The result of the United Kingdom's referendum on membership of the European Union, held in June 2016, has raised questions for British citizens living and working in the Netherlands, as well as for businesses in the Netherlands employing Brits.
The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 at midnight Central European Time. A transition period began at this moment, lasting until 31 December 2020.
During the transition period, British citizens already resident in the Netherlands retained their right to residency. No additional residence permit was needed during the transition period – simply a valid passport. However, they were invited to submit an application to the IND to obtain definite residence in the Netherlands for after the transition period. After 31 December 2020, a British national can only continue to live and work in the Netherlands if they have a valid residence document. A work permit is not required.
Resident in the Netherlands before 1 January 2021: If you were resident in the Netherlands before 1 January 2021, submit your online application for a residence document as soon as possible – there is no need to wait for an invitation. You must do so before 30 June 2021. What type of residence document you must apply for depends on how long you have lived in the Netherlands, and whether you will receive the right to stay on a temporary or permanent basis. Learn more about the residence documents that are covered by the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.
Moving to the Netherlands after 1 January 2021: British citizens who move to the Netherlands for the first time after 1 January 2021 will no longer be considered EU citizens, but third-country nationals without EU / EEA or Swiss nationality. You will need a residence permit and different rules apply to third-country nationals than to EU citizens. In this scenario, you can obtain a residence permit to study, work or take up residence with your partner. As British citizens no longer have access to freedom of movement in the EU, they must meet firm criteria to obtain a residence permit. Depending on your personal situation, this may also include the requirement to meet civic integration requirements once you are living in the Netherlands.
Please note: There is an exception for British or non-British family members who will live with you in the Netherlands on or after 1 January 2021. If you were registered as resident in the Netherlands prior to 1 January 2021, they also fall under the Withdrawal Agreement, even if they are arriving later.
IN Amsterdam may be able to assist with your application for a residence permit to live in the Netherlands. For example, if you qualify for the highly skilled migrant procedure, you are an entrepreneur or are launching an innovative startup, or you are a graduating international student. Learn more about our services and their associated service fees.
For more information, read about living in the Netherlands after Brexit.
If the holder of a UK driving licence was resident in the Netherlands before 1 February 2020, they can exchange the UK driving licence for a Dutch one until 30 April 2021.
If the holder of a UK driving licence came to live in the Netherlands after 31 January 2020 but before the end of the transition period, they had until 31 December 2020 to exchange the UK driving licence for a Dutch one.
After Brexit different conditions apply. For example, depending on your personal circumstances, you may be required to take a driving theory and practical test in the Netherlands.
If you do not exchange your UK driving licence, you can only use it for 185 days from the date you moved to the Netherlands. Learn more.
For more information about Brexit and UK driving licences, please visit the RDW's Brexit page.
When it comes to the legalisation of official documents, it is advisable to take into account the revised situation after the transition period.
During the transition period, people with UK nationality could continue to rely on the simplified rules regarding the submission of public documents under the same conditions as people from other EU Member States. Public documents include notarial deeds, administrative documents and documents issued by a judicial body.
Following the transition period, it is not yet known whether agreements will be made between the UK and the EU regarding a simplified procedure for the legalisation of official documents. If no agreements are made, official documents from the UK can no longer be legalised after the period concludes.
However, you can rely on the Apostille Convention. Official documents that are provided with an apostille stamp on the basis of this treaty must be accepted by Dutch government authorities. This convention applies to notarial deeds, administrative documents, documents issued by a judicial body and certain official statements, such as a certificate of registration.
For questions about taxes, refer to the page of the Dutch tax authorities. The UWV (Employment Insurance Agency) also has a special page about Brexit. Brexit may also affect UK citizens and benefit recipients with an employment history in the UK. This group of benefit recipients may have questions regarding social security. If they are granted social assistance benefits, they will be treated the same as third-country nationals as long as they are registered in the Dutch Personal Records Database with a third-country national code.
The Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) provides information for UK nationals living in the Netherlands on its website. The IND’s Brexit pages are updated according to all new developments
Businesses had a relatively short transition phase (until 31 December 2020) to prepare for post-Brexit scenarios – for example, new border checks and procedures. The EU's free movement for goods and workers no longer applies to the UK.
The Dutch government prepared an overview of potential effects of Brexit for companies. The ‘Brexit impact scan’ (in Dutch) maps out how Brexit may affect import/export regulations, intellectual property, transport and digital services when working with the United Kingdom, so that businesses can prepare effectively.
The City of Amsterdam, IN Amsterdam and amsterdam inbusiness are keen to ensure that all parties who may be affected by Brexit remain up to date with the latest news and are aware of any potential policy changes, as well as clearly explaining the present situation. For that reason, a Brexit Information Point was installed at IN Amsterdam, which will help to answer any questions raised by British citizens already living in the Netherlands, those moving here, as well as businesses directly affected by any future policies. Contact the Brexit Information Point by calling +31 (0)20 254 7999.
After 1 January 2021, only British citizens with an intended residence status of 'highly skilled migrant' and 'scientific researcher', as well as self-employed people, will be eligible for the combined registration and residence permit services offered by IN Amsterdam.
For additional information, visit www.brexitloket.nl (in Dutch). If you have general questions about Brexit, for example about travel, education and healthcare, visit the government’s official webpage.