• Home
  • Make an appointment for a return visa

Make an appointment for a return visa

Last check: 18-03-2021

​You are going abroad, but your residence permit is no longer valid. You may need a return visa to travel back to the Netherlands. This page explains the conditions and process to apply for a return visa.

Who is the return visa for?

You want to travel abroad. You do not currently have a valid residence permit. Or your residence permit will expire while you are abroad. You will need a return visa to travel back to the Netherlands from abroad. You can use the return visa to prove that you are allowed to be in the Netherlands.

Return visa and no visa requirement

You only need a return visa if you are subject to a visa requirement. This means that because of your nationality, you need a visa to travel to the Netherlands. Are you not subject to a visa requirement? And is your residence permit is no longer valid? Please travel back to the Netherlands during your free period. You do not need a return visa to return. Sometimes other authorities or organisations (such as an airline or customs) will nonetheless demand a return visa. Please check with the other authority or organisation before departure.

Abroad without a valid residence permit

Are you currently abroad, and is your residence permit no longer valid, or has it been stolen or lost? If so, please contact the Netherlands embassy or consulate in the country you are currently in. They can provide you with a return visa for the Netherlands.

When can I request a return visa?

You can request a return visa in the following situations:

  • You have submitted an application to extend or change your residence permit. Or an application for a permanent residence permit. You are waiting for the decision.
  • Your residence document has been lost, stolen or damaged, or contains incorrect information.
  • Your child was born in the Netherlands. You have applied for a residence permit for your child for the first time. You are waiting for the decision.
  • You have submitted an application for an EU law review for the first time. This is a request to live with your family member who is an EU, EEA or Swiss national. Read which countries are in the EU and the EEA. Or an application to live with your Dutch child who is less than 18 years of age. You are waiting for the decision. You have a 'Residence endorsement for Community nationals' ('Verblijfsaantekening voor gemeenschapsonderdanen') sticker in your passport.

When do I need an urgent reason?

You must have a urgent reason to obtain a return visa in the following situations:

  • You have applied for a residence permit for the first time. You are waiting for the decision. Your provisional residence permit (machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf - mvv) is no longer valid, or you do not need an mvv.
  • Your residence permit application was denied. You have lodged an objection or appeal. You are permitted to wait for the decision in the Netherlands. Your provisional residence permit (machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf - mvv) is no longer valid, or you do not need an mvv.

Examples of urgent reasons

Some examples of urgent reasons would be:

  • An immediate life-threatening illness or death of your biological or adoptive parent or biological or adoptive child.
  • You have a special family event, such as the marriage of a family member in the first or second degree. This means your parents, children, siblings, grandparents or grandchildren.
  • You are receiving medical treatment.
  • You must travel for your studies or business.
  • You must attend a field trip/working week for training or studies.
  • You are in foster care and are under 18 years of age. You are going on holiday with your foster family.

Make an IND service desk appointment

To apply for a return visa, you must make an appointment with a Netherlands Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) service desk.

You must apply yourself at the IND service desk. Children under 18 years of age must apply for their return visas along with a parent or legal representative.

Online appointment

Are you unable to come to the appointment? Please, cancel your appointment via the link in the e-mail conforming your appointment.

Appointment with Expat Centre Maastricht Region

Do you live in Limburg? You may be able to make an appointment with the Expat Centra Maastricht Region.

Documents you need

You must bring the following documents to the appointment:

  • Your valid passport (or other travel document)
  • Your appointment code. This is in the email you receive after making the appointment online.
  • Your (valid or invalid) residence permit. If your residence permit lost or stolen, report this to the police. You will receive a police report. Bring this to your appointment.
  • If you have an urgent reason to request a return visa, you must bring documents proving that you have an urgent reason to travel.

Cost return visa

A return visa costs € 161.

The fee for Turkish nationals and their family members is € 47.

You must pay the fee for your return visa application at the IND service desk. You must pay with cash or debit card. Payment by credit card is not possible.

No fee

You do not have to pay for a return visa in the following situations:

  • You came to the Netherlands with a valid provisional residence permit (mvv), but your residence permit is not ready yet.
  • You have received a residence permit extension. The extension is valid for less than 1 month. For this reason, you did not receive a residence document.
  • You have submitted an application. The statutory period has ended and the IND has not yet issued a decision. Read more on the decision period for your application with the IND.
  • You have a valid diplomatic passport.
  • You have a family member who is an EU, EEA or Swiss national. Read which countries are in the EU and the EEA. A family member of a Dutch national normally must pay for a return visa.
  • The Minister for Foreign Affairs has said that you do not need to pay any fees.
  • You fall under the Moluccan Status Act ('Wet betreffende de positie van Molukkers').

Decision on your application

The IND will assess your application during the meeting. The decision will be either positive or negative. If it is positive, the employee will apply a return visa in your passport. The start date of the visa will be that same day. If the decision is negative, you will not receive a return visa.

Returning with your return visa

You can travel back to the Netherlands with a return visa and a valid passport (or other travel document). With the return visa, you can travel through other Schengen countries. This is permitted during both the outbound trip and the return trip. You do not need any additional visa or permit for this. A return visa does not allow you to stay in another Schengen country, such as on holiday.

Validity return visa 

A return visa is valid for up to 3 months. If your passport will expire before your return visa, your return visa will be valid until 1 month before the date when your passport will expire.

A return visa is valid for longer than 3 months in the following situations:

  • You are waiting for a decision on your application to extend your residence permit for the purposes of study. You must remain abroad longer for your studies. The return visa is valid for up to 6 months.
  • You have applied for a new permanent residence document. Your current permanent residence document is no longer valid. The visa is valid for up to 12 months.
  • You are Moluccan. The visa can be issued for 12 months or more.

What details appear on a return visa?

The return visa is a sticker. It shows the following information:

  • Your Foreign National ID No ('V-number')
  • The date the visa was issued
  • Whether you can enter the Netherlands just once (single-entry) or more than once (multiple-entry) with the valid visa.
  • The end date of the visa. You must be back in the Netherlands before this date.
  • Your passport number

Rules and regulations

Go straight to

Responsible

Immigration and Naturalisation Service

Questions?