COVID-19 – Frequently Asked Questions

Below is an overview of the frequently asked COVID-19-related questions for U.S. Citizens.  Please review before contacting us.


Return to the U.S.

If your stay in the Netherlands will exceed the period authorized and you cannot leave, contact the Dutch immigration service (IND) immediately for assistance at 088 04 30430. If you are currently in the possession of a Dutch visa or residency card, be sure to have it available during the call.  If you are staying in the Netherlands on a short-stay visa and cannot leave the country, you can apply for an extension.  If you were not granted an extension of stay, the Dutch government has asked that all American citizens return to the U.S. as soon as they are able.  The Dutch government is aware that it may be more difficult to return during this period and will therefore be less strict in enforcing penalties and removals at this time. You are expected to make every effort to return to the United States before your visa expires, however. For more information please see:  https://ind.nl/en/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

Should you decide to stay, please carefully consider the following: will your travel insurance/U.S. health insurance cover all required medical care in the Netherlands; do you possess sufficient financial means to stay for an indefinite period of time; will you be able to stay in your current accommodation or do you have access to an alternative? International commercial flight options currently exist in the Netherlands. U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements as soon as possible.  Please note that the U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights in the Netherlands at this time.

No, if you prefer to stay in the Netherlands and are legally able to do so, you may.  We highly recommend registering with our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive updates from us. You may register via https://step.state.gov/step/.  We also encourage you to keep up to date with the advice from the Dutch government at https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/news/2020/04/21/measures-to-stop-the-spread-of-coronavirus-extended and https://www.rivm.nl/en

Please be aware though that international commercial flight options currently still exist in the Netherlands.  U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements as soon as possible unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights in the Netherlands at this time.

On Thursday, March 11, President Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation suspending entry into the United States of aliens who were physically present in any of the 26 countries that make up the Schengen Area (including the Netherlands) within the 14 days preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.

Please note that U.S. citizens are not subject to the proclamation and the proclamation provides exceptions to the restrictions for lawful permanent residents of the United States.  Exceptions also exist for certain family members of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents including; spouses, children (under the age of 21), parents (provided that his/her U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident child is unmarried and under the age of 21), and siblings (provided that both the sibling and the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident are unmarried and under the age of 21).  For the full list of current Presidential Proclamations and the exceptions please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-visa-services-and-restrictions.html

Non-U.S. citizens who are the spouses or minor children of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents may still be able to travel to the United States IF they meet the criteria for an exception from the Presidential Proclamations outlined above.  An eligible family member of a U.S. citizen or LPR who possesses a valid ESTA or valid visa do not need to reapply for a new ESTA or visa. They may travel to the U.S. for a temporary visit with their existing ESTA or visa and be prepared to demonstrate evidence of the qualifying relationship to airline and immigration personnel.  This may include traveling with the original passports, birth certificates, and marriage certificates belonging to the U.S. citizen or LPR. Travelers should reach out to their airline in advance to ensure the documentation will be sufficient to be allowed to board the aircraft.

Eligible family members who believe they meet the criteria for urgent travel and require a non-immigrant U.S. visa should email us at AmsterdamCOVID19@state.gov.

For further information about the exceptions and the most current information regarding COVID-19, the Presidential Proclamations, and its impact on travel to the United States, visit www.coronavirus.govwww.dhs.gov/coronavirus and www.whitehouse.gov/

Please note that when entering or leaving the United States, as per section 215 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1185), all U.S. citizens are required to show a valid U.S. passport. This applies even if the traveler holds another passport from a country that qualifies for visa free travel.

This means that even if your child holds a passport from another country, you may not apply for a visa or ESTA to enter the United States.  Should your child not be documented as U.S. citizen yet, but you have urgent travel to the United States please contact us at AmsterdamUSC@state.gov and send along the following documentation:

  • A confirmed travel itinerary for the applicant within the next 7 calendar days
  • Confirmation that the flight has not been cancelled
    • For example, a print-out from your user profile with the airline showing that the flight is still scheduled.

The U.S. Consulate General provides assistance to the family of a deceased U.S. Citizen. In the event of the death of a U.S. citizen in the Netherlands, please notify us immediately:

E-mail: AmsterdamSCS@state.gov

A Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad can be applied for, free of charge, and can be used to settle estate and other matters in the United States. It is a mandatory requirement of the Department of State.

The following documents and notification are required for the completion of a Report of Death of a United States Citizen Abroad:

  • The most recent U.S. passport.
  • Original Dutch death certificate Overlijdensakte, (Dutch and/or international version, obtainable from the City Hall/Gemeentehuis).  Note that a photo copy is not acceptable. We must receive an original death certificate, issued by the Dutch City Hall.
  • If born outside the United States, as applicable:

–  The original Certificate of Naturalization, or

– The original Certificate of Citizenship, or

– The original Consular Report of Birth Abroad

Notification and documents can be mailed to:

U.S. Consulate General
U.S. Citizen Services – CRODA
John Adams Park 1
2244 BZ  WASSENAAR
The Netherlands

Repatriation of remains

CDC does not require an autopsy before the remains of a person who died overseas are returned to the United States. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the death, some countries may require an autopsy. Sources of support to the family include the local consulate or embassy, travel insurance provider, tour operator, faith-based and aid organizations, and the deceased’s employer. There likely will need to be an official identification of the body and official documents issued by the consular office.

