Will I need an ETIAS to visit Netherlands?
The Netherlands was one of the founding members of the Common Market, now known as the European Union. Most countries in the E.U., but not all, also belong to the Schengen area. Citizens of Schengen countries enjoy unlimited travel within other Schengen countries.
There are two other groups of travelers within the Schengen zone
- Non-E.U. and Non-Schengen citizens – can travel visa-free within the Schengen area
- Non-E.U. and Non-Schengen citizens – need a visa to travel within the Schengen area
When the E.U. Travel Information Authorization System, ETIAS, comes into effect in 2021, it will target the first group. The second group will still need to apply for a visa.
The application for an ETIAS is fairly straightforward. The online form will require standard personal information; it will also require information relating to previous travel, exposure to certain medical conditions and details of criminal activity.
All information entered into the ETIAS system will be cross-checked with numerous government departments to ensure travel authorization is issued in line with the system requirements.
Successful applicants (the majority of travelers), will have their ETIAS issued within ninety-six hours, sometimes within minutes.
Unsuccessful applicants may be asked for more information or be denied travel authorization. All denials of authorizations can be appealed against.
The Netherlands often referred to as Holland, is officially the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It has two autonomous island countries and three special municipality islands in the Caribbean.
The European portion of the Netherlands shares maritime borders in the North Sea with the United Kingdom and Germany. It borders Germany, Belgium, and the North Sea.
It covers an area of 41,543 sq. km and has a population of seventeen million.
The capital city is Amsterdam.
The official language is Dutch. Recognised regional languages are West Frisian in Friesland, Papiamento in Bonaire and English in Sint Eustatius and Saba.
The major religion is Christianity, and the currency is the euro.
The Netherlands is part of the E.U. and the Schengen Area.
The islands of the Netherlands in the Caribbean are not in the Schengen Area.
There has been some research done to find the viability of having the three special municipality islands, known as the BES islands, fall under the rules of the E.U. but it is still ongoing.
Well known for being as flat as a local pannenkoek (pancake), the Netherlands is very bicycle friendly. With over 29,000 kilometers of signposted bike lanes, the Netherlands is very easy to tour by bike.
You can rent bicycles at or near all main railway stations and at all good bike shops.
If you have your own bike, you can travel for part of your journey by train, paying an extra small fee, folding bikes, however, travel free.
Netherlands at a glance
Timezone: UTC/GMT +1 hour
Area: 41,526 KM2
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Calling Code: +31
Travel in Netherlands
The Netherlands may be famous for its tulip fields, wooden clogs, windmills, and barges, but there is a great deal more to see. Travel within the Netherlands is easy, and as a member of the Schengen zone, travel to and from other European destinations is very straightforward.
The Netherlands is home to twenty national parks. It also has hundreds of nature reserves which include woods, heathlands, lakes, and dunes. The Dutch part of the Wadden Sea in the north, with its wetlands and tidal flats, is a UNESCO World Heritage Nature Site.
Some interesting destinations include
- Dwingelderveld National Park – 3,700 hectares of wet heathland, the largest such area in Europe.
- Hoge Veluwe National Park – the countries largest National Park with sand dunes, forests, and heathlands.
- Waterland and Zaan Region – typical Hollandic villages with the Zaanse Schans, windmills, wooden houses and clogs.
- Zaanse Schans – Open air museum with Zaan houses and Dutch windmills
- Efteling – renowned theme park with many fairytale features such as dwarves and elves.
- Keukenhof – enormous flower fields attracting 800,000 visitors each Spring.
- Kinderdijk-Elshout – windmills, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Trips to local delicatessens will yield the famous wheels of cheese. A limited number of the famous flower bulbs are allowed to be taken out of the country for personal use, but please check customs rules and regulations before you try to take them through customs.
The US and the Netherlands
Having established diplomatic relations with the Netherlands in 1782, the U.S.classes the Netherlands as one of their oldest, continuous bilateral partners.
The U.S. and the Netherlands share common values on many important issues. They work closely together, and with other countries on International programmes against drug trafficking and organized crime.
The U.S. and the Netherlands both belong to the following organizations
- The United Nations
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
- Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
- International Monetary Fund
- World Bank
- World Trade Organization
The Netherlands is an observer to the Organization of American States. With an average direct flight time from the U.S. of almost nine hours, the Netherlands makes an ideal start to a European trip.
As one of the founding members of the E.U. and NATO, and host to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Netherlands is deeply committed to international cooperation.
Conducting business in English in the Netherlands is easy to arrange, as is the translation of documents. There is a skilled bank of interpreters for hire if the need arises. It is possible to book an interpreter through The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in your country of departure.
There are numerous exhibition and conference centers:
- RAI in Amsterdam
- Jaarbeurs Center in Utrecht
- MECC in Maastricht
- Ahoy in Rotterdam
There are also some more interesting centers:
- Evoluon at Eindhoven
- Corpus at Leiden
List of US diplomatic offices in Netherlands
The Embassy of USA in Hague, Netherlands
Address: John Adams Park 1 2244 BZ Wassenaar The Hague
Phone: +31 70 310-2209
Fax: +31 70 310-2207
Facts: Peter Hoekstra – Ambassador
The Embassy of Netherlands in Washington, USA
Address: 4200 Linnean Ave. NW Washington, D.C. 20008
Facts: Henne Schuwer – Ambassador
Consulate of Netherlands in Miami, USA
Address: 701 Brickell Ave., Suite 500 Miami, FL 33131