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COVID-19 and Canadians in the Netherlands: Frequently asked questions

Latest advice for Canadians in the Netherlands (Twitter @CanAmbNL):

You will find below some straightforward replies to our most frequently asked questions about how to proceed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please read this before contacting the embassy to allow us to focus on assisting Canadians in distress and requiring urgent assistance.

Registration of Canadians abroad

Canadian citizens who live, travel or are planning to travel in the Netherlands, should sign up at Registration of Canadians abroad to receive updates from the Embassy of Canada to the Netherlands in The Hague. You are responsible for your personal security abroad, and are subject to local health regulations while you are in the Netherlands.

Coronavirus updates

On this page

  • As a Canadian citizen, should I leave the Netherlands and return to Canada because of the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • I am a Canadian citizen. Will the Embassy of Canada to the Netherlands assist me to find flight information and buy or change an airline ticket to return to Canada?
  • What is the status of flights going to Canada from the Netherlands?
  • Can I transit from a third country through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol en route to Canada?
  • I am a Canadian citizen living in the Netherlands and my long-stay visa or my residency permit will expire in the coming weeks. What should I do?
  • I am Canadian, but my family does not have Canadian citizenship. Can they return to Canada with me?
  • I am a permanent resident of Canada and I am currently in the Netherlands. Can I return to Canada? Can my family do so too?
  • Can I travel to Canada if I have symptoms of COVID-19?
  • Am I eligible for a $5,000 COVID-19 emergency loan? If so, how do I apply?
  • I am a Canadian who is leaving the Netherlands. Do I have to quarantine myself when I get home?
  • As a Canadian citizen, can I travel to the Netherlands from Canada?
  • As a Canadian citizen in the Netherlands, do I have the follow the public health directives issued by the Government of the Netherlands?
  • I am concerned about contracting COVID-19 while I am in the Netherlands. Can I access local health care resources?
  • If I need a new passport or want to make a citizenship application, do I have to apply in person? 

Frequently asked questions in the Netherlands

As a Canadian citizen, should I leave the Netherlands and return to Canada because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes. The Government of Canada advised, as of Monday, March 16, 2020, that Canadian travellers should return to Canada by commercial transport while they still can. If, however, you choose to stay in the Netherlands, please ensure that you have sufficient financial resources and basic necessities, including medications. There may also be implications for your health and travel insurance.

I am a Canadian citizen. Will the Embassy of Canada in the Netherlands assist me to find flight information and buy or change an airline ticket to return to Canada?

No. Unfortunately, the embassy cannot do this for you. Consular services at the embassy, particularly in the current circumstances, must focus on assisting Canadians in distress who require urgent assistance and therefore can neither accompany you nor act on your behalf in seeking or trying to change a flight. Such travel arrangements are entirely your responsibility. 

What is the status of flights going to Canada from the Netherlands?

Air Canada: Air Canada has suspended flights from Amsterdam International Airport on March 23 until further notice. In Europe, Air Canada has continued to operate flights to some Canadian cities, including from London, United Kingdom; Paris, France; and Frankfurt, Germany.

KLM: KLM has already suspended its flights from Schiphol airport to Montréal, Quebec, and Vancouver, British Columbia, and Calgary, Alberta, until further notice. It will continue to operate its direct flight from Amsterdam to Toronto, Ontario, KL691, three times a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) for the time being.

You may need to consider commercial options via other major hubs in Europe (e.g. London, Paris and Frankfurt).

Please consider commercial options to return to Canada as soon as possible, and monitor KLM’s website for further updates.

Can I transit from a third country through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol en route to Canada?

Yes. The Netherlands has made an exception to its implementation of European Union border measures to allow for passengers, including Canadians, travelling from a European Union or non-European Union country to transit via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol directly to Canada—if they have a confirmed boarding pass for a flight to Canada. Passengers connecting to Canada may not be permitted to board their flight to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol without proof of a connecting flight from Amsterdam to Canada.

In addition, Canadians should consider the most direct routing to Canada when departing from or transiting via another European airport. Canadians travelling on an international flight to another European airport may be prevented from entering the Schengen zone to connect to their flight to Amsterdam if that other European airport (e.g., Frankfurt) offers direct flights to Canada. This may be the case even if these Canadian travellers have an onward connection through Amsterdam to Canada. 

