More and more of our countrymen are visiting the Netherlands during their holidays or for weekend getaways. What’s more, the Netherlands has for years been in the top three of the European countries most often chosen by Poles as a place of economic emigration. So, before you leave, it’s worth checking whether you need a passport or ID card to travel to the Netherlands.
What documents are needed to cross the Dutch border?
Polish citizens enjoy the right to freely travel within the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA). They, therefore, don’t need visas or special permits to enter the Netherlands. Your identity card will suffice.
Is a passport or identity card necessary to travel to the Netherlands?
The document that allows us to enter the Netherlands is an identity card or passport. Both have the same legal force. However, you must remember that they must be undamaged and valid for when you intend to travel. You should always carry them on you.
While Polish citizens don’t undergo mandatory border checks at the Dutch border, the border guard can routinely stop you. In the event of checks by border guards, the passport or identity card is the document that will allow us to enter the Netherlands.
What about using a driving licence for identification?
Your driving licence won’t be regarded as an identity document in the Netherlands. You will be asked to present it when checked at the roadside, but it doesn’t entitle you to cross the Dutch border.
What about a child travelling to the Netherlands?
Every child who crosses the Dutch border must have a valid passport or temporary identity card. Both documents can be obtained for a child at the request of their parents or legal guardians. Although children who are citizens of the European Union don’t need any special permit to travel within the Schengen area, the officers may check whether the minor is indeed in your custody when you travel with a child with a surname other than yours.
Children entering the Netherlands unaccompanied by their parents and who don’t have a valid passport or temporary identity card can apply for a relevant entry permit with the Dutch border authorities. However, this possibility only exists when the child is going on a school trip.
Documents you need to work in the Netherlands
An identity card or passport must be presented to conclude an employment contract necessary for legal work in the Netherlands. If you are an employee using a company car, you will also be asked to produce a driving licence.
As soon as you arrive in the Netherlands, you will need your identity card to obtain a BSN number (formerly a Sofi number), from the local authority, which entitles you to work legally in the Netherlands. A valid identity card or passport will also come in handy when dealing with other formalities such as opening a bank account renting a flat, or registering your residence in the Netherlands.
Please remember! It is important that you should always carry your identity documents with you so that, in the event of an inspection, the officers can verify the legality of your employment.
Losing your documents in the Netherlands
If your identity document is lost or destroyed abroad, you should report this to the relevant institutions. When you have your documents stolen, the first thing you should do is report it at the nearest police station. You should then notify the Consular Section of the Polish Embassy in the Netherlands.
Depending on whether you have lost your identity card or passport, the procedures for recovering your documents will vary. You can read detailed information on lost Documents in the Netherlands.
Please remember! If you work in the Netherlands, you should also let your employer know of the lost documents.