As of July 1st 2020 the entry conditions for the Netherlands have been adjusted, please consult/visit below website continuously for the latest updates:

https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/travel-and-residence/visas-for-the-netherlands/qas-travel-restrictions-for-the-netherlands

1. What does the new policy entail?

Two lists (see below) are applicable as of 1 July 2020:

  1. A list of countries for which the travel ban has been lifted. Residents of these countries can regain access to Europe (all EU and Schengen Member States and the UK), regardless of the purpose of travel.
  2. A list of countries for which the travel ban has not been lifted. Residents of these countries cannot access Europe (all EU and Schengen Member States and the UK) unless they fall under one of the exception categories (see below).

Please note:

  • This explicitly concerns residents of countries, not nationals. E.g. an American (US on the list of countries for which the travel ban has not been lifted) resident in Australia (list of countries for which the travel ban has been lifted) is allowed to travel to Europe.
  • Residents of the countries on both lists are able to show a health certificate as a condition for entering the Netherlands.
  • These lists are drawn up on the basis of objective health criteria.
  • These lists are not final: every two weeks a review is carried out to see whether they are still up to date. If the health situation in a country on the list for which the travel ban has been lifted deteriorates, it may go to the list of countries for which the travel ban has not been lifted and vice versa. In the event of a rapid deterioration in the health situation, there is an emergency braking procedure whereby residents of that country can be quickly denied access to Europe.
  • EU citizens and people with a residence status in a Schengen country can travel freely within and to Europe again without giving any reason.
  • However, Member States are free to restrict the list of countries for which the travel ban has been lifted and thus to keep their borders closed to (some of) these third countries.
  • Member States cannot give access to countries that are on the list of countries for which the travel ban has not been lifted.
  • The Netherlands has decided not to exercise the right to be more restrictive and to open the borders as of 1 July 2020 for residents of all countries on the list for which the travel ban has been lifted. China is an exception: the Dutch borders will open again to the Chinese if the Chinese borders open to the Dutch.

2. For which countries is the travel ban lifted as from 1 July 2020?

Currently, for the following countries only:

Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and China*.

* The condition of reciprocity explicitly applies to China: the EU will only open to China if China opens to EU citizens

Member States ultimately determine how they implement the lifting of the travel ban for listed countries. It is therefore important that visa applicants inform themselves about the possibilities to travel within the Schengen area before traveling.

3. Are there exception categories/people exempt from the travel ban if residing in a country for which the travel ban has not been lifted?

The travel restriction does not apply to the following categories of persons:

  • EU citizens (including UK nationals) and members of their families*
  • Nationals of Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and their family members*
  • Third-country nationals holding a residence card or a residence permit in accordance with Directive 2003/109/EC (LTR Directive)
  • Third-country nationals who derive their right of residence from other European Directives or from the national law of a Member State
  • Holders of a long-stay visa, including persons with a temporary residence permit (MVV)
  • Other persons with an essential function or need, including:
    • Personnel working in Health Care
    • Border workers
    • Persons employed in the transport of goods and other transport personnel, to the extent necessary, this includes container ships, bulk carriers (e.g. ore or coal), tankers (fuels and chemicals), fisheries, persons employed in the energy sector, i.e. oil and gas platforms and wind farms as well as offshore companies providing services to this sector, and flight crew
    • Seafarers in the possession of a seaman’s book (please note: this does not include seafarers on commercial yaughts and pleasure boating)
    • Diplomats
    • Military personnel
    • Personnel of international and humanitarian organizations
    • Persons who have compelling reasons to visit their families; An exceptional case is visiting a terminally ill family member and attending a funeral. It is intended for first-degree and second-degree family members. Partner and children are first-degree and grandchildren are second-degree.
    • Transit passengers who wish to travel via the Netherlands to another third country (non-EU) and who do not leave the international transit zone of the airport
    • Persons in need of international protection; the border procedure applies in full
    • Persons who are admitted for humanitarian reasons
    • Students
    • Knowledge migrants.

