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COVID 19 update

December 22nd, 2020

Due to the latest measures announced by the Dutch government on December 14th and December 20th concerning the COVID-19 virus, we have the following update for you:

Strict lockdown

Due to the increasing numbers of COVID-19 infections, the Dutch government has implemented that The Netherlands will go into its strictest lockdown yet from 15 December 2020 until at least Tuesday 19 January 2021.

The most important measures are:

  • Only go outdoors alone, with members of your household or in a group of no more than 2 people.
  • You should receive no more than 2 visitors aged 13 or older in your home per day.
  • The below amenities are to be closed:
    • Shops (except those selling essentials like food)
    • Locations where contact-based professions are carried out, such as hairdressers, nail salons
    • Theatres, concert halls, museums, cinemas, casinos, etc.
    • Zoos, amusement parks, etc.
    • Indoor sporting venues such as gyms, swimming pools, saunas, spas, etc.
    • Restaurants, bars and cafés
    • Hotels will be open, but hotel restaurants will be closed and room service will be unavailable.
  • You are strongly advised to work from home.
  • Primary and secondary schools, schools for secondary education (MBO) and higher education institutions (universities and HBO) will deliver teaching online in order to reduce contacts.
  • Primary schools and childcare centres will remain open for children whose parents work in critical sectors.
  • Traveling using public transport is for essential travel only.
  • The only contact-based professions that can continue are those of a medical and paramedical nature (dentist, physiotherapist,….)

Please visit the below website to read more about the measures:
Lockdown in order to minimise contact between people | News item | Government.nl

Travel ban

The travel ban for non-essential travels until further notice is still in place.

The ban restricts all non-essential travel from third countries into the EU. This includes tourists, business travellers, temporary family visits etc. In practice, this means that the EU Member States and the Schengen associated countries can refuse entry to non-resident third country nationals at their external borders.

As of July 1st, 2020, The Netherlands has lifted the travel ban for certain groups of travellers, allowing permanent (long-term) residents of the following countries to enter the Netherlands: Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Uruguay. The ban on travellers from China will be lifted once China allows entry to EU citizens.
The list of countries will be reviewed every 2 weeks (or sooner if necessary). Countries can be added to a certain category if the health situation with regards to COVID19 allows it. If, in view of COVID19, the health situation in a country deteriorates, the country can be listed in the category of countries from which one is not allowed to travel to The Netherlands.

The travel ban does not apply to the following groups of people:

  • EU citizens and their family members
  • Nationals of Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Monaco, Vatican City and Andorra, and their family members
  • Third-country nationals who have a residence card or residence permit in accordance with EU Directive 2003/109/EC concerning long-term residents
  • Third-country nationals whose right of residence is derived from other EU directives or the national law of a member state
    Holders of a long-stay visa, including those with an authorization for temporary stay (MVV).

Third-country nationals who are key workers or have exceptional circumstances are also exempted. These are:

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Cross-border commuters
  • In so far as necessary, people working in the transport of goods, and other transport workers. These are people who work on container ships, bulk carriers (e.g. transporting ore or coal), tankers (e.g. transporting fuels and chemicals), fishing boats; people who work in the energy sector, i.e. on oil and gas platforms and at wind parks, and for off-shore companies that provide services to this sector; and flight crews
  • Diplomats
  • You have a service passport and need to travel to carry out your duties.
  • Members of the armed forces
  • Staff members of international and humanitarian organizations
  • People with compelling reasons to visit their family (exceptional cases). An exceptional case would be to visit a terminally ill family member and to attend their funeral. Family member is understood here to mean a first- or second-degree family member. Partners and children are first-degree family members, and grandchildren are second-degree
  • Transit passengers travelling to a third country via The Netherlands or another Schengen country
  • People who require international protection (normal border procedures apply)
  • People admitted on humanitarian grounds
  • Seafarers in possession of a seaman’s record book
  • Students
  • Highly skilled migrants
  • Business travellers if they meet the conditions mentioned below.

Please note: even if you are permitted to travel to The Netherlands because you fall into an exemption category, you may also be required to self-quarantine for 10 days on arrival. This depends on the country you are travelling from.

