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Travelling with a residence permit

A valid Dutch residence permit and a valid national passport allows you to travel to and within the Schengen area. You may stay in all countries in the Schengen area outside of the Netherlands for up to 90 days in any 180 day period.

Has your residence permit expired?

When the validity of your residence permit expires, you have to leave the Netherlands. However, if you wish to stay in the Schengen area shortly after, this is possible in one of the following situations:

  • You are subject to a visa requirement 
    If you are subject to a visa requirement, you first must leave the Schengen area and apply for a short stay visa. Once you have a visa, you are allowed to return to the Schengen area.
  • You are not subject to a visa requirement
    If you are not subject to a visa requirement, you can make use of your visa-free access period. If you wish to stay in the Netherlands for a short period, you must first leave the Schengen area. You can then re-enter the Netherlands again straight away. If you wish to shortly stay in another Schengen country, you do not need to leave the Schengen area first. Please first contact the authorities of the country you wish to visit.​

Do you need a Return Visa?

If you need to travel outside of the Schengen area and your residence permit has expired or will expire while you are abroad, you may need to purchase a Return Visa (depending on your visa requirement*) under the following conditions:

  • You are waiting for a decision on an application for an extension, change in purpose of stay or permanent residence.
  • You have lost your residence document, or it has been stolen or damaged, or it has the wrong information on it, and are waiting for a decision.
  • Your child was born in the Netherlands.
  • You have applied for the first residence permit for your child and are waiting for a decision.
  • You have a non-EU nationality. You have applied for the first residence permit for staying with your EU-national family member and are waiting for a decision.

*Are you not subject to a visa requirement? Then you can travel back to the Netherlands from abroad during your permit-exempted term. You do not require a return visa. However, other authorities or organizations (e.g. an airline company or customs authorities) may not accept that and may require you to have a return visa. Please check this before departure. 

You can return to the Netherlands if you have a Return Visa as well as a valid passport (or other travel document).
If you have a return visa, you may also travel back to the Netherlands through other Schengen countries. This Return Visa does not allow you to stay (e.g. for a holiday) in another Schengen country.

You will need to read this IND page carefully and then make an appointment online with the IND in order to obtain the Return Visa.