Skip to main content
Living in Europe, Working in EuropeEntry conditions/visasNetherlands



Depending on your nationality you might need a visa to cross the border into the Netherlands or into the Schengen area (which comprises of many European countries).

There are three types of visa:

A return visa allows you to re-enter The Netherlands. You might need a return visa when you don't have a valid residence permit (yet).

Imagine: you have applied for a residence permit or an extension of your residence permit, but your permit has not yet been issued. However, you have planned to go on a holiday to visit your family. If you leave now, how can you be sure that you can enter the country again? In certain cases a return visa (in Dutch: terugkeervisum) can offer a solution. 

A return visa gives you the right to re-enter the Netherlands when you are not able to prove that you have lawful residence in the Netherlands. This means that not everyone needs a return visa.

You don’t need a return visa if:

  • your nationality doesn’t require a short stay visa: in that case you only need a valid passport; or
  • if you already have a residence permit: you can then re-enter as long as your residence permit is valid.

To read more about the conditions and requirements of a return visa and how to apply for one, visit this website: Appointment return visa | Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)