The Netherlands is part of the Schengen Area, which consists of a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders. The following website shows which passport holders need to apply for a Schengen visa and provides information about the application process: https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/travel-and-residence/visas-for-the- netherlands/short-stay-schengen-visa.
If the nationality of the passport holder is not listed, a Schengen visa is not required to enter the Netherlands.
If you do need a visa, apply in person at an embassy or consulate of The Netherlands. Via the link, you will also find which embassy to turn to. Embassies are informed about GES 2019; you don’t need to supply a contact person or a Letter of Invitation.
We advise you to apply for a Short Stay Schengen Visa for the Netherlands. Applying for a visa at the border or upon arrival is not possible.
All persons arriving at the initial airport (or 'Port of Entry') are subject to inspection by Dutch customs enforcements.
Please have the following items in hand when you approach the customs enforcement officer at the end of the line:
1) Your passport, which has at least 6 months remaining before expiration, and with appropriate visa.
2) Hard copies of your GES invitation.
Further details on custom rules
If you are arriving in the Netherlands from outside the EU, you cannot bring any dairy or meat products with you. This is to prevent serious animal diseases from being brought into the EU. You are, however, allowed to bring in powdered infant milk, baby food and foods required for medical reasons - subject to some restrictions. You are also allowed to bring in limited quantities - for personal consumption - of other animal products including fish products, snails and honey. Other prohibited or restricted items may include other agricultural products or products made from animal or plants material. Restricted items are subject to confiscation and may result in monetary penalty.
You may bring into or take out of the Netherlands from outside the EU as much money as you wish. However, if it is more than € 10,000, you will need to report it to the customs officials. 'Money' means monetary instruments and includes European or foreign coins currently in circulation, currency, obligations, travelers’ checks, money orders, and negotiable instruments or investments securities in bearer form. You do not have to pay taxes over the money over € 10,000, but you need to report it.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
We recommend GES participants to arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, as most international flights arrive here. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is about 60 minutes away from the venue in The Hague.
Please note that air carriers into and out of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport are generally strict about weight and size limits of carry-on articles as well as checked luggage.
Kindly note that Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is not the single airport in the Netherlands; some low-cost carriers moved their flights from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to other near airports, such as Eindhoven Airport, Rotterdam/The Hague Airport.