Where and how to apply for a Schengen visa
In general, if you need a Schengen visa you must submit your application to the embassy or consulate of the Schengen state you intend to visit.
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Visiting more than 1 Schengen State
If you intend to visit more than 1 Schengen state, you should submit your application to the embassy or consulate of the Schengen state that will be your main destination.
If you intend to spend an equal length of time in several Schengen states, you should submit your application to the embassy or consulate of the Schengen state that you will arrive in first.
Visiting the Netherlands
If the Netherlands is your main destination, you must submit your application to a Dutch embassy or consulate.
In general, you must submit your application to the Dutch embassy or consulate in the country where you legally reside.
If there is no Dutch embassy or consulate in the country where you legally reside, you can submit your application to another Schengen state’s embassy or consulate. To find out which embassy or consulate you must apply to, click here.
If there is no Dutch embassy or consulate and there are no visa representation arrangements with an embassy or consulate of another Schengen State, you should submit your application to a Dutch embassy or consulate in a nearby country.
Applying for a Schengen visa
A Schengen visa application must be submitted at least 15 working days before the intended visit. In general, an application cannot be submitted more than 3 months before departure.
If you wish to apply for a Schengen visa, you will need to:
- Provide a passport or other travel document with at least two empty visa pages. The passport or travel document should have been issued within the last 10 years. It must be valid for at least three months beyond the date on which you intend to leave the Schengen Area.
- Provide a completed and signed Schengen visa application form.
Any person also travelling on your travel document must have a separate application form. Forms for children under 18 years old must be signed by a parent or guardian.
- Provide a photo that meets Dutch requirements.
- In the countries where the Visa Information System has been rolled out, your fingerprints will be taken when you submit your application. Specific categories of applicants, such as children under 12 years old, are exempted from this requirement.
- Pay a visa fee when you submit your application.
- Pay a service fee if you submit your application at the offices of an external service provider.
For detailed information about the supporting documents needed to assess your Schengen visa application, click the link ‘Apply for your visa’ on the right of this page.
As a general rule, a decision will be taken on your application within 15 calendar days.
This period may, in individual cases, extend to 30 days and, in exceptional cases, 60 days, if a more detailed assessment of your application and/or additional documents are required.
Some Schengen states require that they be consulted on visa applications submitted to other Schengen states by nationals of certain countries. The consultation process may take up to seven calendar days. Consultation is currently required for nationals of the countries listed here.
Likewise, a Schengen state may also request to be informed when a visa has been issued to nationals of the countries listed here.
When processing your Schengen visa application, the Schengen Information System (SIS II) will be consulted. The Schengen Information System is an information system developed to protect the Schengen Area, combat crime and circulate alerts about wanted or missing people.
Entry and stay in the Schengen Area
A short-stay Schengen visa does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen Area. At border controls or during other checks you may, for instance, have to provide information on your means of support, how long you intend to stay and the purpose of your visit.
You should also be able to prove you have sufficient funds for the duration of your stay in the Schengen Area. In the Netherlands this is a minimum of €34 per person per day.
In some cases, such checks may result in the visa holder being refused entry into the Schengen state or Schengen Area.
You are therefore advised to carry copies of the documents you submitted when you applied for the visa (e.g. letters of invitation, travel confirmations, health insurance and any other documents stating the purpose of your stay). This will help make the border control procedure easier and avoid delays.