CDC requirements for importing human remains depend upon if the body has been embalmed, cremated, or if the person died from a quarantinable communicable disease.

At this time, COVID-19 is a quarantinable communicable disease in the United States and the remains must meet the standards for importation found in 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 71.55 and may be cleared, released, and authorized for entry into the United States only under the following conditions:

  • The remains are cremated; OR
  • The remains are properly embalmed and placed in a hermetically sealed casket; OR
  • The remains are accompanied by a permit issued by the CDC Director. The CDC permit (if applicable) must accompany the human remains at all times during shipment.
    • Permits for the importation of the remains of a person known or suspected to have died from a quarantinable communicable disease may be obtained through the CDC Division of Global Migration and Quarantine by calling the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100 or emailing dgmqpolicyoffice@cdc.gov.

Please see CDC’s guidance for additional information.

Please note that the U.S. State Department strongly encourages American citizens to avoid all unnecessary travel.  See the travel advisory for more information: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/travel-advisory-alert-global-level-4-health-advisory-issue.html. Please also bear in mind that you may face restrictions upon return.

The Dutch maintain a list of FAQs regarding the EU travel restrictions that impact foreigners, including U.S. citizens.  Exemptions to these restrictions only exist for a very small group of travelers, and most U.S. citizens that do not hold Dutch citizenship and/or residency will not be allowed to enter the Netherlands.  Although there exists an exemption for “compelling reasons to visit family,” the Dutch are strictly interpreting this as cases involving life or death, such as visiting a terminally ill family member or attendance at a funeral. Please be aware that it is not possible to request advance assessment of your individual situation prior to departure. For more information on the restrictions and exemptions, please visit https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/travel-and-residence/visas-for-the-netherlands/qas-travel-restrictions-for-the-netherlands.

The Dutch government has implemented a 14-day self-isolation requirement for passengers arriving in the Netherlands on flights from the U.S., China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Italy, Spain, and Austria.  For more information please visit https://www.netherlandsworldwide.nl/documents/publications/2020/04/05/letter-self-quarantine-and-other-coronavirus-measures

For any further questions relating to Dutch immigration and customs we recommend reaching out to the Dutch Embassy in Washington DC as they are best placed to assist you.

Please continue to work with your airline for return travel arrangements. If your flight was cancelled because the airport at your first port of entry destination in the United States is not on the list of  airports accepting international flights,  please check the Department of Homeland Security website for the list of approved airports https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/03/17/fact-sheet-dhs-notice-arrival-restrictions-china-iran-and-certain-countries-europe

If you wish to return to the U.S. urgently and are unable to re-book a return flight despite exhaustive efforts with your airline, email us at AmsterdamUSC@state.gov with FLIGHT ASSISTANCE in the subject line and provide ALL of the following information for each passenger:

  1. Full name
  2. Date of birth
  3. Passport number
  4. Airline booking Code (of canceled flight)
  5. Itinerary (of canceled flight)
  6. Final destination in the U.S. – meaning the ultimate destination, not the airport at which the passenger was scheduled to land
  7. Contact information

International commercial flight options currently still exist in the Netherlands. U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements as soon as possible unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights in the Netherlands at this time.

We maintain a schedule of airlines still operating between the Netherlands and the United States on our website: https://nl.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-3/

Please note that these flights may not be available daily, so we strongly advise you to continuously check with your airline to confirm the status of your fight.

At this time, the Netherlands has imposed strict travel restrictions in line with much of the European Union, allowing EU citizens and permanent residents entry but generally not other foreign nationals including US citizens. That said, American citizens are being allowed to transit through Schiphol airport on their way to third countries from most points of origin (including to the U.S.).  Passengers in transit are not subject to quarantine but are not allowed to leave the transit terminal in the airport.  Please be aware that if your onward flight is canceled, you should be prepared to remain in the airport indefinitely, until a new flight is secured.  Flights are decreasing daily, and the situation is very fluid.  You can learn more about the travel restrictions here, including the few exceptions of foreign nationals allowed entry to the Netherlands at this time: https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/travel-and-residence/visas-for-the-netherlands/qas-travel-restrictions-for-the-netherlands.