Exemptions to the entry ban in the interests of the Dutch economy and society

From 21 September 2020, anyone travelling from a country to which an entry ban applies whose purpose of travel will have demonstrable value for the Dutch economy and Dutch society may travel to The Netherlands under the following conditions:

  • The relaxation of entry restrictions is only possible if you have submitted an application for travel to a Dutch embassy, stating reasons for your journey that meets the following conditions:
  • You hold an invitation from an organization registered in The Netherlands or from The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), confirming a meeting or visit.
  • The appointment is urgent and requires personal attendance.
  • One or more of the following conditions must be met:
    1. The visit relates to potential direct foreign investment in The Netherlands of considerable size
      which will lead to:
      a. the creation of at least five new jobs, or
      b. investment of at least € 500,000.
    2. The visit relates to potential direct foreign investment in The Netherlands that will contribute to:
      a. strengthening Dutch innovation capacity, or
      b. making the Dutch economy more sustainable, or
      c. further digitalization of the Dutch economy.
    3. The visit is of major economic importance to a specific organization based in The Netherlands:
      a. The Dutch-based organization the business traveller intends to visit must have a staff of at
      least 10 FTEs and/or an annual turnover of €2 million.
      b. A visit is of major importance if, for example, it is essential to the organization’s day-to-day operations, and/or the creation and/or retention of jobs, and/or the stability or growth of turnover.
  • Once the embassy has assessed the application it will issue the traveller with a “note verbale” giving permission for the planned trip. If it has any doubts, the embassy will consult The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) in The Hague (if the application concerns a foreign investment) or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ International Enterprise Department (DIO) (if the application concerns foreign trade). You and the business you are visiting must sign a declaration stating that you are making an essential journey that has demonstrable value for the Dutch economy and Dutch society, and meets the criteria specified above.
    -You must show the “note verbale” to the Dutch border authorities (the Royal Military and Border Police).
  • You must also be in possession of a return ticket as well as a confirmed hotel reservation.
  • If you require a visa, the regular visa application conditions continue to apply.
  • The regular border procedures based on the Schengen Borders Code apply. This means that the Royal Military and Border Police will check whether you meet all the conditions. You must also have a valid travel document and, if necessary, a short-stay visa. This depends on your nationality. The Royal Military and Border Police have the right to refuse you entry if there is a valid reason to do this.
  • In order to mitigate the public health risk as much as possible, you are urgently advised to keep your visits to The Netherlands as short as possible and to limit your contact with others. Dutch rules on self-quarantine are fully applicable, with the exemption of your business meetings.
  • To further reduce the risk, a limit has been set on the number of travellers that may enter the Netherlands each month under this scheme.
  • You must observe the coronavirus measures that apply in The Netherlands.

The treaty officers at the border will determine whether an exception is applicable. It is not possible to get a confirmation in advance to determine if an exceptional category is applicable. Therefore, we recommend assignees that they travel well equipped with documentation to prove their status and reason for travelling.

The United Kingdom

A contagious new variant of coronavirus has been detected in The United Kingdom. Therefore, the Dutch government has decided to ban all travellers from The United Kingdom. This ban will remain in place until 1 January 2021 at the latest. On that date, as a result of Brexit The United Kingdom will become a third country. Travelers from the UK arriving in The Netherlands by airplane or ferry will then have to produce a negative test declaration for COVID-19.

For now, there are no exceptions for travelling from The United Kingdom to The Netherlands. If the Dutch government has an update about the travel ban from the UK, we will update you accordingly.

Highly skilled migrants

Highly skilled migrants have been added to the list of exceptions, however if the assignee needs a MVV visa to travel to The Netherlands and the embassies/consulates abroad are still closed due to COVID 19, it is not possible to travel to The Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant without obtaining their MVV visa.

For each case we remain in contact with the authorities so that once the embassies/consulates re-open, the employee can apply for a MVV right away. We also recommend assignees to keep in touch with the embassies/consulates because some embassies/consulates are starting to open again.

If the highly skilled migrant does not need a MVV visa to travel to The Netherlands, assignees are only allowed to travel with their IND approval letter and a health certificate.

Via IATA TIMATIC, the airline companies are informed that the IND notification letter for these categories is sufficient for travel and admission to The Netherlands. However, the IND has indicated that this only applies to direct flights to The Netherlands. Other (transit) countries may not accept this proof.

Health declaration

When entering Schiphol Airport, a health certificate and mouth shield is compulsory. Passengers on all inbound and outbound flights in and from The Netherlands are required to fill in a certificate with questions about health complaints that fit in with COVID-19. This health certificate form is provided by the airline prior to boarding. The Netherlands make it compulsory for passengers in the aircraft and at Dutch airports to wear a non-medical mouthpiece during check-in, security and border processes and boarding.

Negative COVID-19 test

Some travelers must show a negative test result when they enter The Netherlands. These are travelers from a country outside the EU/Schengen, that is not on the list of safe countries of the European Union and that are also exempt from the EU entry ban. They must be able to show a negative COVID-19 test result and a statement signed by the traveler when traveling to The Netherlands by plane or ship. This is one of the Dutch measures to prevent the import and spread of the corona virus. The negative test does not yet apply to Dutch nationals and EU residents and their family members who travel (back) from outside the EU/Schengen.

