Travel ban & declaration of undesirability

Travel ban

The INS can impose a travel ban on a foreign national. The INS can issue a travel ban for various reasons. For example, because of illegal residence in the Netherlands, overstaying the period of validity of a visa or because of one or more convictions. A travel ban can be imposed if an application for a residence permit is rejected or if a residence permit is revoked.

Duration of travel ban

In most cases, travel bans are imposed for a period of two years. This means that you will not be allowed to travel to the European Union for two years after you have (verifiable) left the territory of the European Union. A travel ban applies throughout the European Union. If the INS shares the opinion that there is a threat to public order, for example because of offences the foreign national committed, the INS can also impose a travel ban for a period of five, ten or, in very exceptional cases, twenty years.

Staying in the Netherlands with a travel ban is punishable. If the travel ban is issued for five years or even more staying in the Netherlands qualifies as a serious crime.


If the INS (wants to) impose(s) a severe travel ban, the INS will issue a preliminary decision. The INS will mention her intentions to impose a travel ban in the preliminary decision. The INS will also inform the foreign national why she wants to impose a travel ban. You will get four weeks to respond to the preliminary decision. This reaction is called in Dutch the zienswijze. It is advisable to call in the services of an attorney to draw up such a zienswijze. Please contact us to make an appointment. We will ask the INS to send us your case file and we will tell you which documents you need to collect. After submitting the zienswijze, the INS will take a decision. If the decision is unfavourable, we may lodge an objection. If the objection is not successful, an appeal will be lodged.

Declaration of undesirability

A travel ban applies throughout the European Union. A declaration of undesirability does not apply throughout the European Union. A declaration of undesirability is a kind of travel ban which the INS imposed before the European Directive was in force. A pronouncement of undesirability is a measure that only applies to the Dutch territory. Currently, an undesirability declaration can only be issued to an EU citizen or to a foreign national who is not staying in the Netherlands at the time that the INS wants to impose the declaration of undesirability.

Removal of travel ban or declaration of undesirability

It is possible to submit a request to the INS to remove the travel ban or declaration of undesirability. For example, because you have been outside the Netherlands for a long period of time or because the circumstances (marriage or having children) changed. The INS sets high standard for such a request, also with regard to the supporting evidence. We will be happy to help you draw up a request. There is no entitlement to financed legal aid for submitting such a request.