Processing visitor visa is very simple. Even if you go thru a travel agent, except the submission of the visa application form, you will have to do everything else yourself. It is not even required that the applicant has to personally submit – anyone can submit with an authorization form from the applicant. All forms are simple and straight forward to fill in. So far I have got visitor visa processed 4 different times (across 4 years – 2010, 11, 13, 14) for my close relatives without any issues.
From my experience, tourist visa is approved and granted in all normal cases. However the duration of the granted visa might vary depending on the circumstance (explained in FAQ).
There are 2 scenarios of visitor visa:
  • Applicant will primarily stay with someone who is already in Netherlands: In this case, the person in the Netherlands will have to first “legally” invite the applicant by purchasing a ‘Proof of sponsorship/private accommodation’ letter from the local town-hall (full procedure explained below).
  • Applicant is visiting Netherlands on his own (with tours etc)

Below is what you need to do:

  1. http://www.vfs-nl-in.com/tourist.html is pretty much the only link you will need for reference! The link has 5 tabs that tell you Visa fee, Documents required, Forms to be used, Photo specifications and FAQ. Just follow them and that’s about it. Note that 1 application form and associated documents is needed for each traveler (including children of all ages).
  2. Schedule a visa appointment via http://www.vfs-nl-in.com/schedule.html
  3. Submit the visa application form and pay the application fee on the appointment date and time. The cash you need to carry is:
  4. In about 5 days, collect the passport in person or wait for the courier.
FAQ and IMO (In My Opinion):
  1. What is a “legal” invitation? Ans: It is an invitation form (titled ‘Proof of sponsorship/private accommodation’) issued at the local town-hall. It is required when someone living in the Netherlands is sponsoring the visitor and/or providing for the accommodation.
  2. Where can I get the legalized invitation? Ans: You can print the form online: Aanvraagformulier Bewijs van garantstelling en/of particuliere logiesverstrekking. A hard copy is also available at the town-hall. The filled in form (1 form for each visitor) needs to be submitted at the local town-hall. The town-hall will put a seal and signature on the form, charge you a fee and return the form back to you. If you are single, the fee is about €10.25 per visitor. If you are married, it costs double!! Also, if you are married, you need to go along with your spouse to the town hall to get the legalized invitation! (Sounds ridiculous, but is true!! 🙁 )
  3. Should I send originals of the legalized invitation and other documents? Ans: It is sufficient to submit printouts/copies of the documents with the visitor visa application form. Originals are not required. Eg: You can scan the legalized invite letter and email it to your visitor. They can take a printout and submit along with their visa application.
  4. Though visa processing is free for children 0 to 5yrs, appointment should be taken and visa application form must be submitted for them as well.
  5. To schedule an appointment in the busy period (May to Aug), you need to plan and start checking the website for appointment at least 1 month in advance. Generally, appointment scheduling for the next months is opened about 10 days before the next month.
  6. Once you take an appointment, unless you cancel it, the site will not let you schedule one more appointment for the same passport number. (Cancelling process will take 1 or 2 working days since you need to send an email to VFS for doing this).
  7. Anybody can submit the visa application form. It is not required for the applicant to go to submit the application form.
  8. If all documents are good, it takes about 5 to 7 working days to get your passport from the time you submit the application at the VFS center.
  9. The duration of the granted visa varies from 2 years to just for the number of days you have requested for in the visa application form. If you have already had a Shengen visitor visa or a US visa, chances are you will get a 2 years valid visa (means you can come and go any number of times as long as you do not stay more than 90 days in any given 180 days period). If you do not get the 2 years visa, chances are that you will get 90 days or just the number of days you have mentioned on your application. I suggest you mention the number of days on your application as 90 days always. It will make your visa validity flexible enough for changing flight ticket.
  10. I suggest to choose “Multiple entry” option. This will help in case you decide to go to UK after planning the Europe trip.
  11. If you have not opted for postal delivery of the passport, anyone can collect it back from the application center. They will need the receipt of submission and also an authorization letter.
  12. The visitor visa is called Schengen visa. It allows the visitor to travel thru most of western Europe. Lookup wiki to get the latest list of Schengen countries.
  13. In any Schengen country, the visitors must carry their passport at all times to prove that they are legal. Police can stop and ask for valid ID and they do it often.
Disclaimer: The is my best effort and no responsibility will be taken for any inaccuracy

29 thoughts on “Processing Visitors visa.