Self-quarantine

At this moment it is mandatory to self-quarantine for ten days if you travel to The Netherlands from countries for which the travel ban has not been lifted and some EU countries.

Would you like to know more or do you need assistance, please reach out to us!

Update October 17th, 2020

Due to the latest measures announced by the Dutch government on October 13th concerning the COVID-19 virus, we have the following update for you:

Partial lockdown

Due to the increasing numbers of COVID-19 infections, the Dutch government has implemented a partial lockdown.
The most important measures are:

  • All establishments that serve food and drinks must close. Take away is still possible only until 8 pm. Exceptions are: hotels for hotel guests only, funeral locations and airports (after security)
  • Retail stores must close at 8 pm at the latest. This does not apply to grocery stores.
  • Traveling by public transport is only allowed if it is strictly necessary and only with a face mask.
  • The rules around working from home will be tightened. Work from home, unless there is no other option.
  • Events are prohibited.
  • Wearing a face mask in public areas is highly recommend for people over 13 years old. This will be mandatory after the Dutch government has legalized this.

Please visit the following website to read more about the measures. https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2020/10/13/partial-lockdown-needed-to-bring-down-infections

Travel ban

The travel ban for non-essential travels until further notice is still in place. However, the Dutch government also agreed on the gradual partial lifting of the travel ban.

The ban restricts all non-essential travel from third countries into the EU. This includes tourists, business travellers, temporary family visits etc. In practice, this means that the EU Member States and the Schengen associated countries can refuse entry to non-resident third country nationals at their external borders.

As of July 1st, 2020, The Netherlands has lifted the travel ban for certain groups of travellers, allowing permanent (long-term) residents of the following countries to enter the Netherlands: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. The ban on travellers from China will be lifted once China allows entry to EU citizens.

The list of countries will be reviewed every 2 weeks (or sooner if necessary). Countries can be added to a certain category if the health situation with regards to COVID19 allows it. If, in view of COVID19, the health situation in a country deteriorates, the country can be listed in the category of countries from which one is not allowed to travel to The Netherlands.

The travel ban does not apply to the following groups of people:

  • EU citizens (including British nationals) and their family members
  • Nationals of Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Monaco, Vatican City and Andorra, and their family members
  • Third-country nationals who have a residence card or residence permit in accordance with EU Directive 2003/109/EC concerning long-term residents
  • Third-country nationals whose right of residence is derived from other EU directives or the national law of a member state
  • Holders of a long-stay visa, including those with an authorisation for temporary stay (MVV).

Third-country nationals who are key workers or have exceptional circumstances are also exempted. These are:

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Cross-border commuters
  • In so far as necessary, people working in the transport of goods, and other transport workers. These are people who work on container ships, bulk carriers (e.g. transporting ore or coal), tankers (e.g. transporting fuels and chemicals), fishing boats; people who work in the energy sector, i.e. on oil and gas platforms and at wind parks, and for off-shore companies that provide services to this sector; and flight crews
  • Diplomats
  • You have a service passport and need to travel to carry out your duties.
  • Members of the armed forces
  • Staff members of international and humanitarian organisations
  • People with compelling reasons to visit their family (exceptional cases). An exceptional case would be to visit a terminally ill family member and to attend their funeral. Family member is understood here to mean a first- or second-degree family member. Partners and children are first-degree family members, and grandchildren are second-degree
  • Transit passengers travelling to a third country via The Netherlands or another Schengen country
  • People who require international protection (normal border procedures apply)
  • People admitted on humanitarian grounds
  • Seafarers in possession of a seaman’s record book
  • Students
  • Highly skilled migrants.
  • Business travellers if they meet the conditions mentioned below.

Exemptions to the entry ban in the interests of the Dutch economy and society

From September 21st, anyone travelling from a country to which an entry ban applies whose purpose of travel will have demonstrable value for the Dutch economy and Dutch society may travel to The Netherlands under the following conditions:

