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I am a US citizen with a valid passport. I am traveling to Norway via Amsterdam. I will have a long layover in Amsterdam and would like to leave the airport. Can I do so without a visa? If I need a visa, what kind?

  • Work or pleasure? Will likely have to go thru Customs heading out, and then Security back in. How long is the layover? – CrossRoads Feb 27 at 20:54
  • You can leave the airport without a visa. In fact you will have to in order to enter the Schengen Area. – princetonguy Feb 27 at 21:06
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Amsterdam is in the Schengen area, and as a US citizen you can enter the Schengen area for short visits (of up to 90 days of any 180) without having a visa.

This is the same rule that allows you to go to Norway without a visa, as Norway is also in the Schengen area.

(In fact, no matter whether you leave the airport or not, you will pass through the common Schengen immigration point in Amsterdam, and will not pass through immigration when you arrive in Norway).

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You will be stamped into the Schengen Area in Amsterdam. Except if you hit a sporadic spot check, that's your last encounter with passport control, whether you stay in the airport or go into town.

  • It will be the last encounter with passport control until the end of the trip (or until the first departure from a Schengen country to a non-Schengen country if that happens before the end of the trip). It's a bit of a nitpick, I know, but people are sometimes surprised when they encounter exit control on leaving the Schengen area. – phoog Feb 27 at 22:09

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