* Who is considered family? Children, spouse, registered partner or partner with proof of cohabitation of at least 6 months so that there is proof of a durable and exclusive relationship. The latter must be demonstrable by means of a notarial deed (cohabitation contract or in Dutch “samenlevingscontract”) or a house lease or purchase agreement.

4. Is there an urgent advice for home quarantine?

  1. The countries for which the travel ban is lifted have a better or equivalent health situation than EU Member States with regard to Covid-19. When someone from one of these countries enters the Netherlands, there is therefore currently no urgent advice for home quarantine.
  2. Travelers from countries that are not on the EU safe list can only travel to the EU if they fall under one of the exception categories of the travel ban. An urgent 14-day home quarantine advice applies, also to Dutch nationals, permit holders and long- term residents who return from these countries.

    Excluded from urgent advice to home quarantine are: healthcare professionals (including medical researchers and elderly care staff), border workers, transportation personnel, diplomats, personnel from international organizations and individuals invited by international organizations, individuals traveling for necessary family reasons, military personnel personnel, humanitarian workers, civil protection personnel, passengers in transit and seafarers.

5. Is a health certificate and mask required on entry?

Passengers on all inbound and outbound flights must complete a statement with questions about health concerns appropriate to COVID-19. In addition, a health check must be performed by airline personnel upon check-in and before entering the aircraft.

The Netherlands makes the wearing of a non-medical mask mandatory for passengers on the plane and at the Dutch airports during check-in, security and border processes and boarding.

It is of course important that persons traveling to the Netherlands are aware of and comply with the Dutch rules aimed at combating the virus. This information will be available in five languages and will be actively promoted through reporting at airports, stations and the information channels of the hospitality industry and sister organizations abroad.

6. How does the Netherlands implement the lifting of the travel ban?

On 30 June 2020 the Netherlands government decided to adopt the recommendations and to open the borders for residents of all countries on the list for which the travel ban is lifted from 1 July 2020.

It is of course important that persons traveling from these countries to the Netherlands are also aware of and comply with the Dutch rules aimed at combating the virus. This information will be available in five languages and will be actively promoted through reporting at airports, stations and the information channels of the hospitality industry and sister organizations abroad.

7. What does the new travel ban policy mean for the Schengen visa policy?

In countries that are on the list for which the travel ban has been lifted, the Netherlands will soon issue visas again. However, this will not be as of 1 July 2020 as it will take time to restart visa operations.

Should the travel ban be reinstated for a country, the (previously issued) visa will not be valid for residents of that country during the period the travel ban applies to that country which means travelers from that country would then be refused at the border, unless they fall under one of the exemption categories of the travel ban.

Please note:

  • A visa does not confer a right to admission to the Schengen zone, but is only a condition for admission. At the border it will be verified if the conditions for admission are met.
  • In addition, each Member State can use the list of countries for which the entry ban is lifted, in a more restrictive way. It is therefore extra important that visa applicants inform themselves about the possibilities to travel within the Schengen area before traveling.

8. Does this mean that the Netherlands travel advice is automatically adapted to the EU list of safe countries for which the entry ban has been lifted?

Entry from the above countries is considered safe by the Netherlands. However, this does not automatically mean that unnecessary travel to these countries is recommended. Decisions on this are made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the basis of a set of criteria, which go beyond health criteria alone.

If the borders of a country are open to Dutch tourists and no quarantine measures apply when entering that country, the travel advice can change from “orange” (not necessarily travel) to “yellow” (note safety risks). At that time, the advice is that travel is also possible for tourist purposes.

Countries that were already in orange or red on the basis of the security situation will of course not be scaled if the above conditions are met.

9. What do the travel restrictions mean for me as a traveler?

On 30 June 2020 the Netherlands government decided to open the borders for residents of all countries on the list for which the travel ban is lifted from 1 July 2020 with China having the reciprocity requirement (see above).

For all other countries a restriction on all non-essential travel of persons to Europe applies (all EU Member States, all members of Schengen and the UK) with the aim of preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This means that persons who do not fall under the exemption category (see above) of the travel ban cannot enter the Netherlands and that they will be refused entry.