  • The relaxation of entry restrictions is only possible if you have submitted an application for travel to a Dutch embassy, stating reasons for your journey that meets the following conditions:
  • You hold an invitation from an organisation registered in The Netherlands or from The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), confirming a meeting or visit.
  • The appointment is urgent and requires personal attendance.
  • One or more of the following conditions must be met:
    1. The visit relates to potential direct foreign investment in The Netherlands of considerable size which will lead to:
      a. the creation of at least five new jobs, or
      b. investment of at least € 500,000.
    2. The visit relates to potential direct foreign investment in The Netherlands that will contribute to:
      a. strengthening Dutch innovation capacity, or
      b. making the Dutch economy more sustainable, or
      c. further digitalisation of the Dutch economy.
    3. The visit is of major economic importance to a specific organisation based in The Netherlands:
      a. The Dutch-based organisation the business traveler intends to visit must have a staff of at least 10 FTEs and/or an annual turnover of €2 million.
      b. A visit is of major importance if, for example, it is essential to the organisation’s day-to-day operations, and/or the creation and/or retention of jobs, and/or the stability or growth of turnover.
  • Once the embassy has assessed the application it will issue the traveler with a “note verbale” giving permission for the planned trip. If it has any doubts, the embassy will consult the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) in The Hague (if the application concerns a foreign investment) or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ International Enterprise Department (DIO) (if the application concerns foreign trade). You and the business you are visiting must sign a declaration stating that you are making an essential journey that has demonstrable value for the Dutch economy and Dutch society, and meets the criteria specified above.
  • You must show the “note verbal” to the Dutch border authorities (the Royal Military and Border Police).
  • You must also be in possession of a return ticket as well as a confirmed hotel reservation.
  • If you require a visa, the regular visa application conditions continue to apply.
  • The regular border procedures based on the Schengen Borders Code apply. This means that the Royal Military and Border Police will check whether you meet all the conditions. You must also have a valid travel document and, if necessary, a short-stay visa. This depends on your nationality. The Royal Military and Border Police have the right to refuse you entry if there is a valid reason to do this.
  • In order to mitigate the public health risk as much as possible, you are urgently advised to keep your visits to The Netherlands as short as possible and to limit your contact with others. Dutch rules on self-quarantine are fully applicable, with the exemption of your business meetings.
  • To further reduce the risk, a limit has been set on the number of travelers that may enter the Netherlands each month under this scheme.
  • You must observe the coronavirus measures that apply in The Netherlands.

The treaty officers at the border will determine whether an exception is applicable. It is not possible to get a confirmation in advance to determine if an exceptional category is applicable. Therefore, we recommend assignees that they travel well equipped with documentation to prove their status and reason for travelling.

Highly skilled migrants

Highly skilled migrants have been added to the list of exceptions, however if the assignee needs a MVV visa to travel to The Netherlands and the embassies/consulates abroad are still closed due to COVID 19, it is not possible to travel to The Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant without obtaining their MVV visa.
For each case we remain in contact with the authorities so that once the embassies/consulates re-open, the employee can apply for a MVV right away. We also recommend assignees to keep in touch with the embassies/consulates because some embassies/consulates are starting to open again.

If the highly skilled migrant does not need a MVV visa to travel to The Netherlands, assignees are only allowed to travel with their IND approval letter and a health certificate.

Via IATA TIMATIC, the airline companies are informed that the IND notification letter for these categories is sufficient for travel and admission to The Netherlands. However, the IND has indicated that this only applies to direct flights to The Netherlands. Other (transit) countries may not accept this proof.

Health declaration

When entering Schiphol Airport, a health certificate and mouth shield is compulsory. Passengers on all inbound and outbound flights in and from the Netherlands are required to fill in a certificate with questions about health complaints that fit in with COVID-19. This health certificate form is provided by the airline prior to boarding. The Netherlands makes it compulsory for passengers in the aircraft and at Dutch airports to wear a non-medical mouthpiece during check-in, security and border processes and boarding.

Self-quarantine

At this moment it is mandatory to self-quarantine for ten days if you travel to The Netherlands from countries for which the travel ban has not been lifted and some EU countries.

Would you like to know more or do you need assistance, please reach out to us!

Update July 19th, 2020

The European member states agreed on the gradual and partial lifting of the EU travel ban that was in force from mid-March to 1 July 2020 in relation to COVID19.

On 30 June 2020, the Dutch government adopted the EU recommendations. The new entry policy has no expiry date and is therefore valid until further notice.

As of 1 July 2020, The Netherlands has lifted the travel ban for certain groups of travellers, allowing permanent (long-term) residents of the following countries to enter The Netherlands: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. The ban on travellers from China will be lifted once China allows entry to EU citizens.

The list of countries will be reviewed every 2 weeks (or sooner if necessary). Countries can be added to a certain category if the health situation with regard to COVID19 allows it. If, in view of COVID19, the health situation in a country deteriorates, the country can be listed in the category of countries from which one is not allowed to travel to The Netherlands.

To prevent the spread of COVID19, existing restrictions will remain in place for non-essential travel to Europe (all European Union member states, Schengen area countries and the United Kingdom) by individuals from all other countries. Individuals who are not permanent (long-term) residents of any of the countries listed above and who do not fall into any of the exempted categories below may not enter The Netherlands.

