You may only submit your visa application within the 180 days (6 months) period prior to your intended date of arrival to Schengen Area. Seafarers can apply 9 months prior to intended departure date.
Please read the information below carefully to find answers to your questions.
The Schengen Area is composed of 27 countries.
The four other European Union Member States still outside the Schengen Area are Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania.
The EU Member State - Cyprus, is not yet a fully-fledged member of the Schengen Area. Border controls between Cyprus and the current members of the Schengen Area are to be maintained until the EU Council decides that the conditions for abolishing internal border controls have been met. However, Cyprus considers the Schengen visa, as well as residence permits from other EU Member States, as equivalent to its national visa for the purpose of a transit that does not exceed 5 days.
The Principalities of Monaco, Andorra, San Marino and Holy See (Vatican City State) allow entry to their territories without any formality to Schengen visa holders.
The following is the list of countries that are currently members of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Domestic passport holders - All domestic nationals must have a valid visa to enter the Schengen area, regardless of the duration of their stay and no matter what kind of travel document they have, except if they have a valid residence permit which enables them to stay in the Schengen area.
Nationals of other countries - Citizens of some countries are exempted from the requirement for a visa to enter the Schengen area for a short stay or transit, for details please check the following website.
Visa applications for the Netherlands are now received by TLScontact, except for some categories that are still received by the Embassy or Consulate of the Netherlands in China directly, see Document and Visa Types.
You are required to submit your visa application at the TLScontact Application Center or the Embassy/Consulate nearby where you are currently living.
You may only submit your visa application within the 180 days (6 months) period prior to your intended date of arrival to Schengen Area. Seafarers can apply 9 months prior to intended departure date.
Schengen visa (short stay)
For citizens of some countries, a Schengen visa (Type C) issued by one of the member countries is required when staying in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days. For more information, please clickhere.
With a Schengen visa, you may enter one country and travel freely throughout the Schengen Area. Short stay visa allows the traveller, assuming all other conditions are met, to enter the territories of any Schengen country to pay a single continuous visit or multiple visits, the duration of which does not exceed 90 days in any 180 days period.
A short stay (Schengen) visa can be issued for either single entry or multiple entries into the Schengen zone.
National visa (long stay)
If you wish to stay longer than 90 days you will need a national long stay visa (Type D) or a residence permit.
Any stay longer than 90 days falls under national jurisdiction and is not part of the Schengen Agreement.
Airport transit visa
An airport transit visa is required depending upon the country of your citizenship and whether you have residence permits or visas of certain countries. The visa allows the travelers transiting the Schengen territory and who will not leave the transit area of the airport.
Airport transit visa does not apply to Chinese citizens. However, if the transit involves a change of airport, a regular tourism visa is required.
If you are of other nationalities and you are going to transit through a Dutch airport, please check the following website to see if you need an airport transit visa.
As of 29th of January 2018, Cuban nationals traveling to a destination outside the Schengen area via the Netherlands are required to apply for the Airport transit visa. For more information, please click here.
Note: As of 1st of February 2020 you do not require an Airport transit visa if you have a valid visa or a valid residence permit for Aruba, Curaҫao, Saint Maarten, Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba.
Tip: Family member with different nationality
>You are eligible if you can prove objectively that all of the following requirements are met:
Family member means:
If you think you qualify for visa facilitation you will need to show proof that you meet all of these criteria when you submit your Schengen visa (type C) application. The accelerated procedure means that you do not have to answer the questions on the Schengen visa application number 19, 20, 31, 32, 33 and fewer supporting documents are required. Family members of EU, EEA or Swiss citizens must present documents to prove their relationship and fill in fields 34 and 35 of the visa application form.
Applicant will have to provide evidence that he or she falls under this category. Applications for Schengen visa for this purpose is free of charge; service fees are applicable if application is submitted at a Visa Application Centre.
Important notice: This procedure does not apply to family members of Dutch nationals travelling to or living in the Netherlands, unless they have recently worked and lived in another EU/EER country or Switzerland.
Directive 2004/38/EC governs visa facilitation and visa exemptions for family members with a visa-required nationality of EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who are exercising or have exercised their right of free movement. They may be entitled to a relaxed (free of charge and accelerated) visa procedure. An EU/EEA/Swiss national is exercising his or her right of free movement if he or she moves to or resides in (or has recently moved to or resided in) a member state other than that of which he/she is a national.
