Resources for British citizens

If the future relationship does not include free movement of people between the UK and the EU, British citizens wanting to move to the Netherlands would have the same rights as non-EU citizens from the rest of the world. However, there is disagreement amongst legal analysts regarding the situation of British citizens already living in other EU countries, with some stating it would be unlikely that they would be suddenly expelled or expected to fulfil all the criteria for non-EU citizens wanting to live and work in, for example, the Netherlands. The status of British citizens currently living in other EU countries (and that of non-British EU citizens living in the UK) is part of the ongoing negotiations.

Options for non-EU citizens

For clarity of the present situation, if you are a British citizen who is intending to move to the Netherlands after 29 March 2019, below you can learn more about some of the numerous existing options for non-EU citizens wanting to live in the Netherlands. 

Working as an employee of an international company – employers with a branch in the Netherlands may apply for a residence permit for transferring their international employees.

Working as a highly skilled migrant – to qualify as a highly skilled migrant, an employee has to fulfil certain requirements including a minimum income and work for an approved company.

The European blue card – employees who perform highly qualified labour within the European Union may qualify for a European blue card, if they meet certain income and training requirements.

Scientific researchers – scientific researchers from non-EU countries can live and work in the Netherlands under similar conditions as those for highly skilled migrants.

Startup entrepreneurs – startup founders can apply for a special work and residence permit for the Netherlands.

Self-employed entrepreneurs – those wishing to set up a business in the Netherlands can apply for a specific residence permit for entrepreneurs. This enables you to be self-employed in the Netherlands. Specific conditions apply to this procedure.

Recent graduates – recent bachelor's and master's graduates from non-EU countries can reside in the country for up to one year to search for employment with an 'Orientation Year’ permit. Those who attended Dutch universities can apply for the permit within three years of graduating, allowing them time to return home for a period. 

Family reunion (Dutch partner)

Family reunion (non-Dutch EU partner) – this applies to family members of a non-Dutch EU citizen who is a resident of the Netherlands.

Further details on these procedures and information on how to apply is available on the IND’s website.

British citizens currently living in the Netherlands

As stated above, British citizens are EU citizens and will continue to be treated as such until a Brexit and its new conditions are formally finalised. The information provided below is simply for the sake of additional clarity and is not an official requirement.

Permanent residence document – British citizens who have lived in the Netherlands for a minimum of five years can apply for a permanent residence document. Although not mandatory for EU citizens at present, possession of a permanent residence document could potentially strengthen a resident's case to stay in the Netherlands post-Brexit.

Becoming a Dutch citizen – Becoming a Dutch citizen via naturalisation is another option for British nationals that meet certain criteria. This procedure is available to people that have lived in the Netherlands for a minimum of five years (in most cases this involves giving up their British citizenship), or have been married to a Dutch citizen for three years (this group is entitled to British and Dutch dual nationality). Naturalisation also involves passing a Civic Integration (inburgering) course or holding another official Dutch language qualification. (Exemptions to this include those who can follow the option procedure.) It currently takes several months to obtain a first appointment for naturalisation in Amsterdam, after which it can take six to 12 months for the IND to finalise the application. 

Please note that the items listed above are a simplified summary of immigration options available in the Netherlands at present. Contact the IND and see their recently launched Brexit information page, which explains a variety of different scenarios that make it possible to reside in the Netherlands after 29 March 2019.

The British Consulate General in Amsterdam is another resource for Brexit-related updates. See their Facebook page for announcements and upcoming forums.