The travel ban does not apply to the following groups of people:

  • EU citizens (including British nationals) and their family members
  • Nationals of Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Monaco, Vatican City and Andorra, and their family members
  • Third-country nationals who have a residence card or residence permit in accordance with EU Directive 2003/109/EC concerning long-term residents
  • Third-country nationals whose right of residence is derived from other EU directives or the national law of a member state
  • Holders of a long-stay visa, including those with an authorisation for temporary stay (MVV).

Third-country nationals who are key workers or have exceptional circumstances are also exempted. These are:

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Cross-border commuters
  • In so far as necessary, people working in the transport of goods and other transport workers. These are people who work on container ships, bulk carriers (e.g. transporting ore or coal), tankers (e.g. transporting fuels and chemicals), fishing boats; people who work in the energy sector, i.e. on oil and gas platforms and at wind parks, and for off-shore companies that provide services to this sector; and flight crews
  • Diplomats
  • Members of the armed forces
  • Staff members of international and humanitarian organisations
  • People with compelling reasons to visit their family (exceptional cases). An exceptional case would be to visit a terminally ill family member and to attend their funeral. Family member is understood here to mean a first- or second-degree family member. Partners and children are first-degree family members, and grandchildren are second-degree
  • Transit passengers travelling to a third country via The Netherlands or another Schengen country
  • People who require international protection (normal border procedures apply)
  • People admitted on humanitarian grounds
  • Seafarers in possession of a seaman’s record book
  • Students
  • Highly skilled migrants

The treaty officers at the border will determine whether the exception is applicable. It is not possible to get a confirmation in advance to determine if an exceptional category is applicable. Therefore, we recommend assignees that they travel well equipped with documentation to prove their status and reason for travelling.

Highly skilled migrants

Highly skilled migrants have been added to the list of exceptions, however, if the assignee needs a MVV visa to travel to The Netherlands and the embassies/consulates abroad are still closed due to COVID 19, it is not possible to travel to The Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant without obtaining a MVV visa. This is only possible when they are key workers and there are urgent reasons for the assignees to start working as soon as possible. Urgent reasons such as the assignee can demonstrate that there is an emergency related to one of the crucial professions or vital processes and that he/she is indispensable for the vital processes.

If a highly skilled migrants do not need a MVV visa to travel to The Netherlands, and the country they are traveling from is not on the exception list of countries for which the travel ban has been lifted, assignees are only allowed to travel if they can show the IND approval letter for study or highly skilled migrant (including accompanying family members who have a derived residence status).

Via IATA TIMATIC, the airline companies are informed that the IND notification letter for these categories is sufficient for travel and admission to The Netherlands. However, the IND has indicated that this only applies to direct flights to The Netherlands. Other (transit) countries may not accept this proof.

Health declaration

When entering Schiphol Airport, a health certificate and wearing a mask is compulsory. Passengers on all inbound and outbound flights in and from The Netherlands are required to fill in a certificate with questions about health complaints that fit in with COVID-19. This health certificate form is provided by the airline prior to boarding. In addition, at the check-in and before entering the aircraft, the airline staff must carry out a health check. The Netherlands makes it compulsory for passengers in the aircraft and at Dutch airports to wear a non-medical mouthpiece during check-in, security and border processes and boarding.

Self-quarantine

The Dutch government highly recommends to self-quarantine for two weeks if you travel to The Netherlands.

Travelers from countries for which the travel ban has not been lifted, can only travel to The Netherlands, if one of the exemption categories of the travel ban is applicable. For these exception categories there is an urgent advice for self-quarantine at home for two weeks. This also applies to Dutch citizens, people with a residence permit who return from these so-called “unsafe” countries.

For the countries for which the travel has been lifted, there is no urgent recommendation for self-quarantine. Those countries have an equivalent health situation in view of COVID 19.

Last but not least, the following groups will be exempted from the urgent advice of self-quarantine: Care professionals (including medical researchers and care personnel for the elderly); border workers, transport personnel, diplomats, personnel of international organizations and persons invited by international organizations, persons travelling for necessary family reasons, military personnel, humanitarian aid workers, personnel for civil protection, passengers in transit and seafarers.

Update June 15th, 2020

The Dutch government has taken measures with the aim to prevent the spread of the COVID 19 virus. In this article we would like to update you about the measures which affect the mobility sector in The Netherlands.

Travel ban

The EU proposal of an entry ban for non-essential travel has been extended until 30 June 2020. The Dutch Cabinet has decided to adopt this EU-proposal. From 19 March 2020 onwards, the conditions for people travelling to The Netherlands have been tightened. Currently, the ban is effective until 30 June 2020 in The Netherlands, but it may be prolonged.

The ban restricts all non-essential travel from third countries into the EU (all EU member states, all Schengen members and the UK). This includes tourists, business travellers, temporary family visits etc. In practice this means that the EU Member States and the Schengen associated countries can refuse entry to non-resident third country nationals at their external borders.