Detailed information about the procedure for verification against EU-law is available on the website of the Immigration and Naturalization Service: https://ind.nl/en/eu-eea/Pages/EUEEA-or-Swiss-citizen.aspx
Visa free travel
If you are in the possession of a valid residence permit for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus (Rep.), Ireland, Romania, or the United Kingdom explicitly stating ‘family member of an EEU/EA/Swiss national’, you do not need a visa to enter the Netherlands.
As of 10 October 2010 it is possible to visit more than one Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands using a single visa. The visa is valid for all parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean for a visit as a tourist or for a short stay in the countries of Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten and for the Dutch Caribbean islands Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba.
For more information, please click here.
Generally, all Chinese citizens have to apply for a Visa in order to travel to Caribbean Netherlands. However, there are a few exemptions:
Please check the following picture.
DURATION OF STAY ... DAYS indicates the number of days you may stay in the Schengen area. The days should be counted from the date you enter the Schengen area (the entry stamp) to the date you exit the Schengen area (the exit stamp), i.e. both days included.
The period of time between “FROM … UNTIL” is usually longer than the number of days printed in the “DURATION OF STAY” field. The difference in period is meant to give you flexibility to plan your entry into and exit from the Schengen area, but your stay in the Schengen area must never exceed the exact number of days in the “DURATION OF STAY …DAYS” field.
No matter how many days you have stayed in the Schengen area, you must leave no later than the date printed in the “UNTIL” field.”
Foreign parents of a child with the Dutch nationality can request permanent residence in the Netherlands. On the following website from the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service, you find detailed information on the process.
The process of requesting permanent stay starts with applying for a facilitating visa from the Dutch representation in China by applying at one of the TLScontact Visa Application Centre.
To determine whether the foreign parent of the Dutch child qualifies for this type of visa (based on the Chavez-Vilchez ruling), the identity of the parent and the family relationship between the foreign parent and the Dutch child needs to be established based on legal documents. It also needs to be substantiated where and with whom the Dutch child currently has permanent residence.
On 10 May 2017 the Court of Justice of the European Union gave judgment in the case brought by Chavez-Vilchez and Others (C-133/15). The Court held that the third-country national parent of a minor with Dutch nationality is eligible for EU residence if such a relationship of dependency exists between the third-country national parent and the child that the child would be obliged to leave the territory of the EU if that parent were refused residency. When assessing the relationship of dependency the best interests of the child must be taken into account.
A relationship of dependency exists if the third-country national parent carries out tasks relating to the child’s primary care and upbringing (regardless of the scope and frequency of these tasks). However, a relationship of dependency can exist in other cases too.
Information on the judgment
The judgment in Chavez-Vilchez and Others follows a previous case heard by the Court of Justice (Zambrano). As far back as 2011, the Court held, in Zambrano,that member states cannot deny residence to a third-country parent of a minor child who is a national of that member state if this would oblige the child to leave the EU with the third-country parent. The Court saw this as ‘depriving Union citizens of the genuine enjoyment of the substance of the rights conferred by virtue of their status’. In specific situations, however, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) was still able to argue that if the child’s other parent (who must have Dutch nationality, given that the child’s Dutch nationality stems from this parent) could care for the child, the child would not have to leave the EU.
In the Chavez-Vilchez judgment, the Court of Justice confirms that the third-country national parent of a minor child with Dutch nationality can be eligible for a right of residence in the EU, derived from the right of residence of their child. The judgment clarifies where the burden of proof lies for both the state and the third-country national. It follows from the Court’s stance that the fact that there may be another parent (with Dutch nationality) who could in principle assume sole responsibility for the child’s day-to-day and primary care is a relevant factor, but is not a sufficient ground for refusing residence. According to the Court, in order to refuse residency a member state must establish that there is not such a relationship of dependency between the third-country national parent and the child that the child would be obliged to leave the territory of the EU if that parent were refused residency. The Court states that the competent authorities must take account of the right to respect for family life and the best interests of the child.
According to the Court, account must be taken of all the specific circumstances, including the age of the child, the child’s physical and emotional development, the extent of the child’s emotional ties both to the Union citizen parent and to the third-country national parent, and the risks which separation from the latter might entail for that child’s equilibrium.
In terms of the burden of proof, in the Court’s view it is initially the responsibility of the third-country national parent to demonstrate that refusing residence would mean that the Dutch national child would be obliged to leave the EU. However, it is then for the competent authorities to undertake whatever inquiries are necessary to enable them to assess, on the basis of the evidence provided by the third-country national, whether the Dutch national parent is able and willing to care for the child. The competent authorities must also assess whether such a relationship of dependency exists between the third-country national parent and the child that the child would be obliged to leave the territory of the EU if that parent were refused residency.
