Traveling to Rotterdam: do I need a visa to stay in Holland?

When you’re traveling to another country one of the first things you should do is to find out if you need a visa. You might be traveling to Rotterdam for a short or long term to get to know this city or to view apartments before you start living here. When traveling to the Netherlands, weather this is for short term or long term, work or pleasure, there are a few type of visas and permits you should keep in mind.


Work permit Netherlands

If you want to work in the Netherlands (for more than 90 days) you need to apply for a residence permit. The type of application you need depends on your nationality and on why you are moving to the Netherlands. This can vary from family reasons, studies, work or other reasons. Choose wisely since this influences which permit you need and will submit.

Visas for the Netherlands

Schengen, short stay or tourist visa for stays up to 90 days

The Netherlands is part of the ‘Schengen Area’. This is a group of 25 countries with open border controls. When you’re staying in the Netherlands for a maximum of 90 days then you should check if you are allowed to stay in one of the Schengen countries without a visa for 90 days. Is your country not on this list? Then you may have to apply for a visa. See if your country is on the list:
https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/documents/publications/2017/01/01/list-of-countries-whose-nationals-need-or-do-not-need-a-schengen-visa-en

Transit visa for transfers at Dutch airports

When international airport passengers make a stopover at an airport in the Netherlands, the transit visa allows you to transfer at the airport in the Netherlands to a country outside the Schengen Area. Note that you are not allowed to enter the Netherlands or another Schengen country. This means you are not permitted to leave the airport.


Return visa

Internationals that live in Holland but need to travel abroad for an urgent reason and don’t have a valid residence permit, can apply for a return visa. This visa gives you permission to leave the country and legally re-enter Holland Reasons for leaving the country abruptly can vary from a family wedding, to illness or death. This visa applies to those whose residence permit is lost, stolen or in progress.


MVV authorization for temporary stay for some nationalities who want to apply for a residence permit.

If you want to come to the Netherlands and stay for more than three months while you are awaiting your residence visa, you need to apply for an MVV (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf) authorization for temporary stay. You can see this visa as a provisional residence permit.

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