Q&A's Travel restrictions for the Netherlands (EU travel ban)

What exactly does the new entry policy mean for travelers to or via the Netherlands?

Two categories can be distinguished as of 1 July 2020:

  1. The first category concerns residents of countries for which the EU travel ban has been lifted. The inhabitants of this category of countries can enter Europe and the Schengen area, including the United Kingdom, regardless of the purpose of travel.
  2. The second category concerns residents of those countries for which the EU travel ban has not yet been lifted. Residents of these countries therefore do not yet have access to Europe (all EU and Schengen Member States and the UK), unless they fall under one of the exemption categories.

The entry ban for the Netherlands has been lifted as of 1 July 2020 for the following category of travelers?

This concerns the inhabitants of the following countries:

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

* The condition of reciprocity explicitly applies to China: the EU will only open to China when China opens to EU citizens. This is not the case at the moment, so residents of China are currently not admitted to the Netherlands.

Is it also possible to travel to other Schengen countries for the inhabitants of those countries?

No, each Schengen member state will ultimately decide for itself how it implements the lifting of the EU travel ban. It is therefore important that you inform yourself well in advance about the possibility to travel within the Schengen area, or to transit.

See the FAQs about tourism in the Netherlands and COVID-19 measures on Government.nl for more detailed information about tourism in the Netherlands.

If you still resort under the travel ban for the other member state you want to travel to, you have to show a proof of admission of the authorized authorities.

Are the Caribbean islands (Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba) part of the EU travel ban?

No, the islands do not fall under the EU travel ban, which means that residents of the islands with a valid EU passport can travel to and within the EU.

Inhabitants with a resident permit, but without an EU passport, fall under the EU travel ban and are therefore not allowed to enter the EU, if they do not fall under any exemption category.

What can I expect when I transfer from a third country via Schiphol to another Schengen country or I stay in the transit area to travel to an onward non-Schengen destination?

If you stay in the transit area at the Schiphol, Amsterdam airport non-Schengen transit zone and leave within 48 hours to a non-Schengen destination you need to proof onward travel with a valid flight ticket and travel documents.

If you transfer via Schiphol, Amsterdam airport meaning, in order to travel onward to another Schengen country, the Dutch entry conditions apply.

I have Dutch or EU nationality and live in a category of country from which I am not allowed to travel to the Netherlands. Am I allowed going to the Netherlands on holiday or family visits?

Yes, EU citizens may travel to the Netherlands regardless of their destination. It does not matter where you live.

The entry conditions may differ per Schengen, EU country. Inform yourself well about the entry conditions in other Schengen or EU countries.

I have another nationality. I am American, but I live in Australia. May I travel to Europe?

This depends whether you are allowed to travel to the EU depends on the country of residence, not of nationality.

As an American, whereas USA is on the list of countries for which the travel ban has not been lifted, but living in Australia, which is on the list of countries for which the travel ban has been lifted, you are allowed to travel to Europe from Australia.

Will the list of categories of travelers who are allowed to travel, be extended or renewed?

Yes, the list of categories, countries, is certainly not definitive. It is reviewed, updated every two weeks. Countries can be added to a certain category if the health situation- with regard to COVID19- allows it.

If, in view of COVID19, the health situation in a country deteriorates, the country can be listed in the category of countries from which one is not allowed to travel to the Netherlands.

In the event of a rapid deterioration of the health situation -COVID19- there is a specific emergency procedure whereby the inhabitants of that country can be very quickly denied access to Europe.

Do these entry procedures also apply to EU citizens with a residence status in a Schengen country?

No, EU citizens and persons with a residence status in a Schengen country can again travel freely to and within Europe. However, other Schengen countries are free to limit the list of countries for which the travel ban has been lifted and thus keep their borders closed to – one or more of – these third countries.

Are there exceptional categories (non-EU citizens), who are exempted from the entry restriction if they reside in a country for which the travel ban has not been lifted?

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

  • EU citizens, including UK nationals and members of their families* can travel freely (no specific reasons for travelling have to be documented).