Please ensure to provide the following documents at the time of your application.
This facilitating visa is free of charge.
After approval and issuance of the facilitating visa, the applicant can travel to the Netherlands where the procedure for permanent stay can be continued by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service as explained on the website above.
Please ensure that you plan your travel to arrive at the center slightly before your appointment time. Do not arrive too early as you may be asked to wait so that applicants arriving on time may be welcomed according to their appointment time.
At the welcome area, please have:
1. At the Welcome area, TLScontact agent will thoroughly check your documents for compliance with your application checklist. Please be informed that corrections on any type of application form are not accepted. All information on the application form must be correct the day of the appointment. If not, you will be invited to fill a new form.
2. Waiting area: Your application ID (individual reference number without “M”) will be automatically called and shown on the screen when there is a counter available for you to submit the application.
3. At the Documentation area, you will then be issued with a submission confirmation document, which you must retain to retrieve your passport when it has been processed.
4. After confirming the documentation, you will be invited to make payment of fees and proceed to the biometrics submission area to submit your biometrics.
Personal appearance is mandatory for all visa applicants unless you are exempted from biometric data capturing.
If you are exempted from biometric data capture, a representative can apply on your behalf. The representative has to provide a signed letter of authorization (please click here to download) as well as the original and copy of his/her ID card. The representative cannot be a minor.
Please see the question "Can someone else apply for a visa on my behalf?" to confirm if you can apply through a representative.
Please note the following points if you are applying through a representative:
The representative must bring the authorization form duly filled and hand signed by the applicant. This authorization form has to be provided as an original. Copies or faxes are not sufficient. No subsequent alterations are allowed to be made on the filled out form. The applicant’s signature on the form should resemble the applicant’s signature in the passport. The letter cannot be sharable.
The representative bears the sole responsibility for the decision about the application’s submission.
All applicants have to provide their biometric information when applying for a visa. This includes a digital finger scan of 10 fingerprints and a photograph. The finger scan procedure uses an electronic scanner. In order to ensure acceptable finger scans, please make sure that your fingertips are free from any form of decoration or cuts. Only applicants who are within the following categories will be exempted:
The Consulate may request you to provide additional documents or to attend an interview according to your personal situation, even after you have submitted your application at TLScontact.
If the minor needs to enrol his/her biometric data during the application, he/she has to come in person, please see the question “Do I need to enrol my biometric information in the Visa Application Center?”.
Please note that minors are not allowed to submit applications by themselves, they must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
In the eventuality that the representative is not the parent or the legal guardian of the minor, the representative must present an authorization letter signed by one of the parents or the legal guardian.
About signature on minor applicant’s passport
For passports of underage applicants the following rules apply: For the applicant under 10 years old, the passport does not need to be signed. For the applicant above 10 years old (including 10), the passport has to be only signed by the minor.
It is not allowed for the parents or guardians to sign the underage applicant’s passport. If the parents or legal guardians sign in the applicant’s passport, this passport cannot be used anymore to apply for a Schengen visa for the Netherlands.
Passports can be collected in TLScontact Visa Application Centres during the opening hours to the public.
Once your passport is back from the Dutch Consular Authority you will be notified online on your personal account page and by SMS notification.
There are three ways to get the passport back:
1. Express Courier Return
You may have your passport returned to you by express delivery service. It will be sent directly to your convenient chosen address. Please click here to check the service availability.
2. Passport self-pick up
Please provide the following documents if you would like to retrieve the passport by yourself:
3. Passport pick-up by a representative
A representative may retrieve your passport on your behalf. The representative must provide:
Please kindly note that passports which have been returned by the Dutch Consular Authority to TLScontact and have not been collected from TLScontact within a period of 6 months from the moment of application submission will be returned to the Dutch Consular Authority.
Provided your application is correct and complete, the average processing time for short-stay individual applications of Chinese nationals traveling to the Netherlands is 48 hours from time of submission to the visa application center, excluding weekends and public holidays. In most cases, you will be informed within 15 calendar days whether your application has been successful. However, it can sometimes take up to 45 days, for example if extra documents are required.
In the following cases, the processing time can be longer:
In order to avoid delays in the Visa Application Centre, we recommend to applicants to note the following:
The Postal Application Procedure is suspended from 17th April 2023. The Visa Application Centre will not accept any visa applications files sent by post.
You can find more detail information on how to take an appointment on TLScontact "visa information" section.