Exceptions of the travel ban

The travel restriction does not apply to the following categories of persons:

  • EU citizens (including UK nationals) and members of their families;
    Nationals of Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and their family members;
  • Third-country nationals holding a residence card or a residence permit in accordance with Directive 2003/109/EC (LTR Directive);
  • Third-country nationals who derive their right of residence from other European Directives or from the national law of a Member State;
  • Holders of a long-stay visa, including persons with a temporary residence permit (MVV);
  • Other persons with an essential function or need, including: personnel working in health care, border workers, persons employed in the transportation of goods (where necessary), diplomats, military personnel, personnel of international and humanitarian organizations, persons who have compelling reasons to visit their families, transit passengers who wish to travel via The Netherlands to another third country, persons in need of international protection (the border procedure applies in full), persons who are admitted for humanitarian reasons.

The treaty officers at the border will determine whether the exception is applicable. Therefore, we recommend assignees to travel well documented.

Foreign nationals traveling to The Netherlands for work purposes

In principle, if you have been able to obtain a long-stay visa (MVV), you may enter The Netherlands. However, since most flights are cancelled these days, the applicant is most likely unable to reach his destination. If you have not received a MVV visa, because you have a visa-free nationality, you are not allowed to travel to The Netherlands at this moment. At this moment it is also not possible to obtain a MVV visa because the Dutch embassies/consulates abroad are closed until further notice.

Please take note that national authorities and customs may review the entry of residence permit card and visa holders of other Schengen countries and that these travellers will need to demonstrate essential reasons to enter. Therefore, for any travels into the Schengen Area, travellers are advised to enter the Schengen Area directly into the country of main destination or residence.

Self-quarantine

The Dutch government highly recommends to self-quarantine for two weeks if you travel to The Netherlands from the countries mentioned below.

  • France
  • Italy
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • Afghanistan
  • Argentina
  • Bahrein
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Kuwait
  • Mexico
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • USA

The “intelligent” lockdown

Another measure taken by the Dutch government to prevent the spread of the COVID 19 virus, is the intelligent lockdown, introduced by our Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The intelligent lockdown means that everyone stays at home as much as possible, works from home if possible and keeps 1.5 meters distance from each other. Also, many facilities (schools, restaurants, cafés, bars and gyms) were closed to prevent the further spread of the COVID 19 virus. The Dutch government is slowly loosening the measures. Schools, restaurants, cafés, bars and cinemas are allowed to open again with extra health measures to prevent the spread of COVID 19. However, it is still mandatory to keep 1.5 meters distance from each other, to stay at home when you are not feeling well and it is still recommended to work from home if possible. It is also mandatory to wear masks when you are using public transportation.

The impact of COVID-19 measures on the mobility sector in The Netherlands

In The Netherlands, the Dutch immigration authorities (IND) and the Dutch labour authorities (UWV) are still operational and process new applications, renewals and change of status/employer applications, etc.

In addition, the IND has limited appointments at the IND desks to what they consider as most urgent. Only if you need to collect your first highly skilled migrant or dependents residence permit you will be able to provide biometrics and collect your residence permit card. Obtaining proof of pending application stickers and collection of residence permit cards for internationals already residing in The Netherlands is not possible at the moment.

The IND confirmed that rights associated with an issued approval for a valid residence permit are applicable also in case the applicant is not able to collect a residence permit card or residence endorsement sticker due to the current closure of the IND desks. As a result, the applicant can start or continue the activities in The Netherlands based on the approval letter issued by the IND when they are already residing in The Netherlands.

Consular desks of Dutch embassies and consulates are closed until further notice. Therefore, it is not possible to obtain entry visas at this moment. However, the embassies and consulates are independently authorised to extend the mentioned periods by another 90 days if you can prove that you were unable to collect your MVV visa or travel to The Netherlands with your MVV visa in time because of the coronavirus and/or the closure of the consular desk. We therefore recommend assignees to consult the website of the Dutch Embassy or Consulate in their country of origin to check when the embassies and consulates are available again.

The different town halls in The Netherlands decide individually whether they remain open or closed. Most of the town halls limit their services to “urgent cases” by appointments only.

The expat centres are also slowly opening their doors again. It is possible to schedule appointments for registration and collecting residence permits if they are ready to collect. However, this depends on the expat centre you will be visiting.

Considerations

People who are staying in The Netherlands on a short-stay visa and cannot leave the country due the COVID-19 measures, can apply for an extension of their short-stay visa by telephone at the IND, since the extension of a visa currently cannot be applied for at an IND desk. The extension can only be granted for The Netherlands and will be registered in the European Visa Information System (VIS).

