Wednesday, February 1, 2012

going to the netherlands

SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (STEP) / EMBASSY LOCATION: If you are going to live in or visit the Netherlands, please take the time to tell our Consulate General in Amsterdam about your trip. If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. Here’s the link to the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS: The Netherlands is a party to the Schengen Agreement. As such, you may enter the Netherlands for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in The Netherlands, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. Under Dutch law, for example, you may be taken in for questioning if you are unable to present your passport to local authorities. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not in the country you are visiting. 
Note that your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution if you break local laws. If you are arrested in The Netherlands, however, you do have the right to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the Consulate General of your arrest, and to have communications from you forwarded to the Consulate General. This accommodation is based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, bilateral agreements with certain countries, and customary international law.
While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: The Netherlands instituted a comprehensive indoor smoking ban in July 2008. The ban includes all cafes, pubs, clubs, theatres, coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, airports, shopping malls, amusement centers, etc. Smoking is only allowed in private homes, in the open air, and in designated smoking areas.
You must carry identification at all times in the Netherlands if you are age 14 or older. Accepted forms of identification for U.S. citizens include a U.S. passport or a Dutch residence card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A copy of a U.S. passport is not sufficient under Dutch law.

MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION:Vaccinations are not required for travel to the Netherlands.

MEDICAL INSURANCE: You can’t assume your insurance will go with you when you travel. It’s very important to find out BEFORE you leave. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:
  • Does my policy apply when I’m out of the United States?
  • Will it cover emergencies like a trip to a foreign hospital or an evacuation?
In many places, doctors and hospitals still expect payment in cash at the time of service. Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctors’ and hospital visits in other countries. If your policy doesn’t go with you when you travel, it’s a very good idea to take out another one for your trip. For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.
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