Business visit

You wish to stay in the Netherlands for a maximum of 90 days for business purposes. You generally need a visa for this. It depends on your nationality if you need a visa.
If  you wish to extend or change your visa  please click on "Further applications"  below.

Other rules apply if you have the nationality of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland.

 

Steps in the application process

Conditions

You need a visa for your stay in the Netherlands. More information on which documents are required when applying for a visa can be found in the checklist. 

In addition, you must comply with the following conditions:

  • You have a valid travel document, for example a passport. The travel document still has to be valid for 3 months after the end of the visa period. It can also not be older than 10 years.
  • You are not a threat to public order, national security or the international relations of one of the Schengen countries.
  • You have a business purpose with an economic interest for the Netherlands. Examples of business purposes include:
    • Meeting or training at a business unit established in the Netherlands.
    • Purchase and sale of products, business transactions and tenders.
    • Attending an exhibition, conference or seminar.
    • Taking part in a cultural or sports event.
    • Diplomatic visit (diplomats).
    • Political visit.
    • Work placement or study (less than 90 days)
  • You are invited by a company or an organiser in the Netherlands (such as a foundation, a volunteer organisation, sports association, organiser of an exhibition, church or government institution). The inviting party does not have to be established in the Netherlands, the invitation may then come from a company from a different country. The Netherlands does have to be the travel purpose.
  • You have sufficient financial means to do business in the Netherlands and also for the stay in the Netherlands, the transit and/or the return trip:
    • The company abroad (who you are working for) sets out in an invitation letter who is responsible for which costs (plane ticket, hotel, transportation, medical insurance); or
    • You have at least € 34 per person per day for the duration of your stay in the Netherlands.
  • You have taken out a travel medical insurance in your name. The insurance covers at least € 30,000 for medical expenses in the Netherlands/Schengen area.
  • You have sufficient reasons to return to your country of origin or residence. For example, because you have work, (school-aged) children or your own home there. Only having a return ticket is not enough.

 

Checklist

What documents do you need?

  • A valid travel document, for example a passport.
  • 2 passport photos. The passport photos must meet the Dutch passport photo requirements. You can find these at the website of the Government of the Netherlands] .
  • Supporting documents that show your travel purpose: An original, signed invitation letter from a company or organisation in the Netherlands. This is a free-format letter, however it must be printed on the letter paper of the company or organisation. A small company may also use the form Proof of sponsorship and/or private accommodation.
    The invitation letter must at least have the following information:
    • Your personal details (name, date of birth, passport number).
    • The reason why you are invited (travel purpose).
    • The period you are expected to be in the Netherlands, including arrival and departure date.
    • Information on who is responsible for which costs (plane ticket, hotel, transportation, medical insurance).
    • Information on where you are staying during the short stay in the Netherlands.
    • A mention if the company or organisation will ensure your timely return to your country of origin or residence.
  • Documentary evidence that shows that the company you work for has sufficient financial means to do business in the Netherlands and also for the stay in the Netherlands, the transit and/or the return trip. For example:
    • A statement (or a mention in the invitation letter) of the company abroad that they will pay for all the expenses of your journey to and stay in the Netherlands.
    • Proof of business done before or pro forma invoices.
    • Entry in the Commercial Register abroad.
    • Proof of sufficient means to pay for business transactions and tenders.
    • Copies of bank statements of the last 6 months showing that you have sufficient means.
    • Proof of tax payment.
  • A copy of the proof of a travel medical insurance. You have to show this document when you submit the application or when you collect the visa. This depends on the Dutch representation you apply your visa to.
  • Documentary evidence that show you have a job in the country of origin or residence. For example: an employer's declaration and/or employment contract.
  • An option on or a (provisional) reservation of a return ticket. You generally show this when you collect the visa.

The Dutch representation may ask to see more documents.

You have to have all official foreign documents legalised or stamped with an Apostille and translated into Dutch, German, English or French.

1. Submit application and payment

​You apply for a visa to the Dutch representation in your own country (country of origin). Or, in the country you are living in with a valid residence permit (country of residence). You can  submit the visa application no sooner than 3 months before you wish to travel to the Netherlands.

You always have to apply for a visa in person. It is not possible for someone else to apply for a visa on your behalf. This means that you always have to go to the Dutch representation yourself.

In some cases, you have to submit the visa application to an external agency: the external service provider (EDV). This agency accepts the application and forwards it to the Dutch representation for the assessment.

In that case, apart from the costs of a visa application, you almost always pay an additional sum to the external service provider.

