If you are in Benin and you wish to apply for an entry visa to return to the Netherlands, read this information.
Are you not sure whether you need a visa to return to the Netherlands? Fill out the Visa Advisor.
Lost or stolen residence permit
If your residence permit has been lost or stolen abroad, you cannot simply return to the Netherlands. You will first need an entry visa. This visa shows the Dutch Royal Military and Border Police (KMar), the border police in other countries, the airline and other authorities that you hold a residence permit and that you can live and work in the Netherlands.
Expired residence permit
If your Dutch residence permit has expired, the steps you need to take depend on where you are.
I am in the Netherlands
If you are planning to travel abroad, and discover that your residence permit will expire while you are away, apply for a return visa before you leave. You will need this visa to re-enter the Netherlands. Go to the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) for more information about applying for a return visa.
I am abroad
If you are already abroad and your Dutch residence permit has expired, you must apply for an entry visa at the Dutch embassy or consulate-general or, when applicable, an external service provider in the country you are in.
What do I need for the application?
You will need to provide the following documents when you apply for an entry visa:
- a passport or other travel document containing at least 2 blank pages. Your travel document must have been issued within the last 10 years and be valid for at least another 3 months after the date you intend to return to the Netherlands.
- a completed Schengen visa application form. You should wait to sign the form until you are at the embassy or consulate or the external service provider's offices (e.g. VFS Global or TLScontact).
- a recent photo that meets Dutch requirements.
- if you are under 18 years old: proof of consent from your parent(s) or guardian(s) and a photocopy of each parent or guardian's passport or identity card.
- your travel itinerary for your journey to the Netherlands.
- if your residence permit has been lost or stolen: a photocopy of your residence permit (if you have one) and a police statement. If you cannot report the loss or theft to the police, you should draw up a statement yourself.
- if your residence permit has expired: the residence permit itself.
Returning on an entry visa
An entry visa will allow you to:
- return to the Netherlands.
- return to the Netherlands via another Schengen country. In this case, the entry visa will show which countries you can return to the Netherlands through.
The entry visa does not give you a right to stay in any other country than the Netherlands.
Once you have returned to the Netherlands, you should apply to the IND for a new residence permit.
How much does an entry visa cost?
Applying for an entry visa costs the same as applying for a Schengen visa. You can find the amount in the list of consular fees.
How long does it take?
Your entry visa will be ready within a maximum of 15 days.
How long is the entry visa valid for?
The entry visa is usually valid for 7 days. You must travel back to the Netherlands within this period. Sometimes the visa is valid for longer. Your visa states within which period you must travel back to the Netherlands.
Applying for an entry visa in this country or area
You can apply for an entry visa at the embassy in Cotonou. First, email the embassy so that they can check with the IND whether you are entitled to a residence permit. Attach the following documents to your email:
- a scan or photo of your passport or ID card.
- a scan or photo of your expired residence permit or if your residence permit has been lost or stolen: a police statement and as much information about your permit as possible (for example, your alien registration number). If you cannot report the loss or theft to the police, you should draw up a statement yourself.
The embassy will contact you once your email has been received in order to arrange an appointment and start your application.