  1. Anonymous


    Have residence permit but my employment is still with India since am here for a short period. Will it be possible for me to get legalized invitation from townhall for my wife to come over on a tourist visa.

    I have registered myself in Townhall

    1. Madhu

      Hi, from what I remember, townhall only checks passport and residence permit for giving the legalized invitation. So I expect it will be possible for you to get a legalized invite from the townhall.
      Since I’m only writing based on my experiences and not a legal expert, best way is to check at the townhall.

    2. ரவி

      HI Madhu.
      Thanks for the post.
      I went to town hall yesterday to get legalized invitation letter. They gave me a form with title Proof of sponsorship / private accommodation. Is this the same that you are refering as invitation letter? Also they informed this form hard copy is mandatory to be subbmitted with visa application

    3. Madhu

      Yes….that is the one.
      I filled it and emailed a scanned copy to my parents and asked them to take a print out. They included the print out along with the visa application.

    4. Viggy

      Hi Madhu,

      For visitor visa, is there any condition related to accomodation size? Like minimum area per visitor?

    5. Ashwin Mohan

      Hi Madhu, I have qeustion in regards to the Tourist visa.

      Will furnishing the below documents be sufficient ?

      1) Residence Visa stamped in my passport
      2) Xerox copy of letter from Shell addressed to embassy, requesting to grant me work visa
      3) My Passport copy
      4) 6 months bank statement but with low figures
      5) Form 16 for 3 years
      6) Salary Slips reflecting my net and gross take home in India
      7) Xerox copy revised or new income statement from Shell (The salary that I will be drawing upon my arrival in Netherlands)
      8) Income tax returns for 2011 and 2013 (Yet to file 2012, which I will do before my departure to Netherlands)
      9) Marriage certificate copy
      10) Confirmed return tickets (90 days stay)
      11) Overseas Medical Insurance (HDFC)
      12) Wife’s passport copy
      13) Invitation letter/ Sponsor letter from Hague Townhall ( Will apply and receive one after my arrival in Netherlands)
      14) Covering letter from my wife addressed to Consulate stating the purpose of her visit to Holland

      My serious concern here is only point # 4 because my bank balance has been very bad from a long time. I cannot show any decent amount over a prolonged period. If I deposit about 1 lakh immediately (Sep 15th) and hold it for 6 weeks from now till I apply for tourist Visa on Nov 15th, will that figure help me in getting visa ?
      I will also receive my 1st Overseas salary on Oct 28th in my Indian bank account. If I schedule her appointment on Nov 15th in Chennai Embassy and produce my latest 6 months bank statement reflecting 2 major deposits (1.2 lakh on Sep 15th and and 2-3 lakh on Oct 28th), will that suffice ?

      Another worry is the Air tickets and Travel Insurance (Point 10 and 11). If I book the tickets and buy an insurance they could go waste if the Visa is rejected. In that case what am I supposed to do ?

      Please advice

    6. Madhu

      Hi Ashwin, I think the amount is sufficient. If you are inviting/sponsoring after your arrival in NL, your bank statement is more important than hers. So my suggestion would be to show the amount from your account from NL/India. You can also include fixed deposit receipts if any. I don’t foresee an issue in your case based on my experiences so far. If you are not sure, may be you can check with a travel agent if they can block the flight tickets instead of book it. I think insurance cancellation is possible with nominal cancellation fee.

    7. Ashwin M

      Thanks Madhu.. I have another question. Can I apply and get a legalized invitation letter from the town hall immediately after my arrival ? What is the requisite documents for this process ?

      Ex: I arrive to Netherlands on Oct 7th and visit the town hall on Oct 11th. Will they provide me the legalized invitation letter the very same day ? If yes, what documents have to be furnished for their action.

    8. Madhu

      It is enough if you have the passport with the IND sticker and you have registered in the townhall. I expect you will be able to get the legalized invite as your registration. But discuss this with the person handling your registration because BSN number is required for the invite without which it is not valid. BSN will take about 2 weeks to come by mail to your registered address. But if you request at the time of registering, there are chances you may get it on the spot.