Transiting passengers at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol must remain in the departures area of the terminal: transiting passengers cannot leave the airport or enter the Schengen area, even temporarily. If missed connections or other issues result in an extended layover in the Netherlands and you require assistance, please contact the Embassy of Canada by phone or email.

More information can be found at https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/latest-news/news/2020/03/18/q-and-a-for-entry-into-the-netherlands-travel-ban.

I am a Canadian citizen living in the Netherlands and my long-stay visa or my residency permit will expire in the coming weeks. What should I do?

The Government of the Netherlands has said that when expected visa or work permit overstays are due to difficulties returning to the country of citizenship, travellers must apply for an extension with the Immigration and Naturalization Service through regular channels.

Visas are not being extended for travellers who have not yet been able to go to the Netherlands due to cancelled flights. In this case, you will need to submit a new visa application. You may very well be denied visa given the Netherlands’ prohibition on the entry of non-European Union citizens.

More information can be found at https://ind.nl/en/news/Pages/New-corona-measures,-limited-IND-services-.aspx

I am Canadian, but my family does not have Canadian citizenship. Can they return to Canada with me?

Yes. Immediate family members of Canadian citizens can return to Canada. Immediate family members are defined as:

  • the spouse or common-law partner of the person;
  • a dependent child of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner;
  • a dependent child of a dependent child of the person’s spouse or common-law partner (e.g. grandchild);
  • the parent or step-parent of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner; or
  • the guardian or tutor of the person. 

You must, however, be able to prove their relation to you. You must also self-quarantine for 14 days after returning from travelling abroad. More information can be found at https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/mediaroom/interim-order-prevent-certain-persons-boarding-flights-canada-covid-19-no-2.html.

I am a permanent resident of Canada and I am currently in the Netherlands. Can I return to Canada? Can my family do so too?

Yes. Immediate family members of Canadian citizens can return to Canada. Immediate family members are defined as:

  • the spouse or common-law partner of the person;
  • a dependent child of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner;
  • a dependent child of a dependent child of the person’s spouse or common-law partner (e.g. grandchild);
  • the parent or step-parent of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner; or
  • the guardian or tutor of the person. 

You must, however, be able to prove their relation to you. You must also self-quarantine for 14 days after returning from travelling abroad. More information can be found at https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/mediaroom/interim-order-prevent-certain-persons-boarding-flights-canada-covid-19-no-2.html.

Can I travel to Canada if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

No. Airlines reserve the right to deny boarding to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms.
You must stay in self-isolation or seek medical attention if you have these symptoms:

  • fever
  • cough
  • respiratory difficulties 

In this situation, you should follow the Netherlands’ procedures:

Please also let us know about your situation. Also, if you are hospitalized, we can assist you in communicating with your family:
Embassy of Canada to the Netherlands
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm
Telephone: +31 (0) 70-311-1608
Email: nl.consular@international.gc.ca

Emergency Watch and Response Centre (based in Ottawa)
Telephone: +1 613 996 8885 (collect calls are accepted where available)
Email: sos@international.gc.ca

Please also note that passengers on all flights departing from or arriving at Canadian airports are now required to demonstrate they have the necessary non-medical mask or face covering during the boarding process, even if the travellers are not showing any symptoms. Without such proof, they will not be allowed to continue on their journey.

If you do not have one available for your trip, the air operator will be required to deny you entry into the sterile area, or boarding on the aircraft. 

It is your responsibility to bring the required cloth face covering to the airport. You will not be provided with one if you do not have one. Consular officials from the Government of Canada will not be in a position to provide masks either.

More information on this new requirement: New measures introduced for non-medical masks or face coverings in the Canadian transportation system.

Am I eligible for a $5,000 COVID-19 emergency loan? If so, how do I apply?

The COVID-19 crisis is having a significant impact on Canadians travelling abroad (limited movements, diminishing number of flights, quarantine of Canadians abroad, etc.) To help Canadians abroad overcome these difficulties, the Government of Canada has established a program of individual loans of as much as $5,000.

The procedure to issue funds is not yet available online. Applications will be assessed on an individual basis.

Who is eligible to apply for this loan?

You are eligible if you are a Canadian citizen impacted by COVID-19 who plans to return to Canada and who has no other source of funds. We will consider that you plan to return to Canada if you:

  • booked a return flight that was cancelled or delayed
  • attempted to book a flight, but could not do so due to travel restrictions or exorbitant pricing 

If you are a Canadian citizen travelling with an immediate family member who is a permanent resident of Canada, you may include eligible expenses for that family member in your application. Immediate family is defined as spouse, parents and children.