Non-EU citizens covered by the undermentioned exemptions should travel well documented:

  • Nationals and inhabitants of Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra, San Marino and Vaticancity, and their family members*;
  • Third-country nationals holding a residence card or a residence permit in accordance with Directive 2003/109/EC (the LTR Directive) and their family members*;
  • Third-country nationals who derive their right of residence from other European Directives or from the national law of a Member State and their family members*;
  • Holders of a long-stay visa (MVV);
  • Holders of a residence permit and their family members*;
  • Other third country nationals who have a vital function or need, including:
    • Healthcare personnel; doctors, nurses or researchers;
    • Border workers;
    • Seasonal agricultural workers;
    • Persons employed in the transport of goods and other transport personnel, where necessary, including 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 possession of a seaman’s book, with the exception of seafarers on commercial and pleasure yachts;
    • Diplomats;
    • Military personnel, in the performance of their duties;
    • Personnel of international and humanitarian organisations;
    • Persons who have imperative reasons to visit their families; these are journeys in exceptional cases.
      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. First and second degree family members are: partners, parents (also adoptive and step parents), in-laws, children (also adopted and step children)**, daughters-in-law and sons, brothers and sisters, grandchildren**, grandparents, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, step-brothers and sisters
    • To attend the birth of a child. This exemption category is only meant for the father, the child must be acknowledged by the father and the pregnancy must be >34 weeks. This must be documented.
    • Citizens of non-EU+ countries can transfer to a country outside the EU+ via Amsterdam airport, if they remain in the non-Schengen transit area of the airport and if they have a ticket for a confirmed connecting flight -to an airport outside the Schengen area- that departs within 48 hours upon arrival in Amsterdam.
    • Persons in need of international protection; the border procedure applies in full;
    • Persons admitted for humanitarian reasons;
    • Students; provided that you are in possession of a residence notification letter issued by the IND: ”Study”.
    • Highly skilled migrants: provided that you are in possession of a notification letter issued by the IND for residence as: Highly skilled migrant.

*Details of family members: children, persons married (marriage certificate) or in a registered partnership; persons with a certificate of cohabitation of at least 6 months in order to establish a lasting and exclusive relationship.

The family relationship must be demonstrated by means of as many documents as possible. This can be done by means of a marriage certificate, certificate of registered partnership, cohabitation contract, birth certificate of the children, notarial deed, a rental contract or purchase agreement.Or a notification letter issued by the IND for a stay with a partner.

The non-EU family member joins the EU family member or must be accompanied by the EU family member at all times.

** Children regardless of age

In general for those travelers who fall under the exemptions: travel well-documented.

I have a long-distance relationship with someone from a country to which an entry ban applies due to coronavirus. Can my partner travel to the Netherlands?

Yes, as of 27 July 2020 your partner from a country to which an entry ban applies may travel to the Netherlands under certain conditions. Your partner may stay in the Netherlands for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Children under the age of 18 can also travel with your partner. Read more about the temporary arrangement for partners in long distance relationships.

When entering Schiphol Airport, is a health certificate and mouth shield compulsory?

It is, of course, important that persons travelling to the Netherlands are aware of and comply with the Dutch rules for combating the virus COVID19.

Check the FAQ Schiphol and the corona virus on Schiphol.nl for information on measures applicable at Schiphol Airport.

What do these measures mean for the Schengen visa policy?

Residents living in countries for which the EU travel ban has been lifted may be able to reapply for visas.

The Dutch representations of those countries will issue visas again in the near future. This will not be as of 1 July 2020, as it will take some time to restart the visa procedure.

If the travel ban for a country is reinstated, due to the deterioration of the health situation, and a visa has been issued for a certain period of time, then this issued visa will not be valid for residents of that country during the period that the travel ban is again in force for that country.

As a traveller, you may also be refused entry at the border, unless you fall under one of the exceptional categories of the travel ban.

Does this mean that the Dutch travel advice is automatically adapted to the category list of countries for which the travel ban has been lifted?

No, the category of countries currently considered safe by the Netherlands does not automatically mean that non-essential travel – such as holidays, tourism – to these countries is recommended. Decisions concerning Dutch travel advices are made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the basis of a set of criteria, which goes beyond the health criteria alone.

I fall into the category of exceptions, it is an essential journey, I need a visa. Can I apply for a visa?

Yes, under certain circumstances you can apply for a short stay visa at the embassy. If you reside in a country for which the entry ban has not been lifted check their website for short stay visas for the terms and conditions. The regular visa conditions apply.

