If you are in South Africa 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 in the country you are in.
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 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 offices of VFS Global in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg or Pretoria. VFS Global is an external service provider and therefore charges an additional handling fee on top of the normal application fee. VFS Global will send your application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands, where it will be processed. You can check the requirements and make an appointment with VFS Global online.