Netherlands. For stays of up to 90 days, this entry visa is called a Schengen visa, and is also referred to as short stay visa or VKV.
Check the visa wizard to find out if you need a Schengen visa.
A Schengen visa is sometimes referred to as a tourist visa. This is not entirely correct, as the visa will always be issued for a particular purpose of stay. “Tourism” is one possible purpose of stay, but so is “business” or “study”.
The Schengen visa will usually allow you to travel throughout all countries in the Schengen area. Sometimes the visa might be limited to a single country (i.e. the Netherlands). In that case, the Schengen visa will only allow you to travel to and through that particular country.
Please bear in mind that your stay in the Schengen area is limited to a maximum of 90 days within a period of 180 days. This means that from the moment you enter the Schengen area (day 1) you can only spend a total of 90 days in Schengen. If you spend that period in one go, you will need to leave Schengen. However, if you can also spend it in portions divided over the 180 days. As long as you do not exceed to total of 90 days, this is in line with your visa.
The European Commission has put a Schengen calculator on its website, where you can calculate if your total number of stay days is still within the 90 days.
A Schengen visa is a sticker in your passport. The sticker will mention information such as the expiry date of the visa, the maximum number of days you are allowed to stay, and the countries you have been granted access to.
Multiple Schengen visa
Sometimes a Schengen visa is awarded for two or more periods of 180 days. The owner is still only allowed to reside 90 days within 180 days in the Schengen area. Due to good travel behaviour in the past, such a multiple visa can be awarded.
Where to apply?
You must apply for a Schengen visa in person. It is not possible to authorize somebody else to apply on your behalf. You apply for this visa at a Dutch embassy or consulate, or if there is none in your country of residence, you can turn to another Schengen representative post.
If you are residing outside of your home country, you may also apply at a Dutch post of the country where you have lawful residence. This means that you have a valid residence permit for that country.
Find out where the nearest Dutch embassy or consulate is located on the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Visiting more than one country
It may be that you also need to travel to another Schengen country apart from the Netherlands. In that case, you must apply for the visa at the embassy or consulate of the country where you are planning to stay the longest. For example, you intend to spend two weeks in the Netherlands and four weeks in France. In that case, you apply for the visa at the French embassy. It does not matter which country you will visit first, or which country is your point of entry in the Schengen area.
How long does it take?
The application procedure for a Schengen visa may take anything from a few days to around two months. It would be wise to start the procedure as soon as you have assembled all the necessary documents.