Please keep in mind that a visa application takes a lot of time. Therefore, apply for this on time. Never finalise the booking until you are certain you will get the visa.

Costs of the application

The application for a short-stay visa costs money. And sometimes you will have to pay external service providers as well.

2. Assesment of the application

The visa application is generally handled by one of the Regional Support Offices (RSO) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Some of the larger foreign representations handle the visa applications themselves.

The application is sometimes put before the Visa Service of the IND. The Visa Service then gives its recommendation to the RSO that ultimately makes the decision. 

If you wish to know the status of your application, please contact the Dutch representation where the application has been submitted

3. Decision

The RSO checks to see whether you meet all the conditions. The RSO has to make a decision within a period of 15 days. The period for making a decision may be extended up to 30 days if the application is put before the IND.

  • Negative decision

    If you do not meet the conditions, you will not get a visa. This decision is given in the formal decision. You can apply for a reviewof this decision or submit a new application.

  • Positive decision

    If you meet all the conditions, you will get a short-stay visa.

4. Collect short-stay visa

You can collect the visa at the Dutch representation where you submitted the application. A short-stay visa is a type C visa. It is placed as a sticker in your passport.

You may be checked again when you enter the Netherlands. The IND therefore recommends for you to bring with you all the information and documents you needed for the visa application.

Validity visa (with short-stay calculator)

A short-stay visa is valid for up to 90 days. You will get the visa for the number of days that you indicated on your application.

The short-stay visa (type C) states:

  • The starting date of the visa's validity (as of that day you may travel to the Schengen Area).
  • The number of days you are allowed in the Schengen Area.
  • The end date of the visa's validity (as of that day you must have left the Schengen Area).
  • Whether you can travel once (single entry) or several times (multiple entry) to the Schengen Area with the valid visa.

Duration of stay

You can apply for a short-stay visa for one journey ('single entry'-visa) or for more journeys ('multiple entry'-visa). Both visa allow you to stay up to 90 days, within a 180-day period, in the Netherlands or another country in the Schengen area.

The  short-stay calculator  on the website of the European Commission helps you calculate how many days you can still stay in the Schengen area after your entry. You can also use this calculator to plan your trip. The calculator is in the text under 'Harmonising rules and procedures'.

Right to work

If you wish to work in the Netherlands during your short stay, your employer may need to have a work permit. Your employer has to apply this to UWV

You may also need to have a BSN number. The municipality issues these numbers when you enlist in the Register of Non-Residents (RNI). For more information please check the website of the municipality where you live/work or www.government.nl.​

Entry ban

After the period of validity of your visa has ended you have to leave the Netherlands and the Schengen Area. If you fail to do so, you may get an entry ban for Europe. This does not apply to EU/EEA citizens and their family members.​

Further applications (extend or change)

Extend Schengen visa

Only in very exceptional circumstances may you extend your Schengen visa or permit-exempt term. For example, when you are incapable of leaving the Netherlands due to a serious illness or due to circumstances beyond your control. You can extend your visa or permit-exempt term up to 90 days at the most. Your total stay may not exceed 90 days. You must also have enough money to support yourself. To apply for this, you must first make an appointment with an IND Desk.

Change single-entry to multiple-entry

You travelled to the Netherlands with a single-entry visa. You wish to change this to a multiple-entry visa. To apply for this, you must first make an appointment with an IND Desk

Steps in the application process

Conditions

You must comply with the following conditions:

  • You have a valid travel document, for example a passport. The travel document still has to be valid for 3 months after the end of the visa period. It can also not be older than 10 years.
  • You are not a threat to public order, national security or the international relations of one of the Schengen countries.
  • You have a business purpose with an economic interest for the Netherlands. Examples of business purposes include:
    • Meeting or training at a business unit established in the Netherlands.
    • Purchase and sale of products, business transactions and tenders.
    • Attending an exhibition, conference or seminar.
    • Taking part in a cultural or sports event.
    • Diplomatic visit (diplomats).
    • Political visit.
    • Work placement or study (less than 90 days)
  • You are invited by a company or an organiser in the Netherlands (such as a foundation, a volunteer organisation, sports association, organiser of an exhibition, church or government institution). The inviting party does not have to be established in the Netherlands, the invitation may then come from a company from a different country. The Netherlands does have to be the travel purpose.
  • You have sufficient financial means to do business in the Netherlands and also for the stay in the Netherlands, the transit and/or the return trip:
    • The company abroad (who you are working for) sets out in an invitation letter who is responsible for which costs (plane ticket, hotel, transportation, medical insurance); or
    • You have at least € 34 per person per day for the duration of your stay in the Netherlands.
  • You have taken out a travel medical insurance in your name. The insurance covers at least € 30,000 for medical expenses in the Netherlands/Schengen area.
  • You have sufficient reasons to return to your country of origin or residence. For example, because you have work, (school-aged) children or your own home there. Only having a return ticket is not enough.

