Entry requirements

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in the Netherlands set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact their embassy, high commission or consulate. You may also check with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and travel documents meet their requirements.

If you are travelling to the Netherlands for work, read the guidance on visas and permits as the rules have changed since 1 January 2021.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Dutch government has published a checklist for travel to the Netherlands. The Dutch government classifies countries and regions into the following categories: safe; high risk; very high risk; or very high risk with a variant of concern.

Entry to the Netherlands

The Dutch government has implemented measures which mean that non-EU/EEA nationals and nationals of non-Schengen states arriving from outside of the Schengen area will not be permitted entry to the Netherlands for non-essential purposes due to EU-wide COVID-19 restrictions. There are certain exemptions to these measures, detailed below. You should also visit the Dutch government’s website for a list of exemptions.

Exemptions to entry restrictions

If you can demonstrate that you are fully vaccinated

The Dutch authorities currently classify the UK as a ‘very high risk country’. This means that fully vaccinated UK nationals, who can provide acceptable proof of vaccination, which includes the NHS COVID Pass, will be allowed to enter the Netherlands. Please see Demonstrating your COVID-19 status below, for further information.

Fully vaccinated travellers arriving in the Netherlands from the UK via aeroplane, ferry, passenger car, train or bus must show one of the following:

  • a negative PCR test result (taken no more than 48 hours before departure);
  • a negative antigen test result (taken no more than 24 hours before departure).

Fully vaccinated travellers are exempt from quarantine on arrival in the Netherlands.

UK nationals who are legally resident in the Netherlands

UK nationals who are legally resident in the Netherlands are allowed to re-enter the country regardless of their vaccination status, but will need to show one of the following:

  • a residency permit
  • a certificate of application

They may be subject to questioning by Dutch border authorities when they arrive in the Netherlands.

This measure does not apply to those travelling to the Netherlands from a country that is on the list of safe countries/regions, published by the Dutch government.

Additional exemptions

A number of additional exemptions apply to UK nationals, including, for example:

  • Partners of UK nationals who hold a Netherlands residence permit issued under Article 50 TEU (Withdrawal Agreement). Partners must meet the criteria set out by the Dutch government and must carry with them a copy of their partner’s residence permit. See the Dutch government’s website for further information and the full criteria travellers must meet
  • Close family members of seriously or terminally ill patients, or those attending the funeral of a close family member. Travellers must complete a form before travelling
  • Grandparents visiting their new born grandchildren. Travellers must complete a form before travelling
  • Divorced parents visiting any child(ren) who are minors. Travellers must complete a form before travelling

Separate rules will be in place for travellers arriving into the Netherlands from EU countries. Further information on these requirements are detailed here.

Entry requirements for children during COVID-19

Children aged 12 and over arriving in the Netherlands from the UK via aeroplane, ferry, passenger car, train or bus must demonstrate proof of one the following:

  • a negative PCR test result (taken no more than 48 hours before departure);
  • a negative antigen test result (taken no more than 24 hours before departure)

These requirements also apply to travellers who are fully vaccinated.

Children aged 13 and over who are not fully vaccinated must self-isolate for 10 days on arrival in the Netherlands. This includes when travelling with vaccinated adults. There is an option to test and release after 5 days. Children aged 12 or under are exempt from the mandatory quarantine.

Testing requirements

Testing requirements depend on the category of the country that you are travelling from.

Travellers aged 12 and over arriving in the Netherlands from the UK via aeroplane, ferry, passenger car, train or bus must demonstrate proof of one of the following:

  • a negative PCR test result (taken no more than 48 hours before departure);
  • a negative antigen test result (taken no more than 24 hours before departure).

These requirements also apply to travellers who are fully vaccinated.

If you are travelling via France or Belgium, check FCDO Travel Advice for those countries, as testing requirements and validity differ.

Further information on testing requirements is detailed on the Dutch government’s website.

The test requirements do not replace the requirement to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival (See below, under ‘Quarantine requirements’ for further information).

If you’re travelling to or from the Netherlands by air you must complete a health screening form and have it ready to show on request during your journey, whether you are at the departure airport, on the aircraft or at the arrival airport. This form is not required if travelling to the Netherlands by road or ferry.

You may be refused permission to travel based on your health screening form.

On arrival in the Netherlands your health screening form will be checked by public health and security authorities.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 status

Dutch authorities will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination record, in paper or digital form. If you are travelling with a printed PDF proof of vaccination status, it must date from 1 November to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status. In addition, you should also be prepared to show a completed vaccine declaration form.