You may be subject to screenings at the airport.  On April 8, KLM implemented a passenger health questionnaire and visual symptoms screening for all passengers traveling from New York (JFK) to Schiphol (AMS).  Please visit the KLM website for more information: https://news.klm.com/covid-19-flying-with-klm—social-distancing-and-other-measures-on-board/

U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, and their immediate families who are arriving from impacted area must travel through one of 13 airports at which DHS has established enhanced entry screening capabilities. For the complete list of airports, please visit the Department of Homeland Security website: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/03/17/fact-sheet-dhs-notice-arrival-restrictions-china-iran-and-certain-countries-europe

We encourage you to work with family and friends to gather the funds to return home, as this is generally the fastest method to receive funds. Transferring money to the Netherlands from the United States is straightforward.  Western Union and MoneyGram offer the widest coverage money transfer service in the Netherlands:

Western Union:                                                                                MoneyGram:
U.S.: 1-800-325-6000                                                                       U.S.: 1-800-666-3947
The Netherlands: 0800-736-3666                                                    The Netherlands: 0800-023-3800
www.westernunion.com                                                                    www.moneygram.com

Transfers from the U.S. are usually available within one hour.

Should you not be able to raise the (entire) sum required for your return, please reach out to us at AmsterdamUSC@state.gov and place FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE in the subject line.

The CDC requires all travelers, including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, who have been in the Schengen Area or any CDC Level 3 country, in the last 14 days to self-quarantine for 14 days.  For information regarding returning to the United States from an affected area please consult https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/presidential-proclamation–travel-from-europe.html as well as the Center for Disease Control website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/faqs.html

Absolutely!  As long as you are registered in  the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), you will receive all of the information we send to U.S. citizens in the Netherlands.  You can enroll here: https://step.state.gov/step/

Yes. Our colleagues at the COVID-19 helpdesk are happy to answer your call. Any call placed to +31 20 575 5309 will be directed to them. Any questions they cannot assist with, or that are not answered in this FAQ, may be sent  to AmsterdamUSC@state.gov. Kindly note that we endeavor to respond to your question as quickly as possible, however, due to the volume of queries received it may take longer to receive a response. Note also that if your question is answered on our website you will not receive a response.


Regular Consular Services

Due to the continuing Covid-19 situation we remain operating with reduced staffing and can only accommodate requests for emergency services.  For what constitutes an emergency service, please see our website  https://nl.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/

We encourage you to use a Dutch notary, with apostille, to meet your notarial needs as quickly as possible. We understand this may be an inconvenience, however, this is may be the most time efficient way to submit documents which need a notarial seal to be accepted in the United States.

If you require a U.S. notary, and there is an emergency need for a U.S. notary, we need to see clear evidence that you will be able to utilize the notary we provide prior to authorizing an emergency service.  Please send us a request that includes documentary proof of the emergency to AmsterdamUSC@state.gov mentioning EMERGENCY NOTARY in the subject line .   Otherwise, please check back in when routine service resume.

We thank you for understanding.

Because of the COVID-19 situation we are only providing emergency consular services.  If you have an emergency need for the notary, including proof that your IND appointment for Dutch residency is occurring, please send us that information.  The Dutch immigration authorities have also severely limited appointments (https://ind.nl/en/news/Pages/Very-limited-service-at-IND-desks) so we need to see clear evidence that you will be able to utilize the notary we provide prior to authorizing an emergency service.  Otherwise, please check back in when routine service resumes.  Contact IND for questions related to your immigration status, and you will find IND contact information here: https://ind.nl/en/contact/.

 

Because of the COVID-19 situation we are only providing emergency services. Passport printing in the U.S. is also currently limited to emergency cases, therefore, regular passport are not being printed.  Please contact the IND (https://ind.nl/en/contact/) for questions regarding your residency permit, and if a valid passport is required to renew your residency permit or for any other Dutch government required process, please  contact us at AmsterdamUSC@state.gov, with EMERGENCY PASSPORT RENEWAL in the subject line.  You will need to provide a clear justification regarding the need for the emergency passport.

Please note that the U.S. State Department strongly encourages American citizens to avoid all unnecessary travel.  See the travel advisory for more information: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/travel-advisory-alert-global-level-4-health-advisory-issue.html.

Because of the COVID-19 situation we are only providing emergency consular services, including emergency passports.  The U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam is ready to assist should you need an emergency passport; these are printed locally but are only valid for 12 months and have very limited pages. If you require an emergency travel document please send us the following:

  • A confirmed travel itinerary for the applicant within the next 7 calendar days.
  • Confirmation that the flight has not been cancelled (For example, a print-out from your user profile with the airline showing that the flight is still scheduled.

Once we have received the requested documentation we will contact you to set-up an appointment. In the meantime we ask you to carefully review the application requirements on https://nl.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/passports/ as we can only assist you if you come fully prepared.

Please be aware that we are unable to respond to queries if the requested documentation is not provided.

Unfortunately, the situation is extremely fluid and it is difficult for us to say when we can go back to normal operations. Please continue to check our website as we will post an update when the situation changes https://nl.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulate/amsterdam/

Absolutely. Our colleagues on the COVID-19 helpdesk are happy to answer your call.  Any call placed to +31 20 575 5309 will be directed to them.  Any questions they cannot assist with or that are not answered in this FAQ, may be directed to AmsterdamUSC@state.gov.  Kindly note that we endeavor to respond to your question as quickly as possible, however, due to the volume of queries received it may take longer than normal to receive a response.  Note also that if your question is answered on our website you will not receive a response.