What types of expenses can be covered?

Expenses covered by the loan include, but are not limited to:

  • the most economical transport costs, including:
    • air travel to return to Canada
    • local transport related to your return to Canada
  • reasonable costs for essential needs, including food and shelter abroad while you are unable to return to Canada
  • medical costs not covered by either local public health services or private insurance, such as:
    • hospitalization or other treatment if you are infected with COVID-19
    • prescription drugs required for the treatment of COVID-19 or for pre-existing conditions if your planned return to Canada is delayed because of factors related to the pandemic
    • costs related to the translation of medical information, including prescriptions, medical notes, diagnoses and medical files provided by your health care practitioner and required by a local health authority in relation to COVID-19
  • costs related to other critical needs if you are hospitalized or in quarantine for COVID-19:
    • professional services to address the psycho-social impacts of quarantine if you are impacted
    • costs for supporting your communication with family and support networks in Canada if you are quarantined 

Your insurance policy may provide for emergency support in a crisis like this one. Check with your insurance provider for details on your specific policy.

How can I apply?

Email our office at CAN.finances.CV19@international.gc.ca with a subject heading of “COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program.” Provide contact details and an image of your passport.

Further information on eligibility and advice on how to apply will be communicated once the procedure to apply for such a loan has been established. Each application will be assessed according to your specific situation and need. 

Meantime, please research the cost of flights as your application will need to include a budget estimate with a breakdown of expenses, and ultimately, proof of expenses or cost estimates.

Related links

I am a Canadian who is leaving the Netherlands. Do I have to quarantine myself when I get home?

Yes. In accordance with measures taken by the Government of Canada on March 16, you must self-quarantine for 14 days after returning from travelling abroad.

At the port of entry, every traveller will need to confirm that they have a suitable place to isolate or quarantine, where they will have access to basic necessities, such as food and medication.  According to new mandatory quarantine requirements, travellers cannot isolate or quarantine in a place where they would be in contact with people who are vulnerable, such as adults aged 65 years or over and people with pre-existing medical conditions.

For more information on the mandatory quarantine requirements: Non-medical masks or face coverings while travelling.

As a Canadian citizen, can I travel to the Netherlands from Canada?

No. Only essential travel to the Netherlands is allowed since March 19 at 6 pm Central European Time.

As a Canadian citizen in the Netherlands, do I have to follow the public health directives issued by the Government of the Netherlands?

Yes. These measures are mandatory for all individuals. More information can be found at Netherlands public health authority directives.

I am concerned about contracting COVID-19 while in the Netherlands. Can I access local health care resources?

The Netherlands’ public health authority (RIVM) has set up a call centre for questions regarding COVID-19:

Hours: Monday to Sunday from 8 am to 8 pm
Telephone: 0800-1351 or +31 (0)20 205 1351

More information can be found at Netherlands public health authority directives.

If you have an urgent medical need, you can call the local emergency number: 112.

If you are a Canadian citizen, you can also contact the Government of Canada for emergency consular assistance at sos@international.gc.ca or 001-613-996-8885.

As with contracting any illness while abroad, we would recommend that you contact your health insurance provider to enquire about your particular situation.

If I need a new passport or want to make a citizenship application, do I have to apply in person?

No. The Embassy of Canada to the Netherlands is closed to the public until June 1 inclusive, and is only processing urgent passport and citizenship applications for essential travel until then. If you are not sure whether to submit your passport or citizenship application at this time, please contact the Embassy by phone or email prior to mailing your application.

Beginning June 2, 2020, in addition to continuing to receive applications by mail, the Embassy’s Consular section will accept in-person appointments for the following services only:

  1. Urgent passport/citizenship applications for essential travel
  2. Urgent notarial services, for which IND/municipal (gemeente) documentation must be provided in advance.

For urgent passport applications, please indicate your travel date on the application form, and include your confirmed travel itinerary.

For non-urgent passport and citizenship applications, the Embassy’s Consular section will accept mail-in applications only.

You will not be admitted to the Embassy without a confirmed appointment. Please review the Embassy’s mandatory COVID-19 hygiene measures before attending your appointment.

Should you have an urgent passport or citizenship request, and are unable to book an appointment online, please contact the consular section at nl.consular@international.gc.ca.

For more information on how COVID-19 is affecting immigration, refugees, citizenship and passport services: Passport services abroad.

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Date Modified:
2020-05-29