Checklist

Even though you do not need a visa, you may checked at the border by the Aliens Police (AVIM) to see if you meet the conditions for entry and stay in the Netherlands. They could ask you for the following documents: 

  • A valid travel document, for example a passport.
  • Supporting documents that show your travel purpose: An original, signed invitation letter from a company or organisation in the Netherlands. This is a free-format letter, however it must be printed on the letter paper of the company or organisation. A small company may also use the form Proof of sponsorship and/or private accommodation.
    The invitation letter must at least have the following information:
    • Your personal details (name, date of birth, passport number).
    • The reason why you are invited (travel purpose).
    • The period you are expected to be in the Netherlands, including arrival and departure date.
    • Information on who is responsible for which costs (plane ticket, hotel, transportation, medical insurance).
    • Information on where you are staying during the short stay in the Netherlands.
    • A mention if the company or organisation will ensure your timely return to your country of origin or residence.
  • Documentary evidence that show that the company you work for has sufficient financial means to do business in the Netherlands and also for the stay in the Netherlands, the transit and/or the return trip. For example:
    • A statement (or a mention in the invitation letter) of the company abroad that they will pay for all the expenses of your journey to and stay in the Netherlands.
    • Proof of business done before or pro forma invoices.
    • Entry in the Commercial Register abroad.
    • Proof of sufficient means to pay for business transactions and tenders.
    • Copies of bank statements of the last 6 months showing that you have sufficient means.
    • Proof of tax payment.
  • A copy of the proof of a travel medical insurance.
  • Documentary evidence that show you have a job in the country of origin or residence. For example: an employer's declaration and/or employment contract.
  • An option on or a (provisional) reservation of a return ticket.

Period of stay (with short-stay calculator)

You are allowed to stay up to 90 days within each 180-day period in the Netherlands or another country in the Schengen area.

The 90 days can be spread over 180 days, but these can also be used all at once. If you stay 90 days in a row in the Netherlands, you must then first stay outside the Schengen area for the following 90 days. Only then can you again make use of a new permit-exempt term of 90 days to travel to the Netherlands or the Schengen Area.

Example:
If you wish to enter the Netherlands on 20 October 2016, your travel document will be checked for Schengen check-in/check-exit stamps within the 180 days immediately prior to 20 October 2016, in this case until 24 April 2016. If you have not stayed in the Schengen Area in the 90 days before that date (in this example the period from 23 July 2016 to 20 October 2016) a new visa can be issued for a period of 90 days. If you have stayed in the Schengen Area in the 90 days before that date, the already used days (possibly) have an effect on the period of stay.

An exception to the rule (90 per 180 days) applies to the following nationalities. Do you have the nationality of one of the following countries, then you may stay up to 3 months every 6 months in the Netherlands / Schengen area.

  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Bahamas,
  • Barbados
  • Brazil
  • Mauritius
  • Saint Kitts & Nevis
  • Seychelles

The  short-stay calculator  (in the text under 'Harmonising rules and procedures) on the website of the European Commission, can help calculate how many days you are allowed to stay following your entry in the Schengen Area. You can also use this tool to plan your trip.

Further applications

Extend permit-exempt term

Only in very exceptional circumstances may you extend your permit-exempt term. For example, when you are incapable of leaving the Netherlands due to a serious illness or due to circumstances beyond your control. You can extend your permit-exempt term up to 90 days at the most. Your total stay may not exceed 90 days. You must also have enough money to support yourself. To apply for this, you must first make an appointment with an IND Desk.

Right to work

If you wish to work in the Netherlands during your short stay, your employer may need to have a work permit. Your employer has to apply this to UWV

You may also need to have a BSN number. The municipality issues these numbers when you enlist in the Register of Non-Residents (RNI). For more information please check the website of the municipality where you live/work or www.government.nl.​

Entry ban

After the period of validity of your visa has ended you have to leave the Netherlands and the Schengen Area. If you fail to do so, you may get an entry ban for Europe. This does not apply to EU/EEA citizens and their family members.​

Formal decision

​A formal letter with the decision on your application.