The Visa Application Centre can also support applicants who wish assistance concerning the whole visa appointment process. Website registration, form filling, appointment booking are covered to make your visa journey easier.
For more information, please contact us or ask our representatives at the Reception for assistance, when you arrive at the Visa Application Centre.
TLScontact supports the latest versions of these browsers:
Make sure your browser is up to date and get into the habit of installing software updates whenever they are available.
Internet Explorer (IE) 11 was released in 2013, and no feature updates released by Microsoft in years, which puts this browser behind others in terms of its ability to support new technologies. While Microsoft will continue to provide support for users of IE 11 for a few more years, the new default browser is Microsoft Edge.
Before applying for a visa you must make sure that your passport is valid.
Passports of applicants who are minors and under 10 years old can, but do not need to be signed. Applicants above 10 years old (10 years old included) have to sign on the passport by themselves. Applicants above 18 years old (18 years old included) must sign their own name as well. Parents or legal guardian(s) are NOT allowed to sign on minors’ passports.
Attention: The above rules do not apply to newly-issued Chinese passports.
It is advised that you do not apply for a visa on a passport issued for multiple persons (e.g. parent and children together).
The photograph is required for any visa application and must meet the following criteria:
Please ensure that on the photograph you submit you are:
Please note, if the photograph you submit at the time of the application submission is deemed uncompliant, you will be asked to take a new photo.
A self-service photo booth is at your disposal inside the Visa Application Centre in case you need to provide a more recent compliant photograph to complete your application. For more information, please click here.
The picture table shows examples of non-compliant photos “✗,” and the correct equivalent. For the full photo details, please see here.
Due to a regulation of the European Union (Decision 2004/17/CE of December 22nd 2003), there is a requirement to hold travel insurance, which is a compulsory document.
The travel insurance should be:
A Self-service insurance desk is available in TLScontact for the applicants who wish to purchase Schengen insurance for their visa application. Insurance products offered by the website meet Schengen insurance requirements.
Where to purchase a travel health insurance
You may go to an authorized insurance company to purchase a Schengen travel health insurance meeting the requirements for Schengen visa.
In order to facilitate the selection of compliant Schengen travel insurances, the self-service insurance platforms managed by a third-party service provider are available as an optional service for your conveniences:
Please note that this optional service is provided by third party service provider. For further inquiry, please contact the service hotline indicated on the dedicated website.
Bank statements general requirements:
Employer’s bank statements
Biometric data already collected for a Schengen visa is valid for 59 months from the date the biometric data capture was done.
If you have already provided your biometric data for a previous successful Schengen visa application with one Schengen country, then you do not need to come in person to submit them again if you apply for a new Schengen visa, even with a different Schengen country. You will only have to provide the visa sticker number and photocopy of the Schengen visa as a proof during the new visa application procedure. Your fingerprint scans can be copied for your follow-up application from the central VIS database. The VIS is a common database to all Schengen countries.
After expiry of 59 months, you have to provide fingerprint scans again.
Until the worldwide VIS roll-out, the ‘VIS’ information was marked on the visa sticker if the application was successfully saved in the VIS database. Now this marking is no longer necessary as all Schengen visa applications - independent of the place of issue - are stored in VIS. Refused applications are stored as well in VIS. In the application form under related field, you are asked whether you have provided fingerprint scans during a previous visa application process. If you affirm question under this filed, please always attach a copy of your previous Schengen visa sticker. In case of a refusal you should be able to provide a copy of the admission letter (if available).
No, not necessarily. When filling out the Schengen application form, you can answer the related questions to state that your fingerprint scans have already been successfully collected previously during the last 59 months. The visa section will try to copy your previously submitted finger scans from the Schengen VIS-database for your new application. However, if the copy of your fingerprint scans is technically not possible, you will be required to go to the Dutch visa section and submit the biometric data again.
There are 3 cases of exemption:
No. The submission of the complete application and the fingerprint data capture form a unit and cannot be separated temporally for a non-ADS application. The biometric data collection (fingerprint and photo) is a simple and discrete electronic procedure in the visa application center. It takes only a few minutes. Apart from that, the visa application procedure remains the same. With the introduction of VIS, there are neither changes in the application form nor competence regulations nor changes in fundamental requirements for the issuance of visas.
Yes. Visas which have been issued before the 12th of October 2015 will remain valid even after the VIS implementation. This applies also to multiple entry visas which have been issued with a validity of one or more than one year.
VIS is a system for the exchange of visa-data between Schengen countries. If fingerprints have been previously provided for a visa application to the US or UK, the fingerprints cannot be used for the Schengen-Visa application.