Furthermore, might a Dutch residence permit expire, the permit will not be extended automatically because of COVID-19. Therefore, if a Dutch residence permit is due to expire shortly and leaving The Netherlands is currently not possible, it is important to apply for an extension. Please note that each case will be assessed on an individual basis.

In case the permit-exempt term of people who are allowed to enter The Netherlands without short-stay visa expires, but these people cannot leave The Netherlands because of travel restrictions, there is no further action required. The Dutch Government will perform less controls in this exceptional period. Nevertheless, the Dutch Government expects people who need to return to their home country, to do so if it is possible again.

Assignees who have a visa-free nationality and received their IND approval cannot travel to The Netherlands until the travel ban has been lifted.

Finally, regarding the information obligation of recognized sponsors, the employers need to maintain permit conditions. The employer needs to notify the IND within 4 weeks if a change has occurred in the situation of the employee or the employer. Changes such as: employee does not meet the salary threshold anymore, the employee cannot meet the start date anymore, etc. should be reported to the IND.

We are implementing the following procedures to keep everyone informed:

  • Any changes that directly impact an assignee will first be addressed immediately by our Account Coordinators with our client relocation case manager for the file.
  • With this blog, we will place the latest updates from the Dutch government as we receive them.

RSH ensures its clients that services are still being provided. We assist internationals with their particular queries and concerns on a daily basis.

Please contact us if you need our assistance. RSH is more than happy to assist with the application for an extension, a Dutch residence permit or any other relocation service needed.

Update May 18th 2020

The EU proposal of an entry ban for non-essential travel has been extended until 15 June 2020. The Dutch Cabinet has decided to adopt this EU-proposal. From 19 March 2020 onwards, the conditions for entry by persons wishing to travel to The Netherlands have been tightened. Currently, the ban is effective until 15 June 2020 in The Netherlands, but it may be prolonged.

The ban restricts all non-essential travel from third countries into the EU. This includes tourists, business travellers, temporary family visits etc. In practice this means that the EU Member States and the Schengen associated countries can refuse entry to non-resident third country nationals at their external borders.

Exceptions of the travel ban

The travel restriction does not apply to the following categories of persons:

  • EU citizens (including UK nationals) and members of their families;
  • Nationals of Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and their family members;
  • Third-country nationals holding a residence card or a residence permit in accordance with Directive 2003/109/EC (LTR Directive);
  • Third-country nationals who derive their right of residence from other European Directives or from the national law of a Member State;
  • Holders of a long-stay visa, including persons with a temporary residence permit (MVV);
  • Other persons with an essential function or need, including: personnel working in health care, border workers, persons employed in the transportation of goods (where necessary), diplomats, military personnel, personnel of international and humanitarian organizations, persons who have compelling reasons to visit their families, transit passengers who wish to travel via The Netherlands to another third country, persons in need of international protection (the border procedure applies in full), persons who are admitted for humanitarian reasons.

The treaty officers at the border will determine whether the exception is applicable. Therefore, we recommend assignees that they travel well documented.

Update April 29th, 2020

The Dutch government has taken measures with the aim to prevent the spread of the COVID 19 virus. In this article we would like to inform you about the measures which affect the mobility sector in The Netherlands.

Travel ban

As a measure to contain the spread of the COVID 19 virus, on 16 March 2020 the European Commission recommended to the EU Member States to introduce a temporary travel ban lasting 30 days for non-essential travel of persons from third countries to Europe (all EU member states, all Schengen members and the UK). The EU proposal of an entry ban for non-essential travel has been extended until 15 May 2020. The Dutch Cabinet has decided to adopt this EU-proposal. From 19 March 2020 onwards, the conditions for entry by persons wishing to travel to The Netherlands have been tightened. Currently, the ban is effective until 15 May 2020 in The Netherlands, but it may be prolonged.

The ban restricts all non-essential travel from third countries into the EU. This includes tourists, business travellers, temporary family visits etc. In practice this means that the EU Member States and the Schengen associated countries can refuse entry to non-resident third country nationals at their external borders.

Exceptions of the travel ban

The travel restriction does not apply to the following categories of persons:

  • EU citizens (including UK nationals) and members of their families;
  • Nationals of Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and their family members;
  • Third-country nationals holding a residence card or a residence permit in accordance with Directive 2003/109/EC (LTR Directive);
  • Third-country nationals who derive their right of residence from other European Directives or from the national law of a Member State;
  • Holders of a long-stay visa, including persons with a temporary residence permit (MVV);
  • Other persons with an essential function or need, including: personnel working in health care, border workers, persons employed in the transportation of goods (where necessary), diplomats, military personnel, personnel of international and humanitarian organizations, persons who have compelling reasons to visit their families, transit passengers who wish to travel via The Netherlands to another third country, persons in need of international protection (the border procedure applies in full), persons who are admitted for humanitarian reasons.

