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Read our update of 21 January 2021 here

Since March 2020, travel to the Netherlands has been restricted with several measures. These travel restrictions originate from European law regulations drawn up by the European Commission on the one hand, and national regulations on the other hand. This article provides an overview of the current restrictions. We will also discuss exceptions to the entry restrictions.



The Council of the European Union recommended a gradual lifting of entry restrictions from 30 June 2020. Until that date it was not possible to make non-essential journeys to a country within the European Union. The recommendation includes a list of countries from which travel to the EU is permitted. This list is generally updated every two weeks and published on our website. Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City are considered EU residents under the recommendation.
If a non-EU country is not included in the list published by the Council, this means that all non-essential journeys to the EU+ area are not allowed. In addition to 26 of the 27 EU member states, the EU+ area also includes four states that fall under the Schengen Convention, namely Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Ireland is the only Member State that is not a party to the European travel restrictions.

National/The Netherlands

The travel restrictions that apply to the European Union are in principle the same as in the Netherlands. This means that in order to travel to the Netherlands for a non-essential journey, the same list of countries from which these journeys are permitted will be used as indicated earlier.

However, there are several specific exceptional situations when traveling to the Netherlands:

  • Temporary arrangement for long-distance lovers;
  • Exception entry ban business travelers;
  • Exception entry ban for top sport;
  • Exception entry ban for culture, science and journalism.

Conditions for the exceptions

For more information please contact Thomas van Houwelingen.

Travel restrictions to the Netherlands tightened

The Dutch government introduces stricter travel restrictions to further reduce the spread of Covid-19 and its new variants. From Saturday 23 January 2021, the following measures will enter into force.

On March 4, the ban was extended until the 1st of April 2021.

Read more ...

Negative Covid-19 test result required upon entry

From 15 December, 2020, travelers by airplane or by ship, who are 13 years or older and arrive from a country that is not on the list of safe countries, must show a negative test result upon arrival at the (air)port in the Netherlands.

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Travel restrictions lifted for unmarried partners (short stay)

[update: July 27 2020]

On July 16 the Minister of Justice and Security announced that travel restrictions for unmarried partners from non-EU countries would be relaxed from July 27, 2020. Further details have been published.   

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Need help with travelling to the Netherlands?

Travel restrictions

Since March 2020, traveling to Europe has become a lot more difficult. Travelers from outside the EU can only travel to the Netherlands if their visit is deemed essential. In fact this meant that nobody could enter the Netherlands unless one of these exemptions applied.

Read more ...

Important news for orientation year permit holders

To be eligible for a residence permit as a highly skilled migrant, your employer will have to comply with the salary criteria. Until now, recent graduates would be eligible for the lowest salary threshold, provided an application is lodged before the end date of the 'orientation year permit'.

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UPDATE: Travel restrictions

[update 31 July 2020]

The Dutch Immigration Department has confirmed that travelers living in a country for which travel restrictions still apply but who, based on their nationality, are exempt from the entry clearance visa (MVV) requirement, can enter the Netherlands if they hold an IND approval letter confirming that they are granted a residence permit in the following categories:

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Lifting of travel restrictions from July 1, 2020

The travel restrictions for the EU, the Schengen member states and the UK recommended by the European Commission, have been extended until July 1, 2020. The rules, recommended by the EC about three months ago, remain in place: all non-essential travel will be banned, unless a waiver applies.

Read more ...