The Netherlands Royal Military Police’s border refusals in 2023 totaled 2,491 across air, sea, and rail checkpoints, the national police reported.
This marks a decline from 2022 after the Netherlands denied entry statistics peaked at 3,392 in 2021.
Border officials said most rejections involved air travelers, while Colombians topped the list of top nationalities that the Netherlands refused entry last year.
As the authorities bolster Dutch border control measures for national security, the data highlights persisting challenges around Schengen visa issues and entry refusal.
Steady Drop in Border Refusals Since 2021 Peak
Official statistics show that denied entry cases in the Netherlands dropped 18% year-over-year from 3,066 in 2022 to 2,491 in 2023.
However, last year's figure still exceeded pre-pandemic levels.
The vast majority of rejections came at airports, which saw 2,403 refusals. That marks an increase in airport entry denials compared to 2,810 in 2022.
Sea borders accounted for 82 rejected entries in 2023 versus 256 the prior year.
Only six travelers were denied at train border crossings such as the Amsterdam-London Eurostar route.
Colombians Top List of Nationalities Refused Entry
Colombian citizens faced the most denied entry incidents in 2023 with 479 cases.
Citizens of these countries often require valid travel documents like passports and Schengen visas to enter the borderless Schengen Area.
Issues around document validity or overstaying previous visas can trigger entry refusal in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands further assesses whether travelers pose security risks or have criminal records before allowing entry.
Enhanced Border Security Role for Dutch Military Police
The Royal Military Police (Marechaussee) leads Dutch border control operations as part of the national gendarmerie.
Its 7,000 personnel are tasked with strengthening border security through document verification, customs enforcement, and patrols.
The Marechaussee staffs passport control desks at civilian airports while monitoring high-risk flights.
Teams also patrol major seaports and international train stations in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
For example, officers check travel documents and security risks on Eurostar train London to Amsterdam routes.
With the ETIAS visa waiver system launching in 2023, the Marechaussee will take on additional duties like validating travelers’ pre-travel clearances. Its expanded role aims to fortify Schengen border security through multiple layers of verification.
As entry denial figures fluctuate yearly, Dutch border forces emphasize the importance of travel preparedness.
Carrying valid passports, visas, and other paperwork can help international visitors avoid setbacks when undergoing border checks.
Preparing Key Documents Mitigates Border Entry Risks
As seen in the Netherlands border data, having incomplete or invalid travel papers remains one of the primary reasons authorities deny entry to visitors.
Whether due to visa problems, expired passports, or other documentation issues, sorting out one’s paperwork before departing can help reduce hassles upon arrival.
Given many countries now require electronic travel clearances like ETIAS ahead of travel, properly registering and securing necessary approvals has become even more vital.
By proactively preparing travel documents, international visitors can minimize the chances of rejection during border screening.
Taking such precautionary steps will lead to smoother journeys as security measures continue evolving worldwide.