Please note: only apply for visa if you are able to apply at an Embassy or EDV and if you are able to travel to the Netherlands vice versa. Check on IATA conditions for international transport.

I have legal residence in the Netherlands but my residence permit is lost or stolen. Do I need to apply for a entry visa to travel to the Netherlands?

Yes, you will also have to apply for a visa to travel to the Netherlands.

Permit holders with an expired residence permit but who do not require a visa, but who still have a valid permit, will be allowed to (re-)travel.

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

The new policy has no expiry date and is therefore valid until further notice. The list with countries and categories is updated regularly. Every two weeks a review will take place. If the health situation in a country for which the travel ban has been lifted deteriorates, it may be on 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  procedure whereby the inhabitants of that country can be rapidly be refused entrance to the Netherlands.

I still have a valid Schengen visa, may I enter the Netherlands?

No, not automatically when you are not covered by the exceptions, you will be refused entry to the Netherlands with regard to Article 6 of the Schengen Code paragraph 1(e).

I am in possession of an MVV? Can I travel to the Netherlands?

Yes, with an MVV, you fall under the exception category, you can – if possible – travel to the Netherlands, and you will be granted entry.

I have the nationality of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, United States of America or South Korea. That is why I do not need an MVV. Can I enter the Netherlands?

This depends as from 1 July 2020, you may re-enter the Netherlands if you live in one of the countries to which the entry ban does not apply. Do you live in a country to which the entry ban does apply? In that case, you may only travel to the Netherlands if an exception applies to you.

Travelling from a country to which the entry ban applies;

Are you exempted from the MVV requirement and do you live in a country to which the entry ban does apply? For example, the United States? Then you may only travel to the Netherlands if you have a vital function or need.

This is in any case the case if you have received a letter (notification) from the IND stating that you will be granted a residence permit if you have a vital function or need:

  • Highly Skilled Migrant (including holder of an EU Blue Card, ICT Directive, or researcher)
  • Student (hbo, university)
  • Family member of a highly skilled migrant or student (partner, spouse, child)
  • Family member of a Dutch referent (partner, spouse, child)

Does this apply to you? Then your trip to the Netherlands must be a direct flight (no transit).

You must bring the following documents with you when you travel to the Netherlands:

  •  For highly skilled migrants (including holders of an EU Blue Card, ICT-directive or researcher):
    • The IND letter stating that you will receive a residence permit (notification).
    • And a written statement from your employer stating that you have to be for work in the Netherlands and why. It must also state why you cannot come to the Netherlands at a later time.
  • For students:
    • The letter stating that you will receive a residence permit (IND notification).
  • For a family member of a highly skilled migrant or student:
    • If you are not travelling together, then your family member needs a copy of your IND notice.
  • For a family member of a Dutch referent:
    • The letter containing a residence permit (IND notification). And official documents that proves family relationship.

Is the airline not allowing you on the flight because they cannot find enough evidence? Please contact the Royal Netherlands Marechausse. The phone number is 0800 1814. If you are calling from abroad +31 88 958 1814.

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

If you wish to travel to the Netherlands as a resident of a country for which the travel ban has been lifted, this is possible (in the case of a country subject to a visa requirement with the condition that you have a visa).

As far as the category of persons travelling for necessary family circumstances from countries for which the travel ban has not been lifted is concerned, this concerns travel only in exceptional cases. An exceptional case is visiting a terminally ill family member or attending a funeral. It is intended for first-degree and second-degree family members. Father, mother and children are first-degree and partner, grandchildren, brothers and sisters are second degree.

Overall advise is: travel well-documented if you are an exemption on the EU travel ban.

Can I have it determined in advance whether I fall into an exceptional category?

No, this is not possible. We therefore recommend that you travel well documented.

I have the nationality of a country for which the EU entry ban has not yet been lifted, but I am already within the territory of the EU. Can I go to another EU country or Schengen country?

Yes, you can travel to another EU country or Schengen country. The EU entry ban does not apply if you are already on the territory of an EU country, Schengen country or the United Kingdom. When applying for the Schengen area, you must comply with all the regular conditions of access as described in art. 6 of the Schengen Borders Code.

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