10. I am a foreigner and have a tourist visa for the Netherlands, can I enter?

As a foreigner, you can travel to the Netherlands from the countries for which the travel ban is lifted from 1 July, also if you hold a tourist visa.

For all other countries a restriction on all non-essential travel of persons to Europe applies (all EU Member States, all members of Schengen and the UK) with the aim of preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This means that persons who do not fall under the exemption category of the travel ban cannot enter the Netherlands and that they will be refused entry.

In view of the above, you will in that case be refused entry under Article 6 of the Schengen Code paragraph 1 under e.

11. I am a foreigner, but I am exempt from visa for entering the Netherlands, can I come to the Netherlands?

As a foreigner not subject to Schengen visa requirements, you can travel to the Netherlands without a visa from the countries for which the travel ban is lifted from 1 July 2020.

For all other countries a restriction on all non-essential travel of persons to Europe applies (all EU Member States, all members of Schengen and the UK) with the aim of preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This means that persons who do not fall under the exemption category of the travel ban cannot enter the Netherlands and that they will be refused entry.

In view of the above, you will in that case be refused entry under Article 6 of the Schengen Code paragraph 1 under e.

12. I fall into the category of exceptions, I need a visa. Can I apply for a visa?

In countries for which the travel ban has not been lifted, one can only apply for a short stay visa at an embassy under certain circumstances. Check the website for short stay visas for the terms and conditions. The regular visa conditions for an application apply.

13. Until when does the restriction apply to travel to the Netherlands from countries for which the travel ban has not been lifted?

The new policy has no expiration date and is therefore valid until further notice.

Please Note: the lists are not final; every two weeks a review is carried out to see whether they are still up to date and the lists may be adapted to the developments of the health situation. In the event of a rapid deterioration in the health situation in a given country, there is an emergency braking procedure whereby residents of that country can be denied access to Europe on a very short notice.

14. I still have a valid Schengen visa, can I enter the Netherlands?

If it concerns a non-essential trip from countries for which the travel ban has not been lifted and you are not covered by the exceptions, you will be refused entry under Article 6 of the Schengen Code paragraph 1 under e.

15. I have a transit visa. Can I travel via Schiphol?

Yes, if you are in possession of a travel ticket to a third (non-EU) country, you can travel via Schiphol to a third country, provided you will not leave the international transit zone of the airport.

16. I have an MVV. Can I travel to the Netherlands?

Yes, you fall into the exception category, you can – if possible – travel to the Netherlands, and you will have access.

17. As a citizen of the US, Australia and Canada and some other nationalities* I am not MVV compliant. Can I travel to the Netherlands?

  • If you are a resident and travelling from a country on the EU list of safe countries yes, provided you can show the approval letter of the IND and a health certificate.
  • If you are a resident and you are travelling from a country that is not yet on the EU list of safe countries, you will only be admitted to the Netherlands with an IND approval letter for MVV study or MVV knowledge migrant (including accompanying family members in possession of a derived residence status).

Via IATA TIMATIC the air carriers are informed that the IND letter of notification for these categories is sufficient for travel and admission to the Netherlands. However, the IND has indicated that this only applies to direct flights to the Netherlands. Other (transit) countries may not accept this proof.

If you are not accepted on the flight by an airline because the (Dutch) IND notification is not sufficient to prove that you fall under the exemption category, please contact the IND border office by e-mail: vragengrenskantoor@ind.nl (only reachable on working days during Dutch office hours, therefore be advised to check well before your departure!).

* please check the webpage Staying in the Netherlands for longer than 90 days (long-stay visa)

18. I have compelling reasons to visit my family members in the Netherlands, when do I fall under the exceptions?

As regards the category of persons traveling for necessary family circumstances from countries for which the travel ban has not been lifted, this concerns traveling in exceptional cases. An exceptional case is visiting a terminally ill family member or attending a funeral.

It is intended for 1st and 2nd degree family members. This includes the partner and the children in the 1st degree and the grandchildren in the 2nd degree.

19. Can I determine in advance whether I fall into an exception category?

No, this is not possible. The border guard will determine whether the exception applies to you. We therefore recommend that you travel well documented. In case you have questions, please contact the IND.

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