Here you can consult frequently asked general questions and the relevant answers. If you miss a question or answer in this list, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will do the best we can to answer your question.
Am I allowed to part with my passport in connection with a visa application?
You are allowed to part with your passport in order to satisfy a legal obligation. If you are applying for a visa, that is the legal obligation imposed by a foreign power which requires that a traveller needs a visa.
Since 1 January 2005 every Dutch citizen from the age of 14 is obliged to possess some proof of identity. This can be done with one's passport, identity card or driver's licence. If you hand your passport over to us for a visa application, and you do not possess a driver's licence or identity card, you are, in principle, in breach. A photocopy of your passport is not a valid proof of identity within the meaning of the law.
N.B. Many business travellers who travel frequently possess a second passport.
Are there different types of visa?
Yes, there are various types of visa. Visas can vary according to the nature of the visit: business, tourism or private visit (visit to friends of family). They can also vary in the visa's period of validity and the period within which the visa must be used. The embassy of India usually issues a half-year visa; Russia issues a one month visa for business travellers. In practice, Visumbureau-Limburg arranges visa applications only for business travel.
A multiple-entry visa is a visa that can be used as often as you wish within the period of validity with a maximum number of days each time. A single entry visa can only be used for one journey. Many countries issue only single-entry visas. These can often be extended or adjusted locally for a new entry (for example, to a neighbouring country).
Some countries also issue a transit visa. This visa is valid only for travelling through a country, because one arrives in that country (by plane) and immediately after that travels on by land to the next country. A transit visa has limited validity (usually no more than 3 days).
Completely different rules apply for emigration than apply for ordinary visas. Certainly with emigration outside the European Union you can become involved in numerous prescriptions and conditions. For this you would be well advised to involve a specialized agency.
How long do visas remain valid?
Generally speaking visas need to be used within three months of the date of issue. Therefore, visas cannot be applied for much beforehand. The visas would then have already expired at the time that you arrive at your destination. Some embassies/consulates issue a visa exactly for the duration of the journey. Other embassies issue a visa for a longer period.
Is the issue of a visa ever refused?
The issue of a visa can be refused, for example, if not all conditions are satisfied. Damage to a passport can be a reason for refusing to issue a visa. For journalists and clerics entry restrictions sometimes apply. People with refugee status are also refused entry by many countries. The embassies always have the right to refuse a visa, although in practice this does not happen very often.
How do I apply for a work permit?
A work permit is much more laborious than an ordinary visa. A number of specific requirements are attached to the application procedure. We have experience with work permits for Brazil and Saudi Arabia. Under Country Information we deal in greater detail with this. Precise procedures in connection with work permits for other countries will be investigated and provided on request.
I want to bring someone from abroad to the Netherlands. How do I have to go about that?
Visumbureau-Limburg unfortunately cannot assist you. A visa for the Netherlands has to be personally applied for at the Dutch consulate in the country where the visitor lives. All formalities have to be complied with locally. Should you want to invite the person, who requires a visa, for less than 3 months you should send a letter of invitation to the person concerned. You should also stand guarantor for the visitor. The municipality where you live may possibly be able to assist you with a formal invitation.
After lodging the application it can take a considerable time (several months!) before you receive a reply. If the visa is granted you can be approached for your guarantor declaration. If you want people to stay for a longer period (> 3 months) a temporary residence permit (MVV) should be applied for. On the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Department you will be able to find all the relevant information.
A foreigner with a Schengen visa or a Dutch residence permit can travel with a valid visa within the Schengen countries. These are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Great Britain, Ireland and Switzerland are not Schengen countries.
A foreigner with a Schengen visa issued by a certain country must, in principle, also enter the Schengen area via this country.
I want to authenticate a document. Can Visa Bureau-Limburg organize that for me?
Yes, Visumbureau Limburg can be of service to you. Visumbureau Limburg has more experience in organising visas, but can also satisfactorily handle your authentications.
There are two types of authentication:
- Consular authentications
Most consulates can only authenticate documents which carry a stamp from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague. For the authentication of business documents for countries in the Middle East authentication by the Chamber of Commerce is often sufficient.
- Marginal note
Since The Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 a consular authentication is not necessary if the document has been provided with a Marginal Note. A Marginal Note is issued by the competent authority in the country of origin of the document in The Netherlands these are the District Courts and the Note applies to public deeds.
- Documents which are issued by an authority or official belonging to any judicial organ of the State, including documents from the public prosecutor's office, registrars or bailiffs.
- Administrative documents.
- Notarial deeds.
- Official declarations placed on private documents, such as declarations regarding registration, the existence of a document on a specific date and the authenticity of a signature.
NB: in consultation we also take care of authentication of documents at Chambers of Commerce, notaries and Courts.
Are there any health risks and what vaccinations do I need?
In all cases it is advisable to inquire at the local municipal health service (GG&GD), your physician, or on the internet at www.lcr.nl.
You need to take account of the fact that for certain vaccinations a specific period of time must pass between the vaccination and the immunity. Vaccination should, therefore, take place in a timely manner.
When booking a last minute journey the issue of a visa may be refused on the ground that your vaccinations are not valid!
I have lost my passport (or passes) on the way; what should I do?
People who lose their papers on the way or have them stolen must have their passes blocked by the bank. Replacement documents can be applied for at the Dutch consulate in the country concerned. If there is no Dutch embassy or consulate in the relevant country you can also apply to another EU embassy. The necessary visa must also be applied for again at the consulate of the country concerned. You might consider saving copies of all important documents on the secure website www.lockertje.nl. This can simplify any application for new documents.
On www.pasblokkeren.nl you will find information regarding the blocking of bank passes and credit cards. Important telephone numbers / procedures are, of course, also provided by your bank or credit card company.