Quarantine requirements if arriving from the UK

Fully vaccinated travellers from the UK no longer have to quarantine on arrival in the Netherlands from the UK. If you are aged 13 and over and are not fully vaccinated, you must self-isolate for 10 days on arrival in the Netherlands. This includes when travelling with vaccinated adults. There is an option to test and release after 5 days. Children aged 12 or under are exempt from the mandatory quarantine.

The NHS COVID Pass is accepted as evidence of vaccination for entering the Netherlands. For further information, you should visit the Dutch government’s website.

Quarantine requirements if travelling from countries on the Dutch government’s safe list

Travellers from countries on the Dutch government’s safe list are exempt from quarantine requirements. Further details on quarantine requirements are on the website of the Dutch government.

You may be fined for not following the mandatory self-quarantine requirements.

Quarantine requirements if travelling from countries on the Dutch government’s very high risk list

You need a completed quarantine declaration form in addition to the required test result(s) and health declaration in case of travel by aeroplane. Not having this form may result in a fine.

Travellers exempt from quarantine must also carry a completed quarantine declaration form.

If you are required to quarantine, you must self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival at your home address or accommodation. You must also be reachable on the phone number you provided. Officials will check. If you do not open the door or answer the phone you may be fined.

The mandatory quarantine guidance applies to travellers arriving by all means of transportation. All information on mandatory quarantine, including all exemptions, which include family visits, can be found here.

Shortening your quarantine

You may leave quarantine if you take a PCR test on day 5 after arriving in the Netherlands. If the result is negative, you can end your self-quarantine that day. If the test result is positive, you need to continue quarantining and you will receive further instructions from the local health authorities. If you do not choose to take a test on day 5, you need to complete 10 days of self-quarantine. See the Dutch government’s website for full details of quarantine requirements.

Testing to end quarantine early is only possible if your stay in the Netherlands is longer than 5 days. If your stay is 5 days or shorter, you should self-isolate for the entire duration of your stay. Even if your test on day 5 is negative, the Dutch government advises you to take extra care and avoid people in higher-risk groups until after day 10.

You can make an appointment in advance to get tested for free on day 5 of your self-isolation by calling the municipal health service (GGD) on 0800 1202 (or +31 850 659 063 if you are calling from a foreign phone). You can also make an appointment online, but this is only possible on the day of your test.

Further information on self-isolation in the Netherlands can be found on the Dutch government’s website (in English).

Data collection

Local health authorities may use passenger data to carry out contact tracing for passengers arriving from high-risk (orange) countries.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:

  • you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training

  • if you are travelling to the Netherlands and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days

  • to stay longer, to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Dutch government’s entry requirements. Check with the Netherlands Embassy what type of visa and/or work permit you may need

  • if you stay in the Netherlands with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit

Any time you spent in the Netherlands or other Schengen countries before 1 January 2021 does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

At Dutch border control, you may need to queue in separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens.

Check your passport is stamped if you enter or exit the Schengen area through the Netherlands as a visitor. Border guards will use passport stamps to check you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area. If relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit.

You can show evidence of when and where you entered or exited the Schengen area, and ask the border guards to add this date and location in your passport. Examples of acceptable evidence include boarding passes and tickets.

You may also need to:

  • show a return or onward ticket
  • show you have enough money for your stay

If you are resident in the Netherlands your passport should not be stamped. You should proactively show your proof of residence as well as your valid passport at Dutch border control. For further information, see our Living in the Netherlands guide.

Passport validity

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip, and renew your passport if you do not have enough time left on it.

Make sure your passport is:

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave the Netherlands, or any other Schengen country
  • less than 10 years old

The 3 months you need when leaving a country must be within 10 years of the passport issue date.

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum 3 months needed.

Before you travel, make sure your passport is in good condition. The Netherlands authorities often impound damaged passports and some travellers have had to get an emergency travel document to leave the country.

Travelling with children

Dutch border authorities have strengthened their precautions against child abduction. Parents (particularly fathers) travelling in sole charge of their children are regularly stopped for further checks at Schiphol airport and occasionally prevented from boarding flights.

You should carry a signed authorisation form for travelling abroad with a minor and associated documents (outlined in the above link). See also Get permission to take a child abroad.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from The Netherlands.

Moving to the Netherlands

If you intend to live in the Netherlands, you should get important documents (birth certificate and marriage certificates) officially certified (apostilled) at the FCDO Legalisation Office.