Return visa

If you want to travel outside the Netherlands and your residence permit has expired, you need a return visa to return to the Netherlands.

If you are a citizen of a country with no visa requirement, you can return without a return visa to the Netherlands after a stay abroad. But if you wish, you can still apply for a return visa. You might do this, for example, because an airline or customs authorities in the Netherlands or abroad requests it.

 

Steps in the application process

Conditions

You can apply for a return visa in the following situations:

  • You have lawful residence in the Netherlands. You have, temporarily, no valid residence document or your residence document is about to expire during a stay abroad. You have submitted an application for extension, change or a regular permanent stay. The application was received by the IND and is being processed.
  • You have lawful residence in the Netherlands. You have, temporarily, no valid residence document because it has been stolen or lost. You have reported this to the police and have filed an official report.
  • You are a child born in the Netherlands. An application for a first residence permit has been submitted. The application was received by the IND and is being processed.
  • You have been given an extension on your residence permit, but the new permit is valid for less than 1 month. You will get an official decision instead of a residence document.
  • You had a valid residence permit, but it is no longer valid. You submitted an application for an extension, change or regular permanent stay within 2 years (reasonable term) after the expiry of the last residence permit. The application was received by the IND and is being processed.

Compelling reasons

In the following situations, you can only apply for a return visa if you have compelling reasons to travel abroad:

  • Your regular provisional residence permit (mvv) is no longer valid or you are exempt from the mvv requirement. You are awaiting the decision on the application for your first residence permit.
  • Your mvv is no longer valid or you are exempt from the mvv requirement. Your application for a residence permit has been rejected. You submitted an application for review or appeal and you may await this procedure in the Netherlands. The decision on the application is not expected within the validity period of a return visa.

If you invoke compelling reasons then there must be specific individual (unforeseen) circumstances. This includes the following situations: 

  • Serious illness or death of a family member (1st and 2nd degree)
  • Special family event, such as a marriage of family member (1st and 2nd degree)
  • Medical treatment for yourself
  • Business or study trip
  • Participation in excursion/work week within the framework of a training course or study
  • A minor under guardianship who goes on holiday with foster family. 

Checklist of documents

Read the checklist to see which documents you need.

1. Submit application and payment

You submit the application to an IND desk in the Netherlands. You have to make an appointment for this.

If you are already abroad when your residence permit expires or gets stolen/lost, please contact the Dutch representation in the country where you are staying. They can, if necessary, provide you with a visa to travel back to the Netherlands.

Costs

When submitting the application, you pay the costs. A return visa costs € 143. Turkish nationals and their family members pay € 41.

If you fall under one of the following categories, then you do not have to pay for a return visa:

  • You entered the Netherlands with a valid mvv, but your residence permit is not yet ready.
  • You have been given an extension on your residence permit but the new permit is valid for less than 1 month. You will get an official decision instead of a residence document.
  • You have submitted an application and the IND did not make a decision within the statutory period.
  • You have a valid diplomatic passport.
  • You are a family member of an EU/EEA citizen or Swiss citizen.
  • You have been exempted from the required fees by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
  • You are subject to the application of the Act relating to the position of the Moluccans.

2. Decision

At the IND desk there will be an immediate decision on your application. If you get a return visa, it will be as a sticker in your passport.

Steps in the application process

Conditions

Other conditions apply to persons with the nationality of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland and their family members.

You can apply for a return visa in the following situations:

  • You have lawful residence in the Netherlands. You have, temporarily, no valid residence document or your residence document is about to expire during a stay abroad. You have submitted an application for extension, change or a regular permanent stay. The application was received by the IND and is being processed.
  • You have lawful residence in the Netherlands. You have, temporarily, no valid residence document because it has been stolen or lost. You have reported this to the police and have filed an official report.
  • You are a child born in the Netherlands. An application for a first residence permit has been submitted. The application was received by the IND and is being processed.
  • You have been given an extension on your residence permit, but the new permit is valid for less than 1 month. You will get an official decision instead of a residence document.
  • You had a valid residence permit, but it is no longer valid. You submitted an application for an extension, change or regular permanent stay within 2 years (reasonable term) after the expiry of the last residence permit. The application was received by the IND and is being processed.

Compelling reasons

In the following situations, you can only apply for a return visa if you have compelling reasons to travel abroad:

  • Your regular provisional residence permit (mvv) is no longer valid or you are exempt from the mvv requirement. You are awaiting the decision on the application for your first residence permit.
  • Your mvv is no longer valid or you are exempt from the mvv requirement. Your application for a residence permit has been rejected. You submitted an application for review or appeal and you may await this procedure in the Netherlands. The decision on the application is not expected within the validity period of a return visa.

If you invoke compelling reasons then there must be specific individual (unforeseen) circumstances. This includes the following situations: 

  • Serious illness or death of a family member (1st and 2nd degree)
  • Special family event, such as a marriage of family member (1st and 2nd degree)
  • Medical treatment for yourself
  • Business or study trip
  • Participation in excursion/work week within the framework of a training course or study
  • A minor under guardianship who goes on holiday with foster family. 

Checklist of documents

Read the checklist to see which documents you need.

1. Submit application and payment

You submit the application to an IND desk in the Netherlands. You have to make an appointment for this.

If you are already abroad when your residence permit expires or gets stolen/lost, please contact the Dutch representation in the country where you are staying. They can, if necessary, provide you with a visa to travel back to the Netherlands.

Costs

When submitting the application, you pay the costs. A return visa costs € 143. Turkish nationals and their family members pay € 41.

If you fall under one of the following categories, then you do not have to pay for a return visa:

  • You entered the Netherlands with a valid mvv, but your residence permit is not yet ready.
  • You have been given an extension on your residence permit but the new permit is valid for less than 1 month. You will get an official decision instead of a residence document.
  • You have submitted an application and the IND did not make a decision within the statutory period.
  • You have a valid diplomatic passport.
  • You are a family member of an EU/EEA citizen or Swiss citizen.
  • You have been exempted from the required fees by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
  • You are subject to the application of the Act relating to the position of the Moluccans.

2. Decision

At the IND desk there will be an immediate decision on your application. If you get a return visa, it will be as a sticker in your passport.

Na uw aanvraag

Period of validity

A return visa is valid for up to 3 months, but no longer than 1 month before the expiry date of your passport.

In some cases a return visa is valid for more than 3 months:

  • You have a residence permit based on study and you are awaiting a decision on your application for extension. You are required to go abroad for a longer period of time as part of your study. The return visa is valid for a maximum of 6 months.
  • You have applied for a new residence document. Your current residence document has been stolen/lost, damaged or has wrong information on it. The return visa is valid for a maximum of 1 year.
  • You have applied for a new permanent residence permit. Your current permanent residence permit is no longer valid. A return visa is valid for a maximum of 1 year.
  • You are a Moluccan. The return visa can be valid for more than 1 year.

Traveling with a return visa

You can return to the Netherlands if you have a return visa as well as a valid passport (or other travel document).
If you have a return visa, you may also travel back to the Netherlands through other Schengen countries. This visa does not allow you to stay (e.g. for a holiday) in another Schengen country.

If you must regularly travel abroad for business, you can also get a return visa that is valid for multiple trips.

The visa sticker

The return visa is placed as a sticker in your passport. The return visa states:

  • Your V-number
  • The date on which the visa was issued.
  • Whether you can travel once (single entry) or multiple times (multiple entry) back to the Netherlands with the valid visa.
  • The expiry date of the visa. Before that date, you must have returned to the Netherlands.
  • Your passport number.

Share