  2. manoj

    Hi Madhu,

    I am inviting my brother to NL for sightseeing. I was trying to fill schengen Visa application Form.

    There is section 34 in form which asks about ‘Personal data of the family member who is an EU, EEA or CH citizen’.

    Do we need to fill any thing h here?

    1. Madhu Post author

      No! Unless of course you are a citizen of a European country.

  3. Ganesh

    Hi Madhu, My parents are planning to visit NL ; I am filling-up the sponsorship form. There’s a question “”Sec 3.1 , Why have you undertaken to sponsor the foreign national in question and provide them with accommodation? “. What should I answer here. Is it ok, if I say that “My Father is planning to tour the Netherlands between the dates xx-xx to xx-xx. During the time, he’ll stay in my house”. Please let me know if you have any better suggestion. It would also help a lot, if you could share the format/sample invitation letter be email. Thanks a lot.

    1. Sunil

      Ganesh was this description accepted and was visa approved , i put in the same description though i applied for friends and relatives visa , dont know if this description would be ok , my parents also visiting

  4. Vish

    Hello Madhu, thanks for doing an incredible job in helping Indians to plan their travel and stay in NL.

    I have a question.

    What would the best way to reach to Eindhoven from Bangalore? I think, there is no direct flight to Eindhoven from India. So, shall I plan a stay at Schiphol, and go to Eindhoven next morning (since the Emirates is landing to Schiphol at 8 pm)? Moreover, what would be the best way to travel to Eindhoven from Amsterdam? If it is train, can I carry the international size suitcase in the train?

    1. Madhu Post author

      International size luggage is allowed in trains. Pls decide the rest as per your convenience

  5. Arry

    Hi Madhu,
    I am married but I am staying in Amsterdam alone since my wife is working in India. Now my parents are planning to visit Netherlands. So in the invitation letter only my signature will be required (also confirmed by the town hall). However in the invitation letter, in the column of civil status shall I mention “alone” since my wife is not staying with me?
    Also for the spouse details can it be left blank since there is no BSN number for her ?
    Thanks in advance for your help

  6. vibs

    can any one tell if an indian get dutch passport after staying there for 5 years can they call there parents also as a dependent

  7. KM

    hi Madhu,

    Hope you are doing well. i have one query. please help.

    I am staying in NL. My wife was with me for 6 month in NL, but last month she wet back to India due to some emergency and we de-registered at town hall and submitted the RP card. but now she wants to come back, what will be the procedure? and how much time it will take for process ( as she already have BSN number) can you please share your experience.


    1. Madhu Post author

      from what I know you will have to apply for her visa again. I think the procedure will take 3 to 4 months. Check with IND

  8. Madhan

    I live and work in NL from 2013 and i’m planning to sponsor a short term visa for my in laws. I have question regarding the support documents.

    1. Should I need to attach my last 3 months bank statement along with the visa application form.?
    2. In VFS, one of the supporting documents mentioned is “Copy of proof legal stay”?
    what does it mean?

  9. Krishna

    It is just about a month since I came to NL, do not have bank account, not received first pay check, just registered with Gemeente but moved out to another district, yet to re-register there! Will get BSN in few days. I want my family to come in 4 weeks from now, have booked the tickets, only VISA formalities to be done. Do you think they will be able to travel? My wife bank statement has enough money for 1 full month stay, I also have money in the form of Forex card. Can I state I did not get BSN yet but I still want them to visit and have them visit NL?

    1. Madhu Post author

      If you are applying for dependent visa, time is too less.
      If visitor visa, if gemente issues invitation letter with your status then that is enough. Ask gemente.
      it takes max 2 weeks from the time you apply. If you are inviting, your bank statement is needed. If she is sponsoring herself, then her bank statement will do. ABN AMRO no longer needs BSN to open an account. Talk to them.


    Hi Madhu,
    kindly update the checklist for MVV sticker VISA for netherlands
    we had been to mumbai consulate and we submitted the MVV issue form+IND invitation letter
    My wife and kid was not processed due to apostile on Marriage certificate and birth certificate,
    Apart from These do i need to get any other documents

    1. Madhu Post author

      I have not given any checklist for any visa!! not clear what you are referring to.


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