The treaty officers at the border will determine whether the exception is applicable. Therefore, we recommend assignees that they travel well documented.

Foreign nationals traveling to The Netherlands for work purposes

In principle, if you have been able to obtain a long-stay visa (MVV), you may enter The Netherlands. However, since most flights are cancelled these days, the applicant is most likely unable to reach his destination. If you have not received a MVV visa, because you have a visa-free nationality, you are not allowed to travel to The Netherlands at this moment.

Please take note that national authorities and customs may review the entry of residence permit card and visa holders of other Schengen countries and that these travellers will need to demonstrate essential reasons to enter. Therefore, for any travels into the Schengen Area, travellers are advised to enter the Schengen Area directly into the country of main destination or residence.

The “intelligent” lockdown

Another measure taken by the Dutch government to prevent the spread of the COVID 19 virus, is the intelligent lockdown, introduced by our Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The intelligent lockdown means that everyone stays at home as much as possible, works from home if possible and keeps 1.5 meters distance from each other. Also, many facilities (schools, restaurants, cafés, bars and gyms) have been closed to prevent the further spread of the COVID 19 virus.

The impact of COVID-19 measures on the mobility sector in The Netherlands

In The Netherlands, the Dutch immigration authorities (IND) and the Dutch labour authorities (UWV) are still operational and process new applications, renewals and change of status/employer applications, etc.

In addition, the IND has limited appointments at the IND desks to what they consider as most urgent. Only if you were able to secure an MVV abroad and have reached The Netherlands, you will at this stage still be able to collect your residence permit card, if this card is necessary for registration at the town hall and/or to take out local health insurance. Providing biometrics, obtaining proof of pending application stickers and collection of residence permit cards for internationals already residing in the Netherlands is not possible at the moment.

The IND confirmed that rights associated with an issued approval for a valid residence permit are applicable also in case the applicant is not able to collect a residence permit card or residence endorsement sticker due to the current closure of the IND desks. As a result, the applicant can start or continue the activities in The Netherlands based on the approval letter issued by the IND.

Consular desks of Dutch embassies and consulates are closed until at least 20 May 2020. Therefore, it is not possible to obtain entry visas at this moment. However, the embassies and consulates are independently authorised to extend the mentioned periods by another 90 days if you can prove that you were unable to collect your MVV visa or travel to The Netherlands with your MVV visa in time because of the coronavirus and/or the closure of the consular desk. We therefore recommend assignees to consult the website of the Dutch Embassy or Consulate in their country of origin to check when the embassies and consulates are available again.

The different town halls in The Netherlands decide individually whether they remain open or closed. More and more town halls close or limit their services to “urgent cases” only.

The measures taken by the IND and other Dutch authorities are effective until at least 20 May 2020, but may be prolonged in view of the developments.

Considerations

People who are staying in The Netherlands on a short-stay visa and cannot leave the country due the COVID-19 measures, can apply for an extension of their short-stay visa by telephone at the IND, since the extension of a visa currently cannot be applied for at an IND desk. The extension can only be granted for The Netherlands and will be registered in the European Visa Information System (VIS).

Furthermore, might a Dutch residence permit expire, the permit will not be extended automatically because of COVID-19. Therefore, if a Dutch residence permit is due to expire shortly and leaving The Netherlands is currently not possible, it is important to apply for an extension. Please note that each case will be assessed on an individual basis.

Also, when the permit-exempt term of people who can enter The Netherlands without a short-stay visa will expire, but these people cannot leave The Netherlands, no further action is required. The Dutch Government will perform less controls in this exceptional period. Nevertheless, the Dutch Government expects people to keep trying to leave The Netherlands and return to their home country.

Assignees who have a visa free nationality and received their IND approval cannot travel to the Netherlands, because until the travel ban has been lifted.

Finally, regarding the information obligation of recognized sponsors, the employers need to maintain permit conditions. The employer needs to notify the IND within 4 weeks if a change has occurred in the situation of the employee or the employer. Changes such as: employee does not meet the salary threshold anymore, the employee cannot meet the start date anymore, etc. should be reported at the IND.

We are implementing the following procedures to keep everyone informed:

  • Any changes that directly impact an assignee will first be addressed immediately by our Account Coordinators with our client relocation case manager for the file.
  • With this blog, we will place the latest updates from the Dutch government as we receive them.

RSH ensures its clients that services are still provided. Our team will continue to work remotely from the safety of their home. We assist internationals with their particular queries and concerns on a daily basis.

Please contact us if you need our assistance. RSH is more than happy to assist with the application for an extension, a Dutch residence permit or any other relocation service needed.