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Living in the Netherlands after Brexit

On 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU) with a deal. The agreements made are set out in the Withdrawal Agreement. You are a UK national or the family member of a UK national and you wish to (continue) to live in the Netherlands. This page provides an overview of what you need to do to arrange your residency after Brexit. Different provisions apply depending on when you arrive(d) in the Netherlands and for how long you have been living here. 

On this page

You arrived in the Netherlands before 1 January 2021

You are a UK national or the family member of a UK national. You come under the Withdrawal Agreement if one of the following situations applies to you:

  • You were already living in the Netherlands before 31 January 2020; or
  • You came to live in the Netherlands after 31 January 2020 and before 1 January 2021; or
  • Your family member would like to come and live with you (a UK national) in the Netherlands and:
    • You came to live in the Netherlands before 1 January 2021 and you therefore come under the Withdrawal Agreement; and
    • Your relationship with your family member already existed before 1 January 2021.
    Find out more about family reunification under the Withdrawal Agreement 

After the transition period: you will need a Withdrawal Agreement residence document

As a result of Brexit your right of residence in the Netherlands has changed. You are no longer an EU citizen. You will need a residence document to continue to live, work or study here after the transition period.  This transition period ended on 31 December 2020. During the transition period you only needed a valid passport to continue living, working or studying in the Netherlands.

From 1 January 2021 you need to be able to prove that you are entitled to live in the Netherlands under the Withdrawal Agreement. The easiest way to do this is with a residence document. You can also use other documents until you have your residence document. The Withdrawal Agreement provides that you can apply for a residence document up to and including 30 September 2021. After this date you must have a residence document. You may not need a residence document if Brexit does not affect your right of residence.

Quickly submit your application online up to and including 30 September 2021

The Dutch government would like to provide a decent solution for all British nationals who wish to continue living in the Netherlands after the transition period. What if you have not yet submitted an application for a residence document? Then the IND advises you to submit your online application for residency as soon as possible. You can do this on 30 September 2021 at the latest. The sooner you submit your application, the sooner you will receive a decision and your residence document. You can then use your residence document to easily show that you have a right of residence in the Netherlands. 

Apply for temporary or permanent residency

There are two sorts of Withdrawal Agreement residence documents. How long you have lived in the Netherlands determines which sort of residence document you should apply for.

The steps for applying for a residence document

The diagram below provides an overview of the different steps in the application process. More information is provided on the pages for applying for a residence document.

Application process residence document Brexit
Use this link for a larger view of the diagram.

The conditions for receiving a residence document

Certain conditions apply for you to receive a residence document. These are the same conditions that already currently apply for you to be allowed to live in the Netherlands. You can find out what the conditions are on the pages for applying for a residence document.

The cost of applying for a residence document

An application for a residence document costs the same as the application for permanent residence as an EU citizen: ​€ 64 for adults and ​€ 33 for children under 18.

UK nationals  with a permanent EU residence document (duurzaam verblijf) have been offered a new residence document

Some UK nationals living in the Netherlands had a permanent EU residence document (duurzaam verblijf). As a result of Brexit, they can no longer use this residence document. This is because UK nationals are no longer EU citizens. The IND therefore asked them to exchange their residence document for a new residence document. By the end of 2020, all UK nationals living in the Netherlands who had a permanent EU residence document had been offered a new residence document. 

Infographic statistics: status of residence applications after Brexit

The infographic below shows the status of applications for residence documents from UK nationals after Brexit. Every month we will publish the latest stats. In the period February 2020 up to and including May 2021, the IND:

  • received 37,807 applications
  • took 37,437 decisions.

Residence documents Brexit: number of submitted applications and taken decisions
Use this link for a larger view of the infographic.

Furthermore, in 2020 the IND also exchanged more than 5,500 old EU residence documents from British nationals in the Netherlands for a new residence document.

You will come to live in the Netherlands on or after 1 January 2021

The main rule is that as a UK national you do not come under the Withdrawal Agreement (WA). As a result of Brexit, you are no longer an EU citizen and are now a third country national. A third country national is someone who does not have EU, EEA or Swiss nationality. 

From 1 January 2021, you can still come to live in the Netherlands for the first time. Then you need a residence permit which you have to apply for. The provisions for third country nationals are often stricter than for EU citizens. You will need a residence permit for a specific residence purpose. A residence purpose is a ground on which you are allowed live in the Netherlands. 

Exception: UK or non-UK family members who come to live with you (a UK national), in the Netherlands on or after 1 January 2021. They do come under the WA if you have a right to live in the Netherlands under the WA. Read more about family reunification under the WA.

Most important residence purposes for third country nationals

On ind.nl/en, you can submit an application for any of the different residence purposes. The most important residence purposes are:
  • Residence with your partner: you would like to live with your partner as a family in the Netherlands.
  • Study: you would like to come to study in the Netherlands (university, or secondary or vocational education).
  • Work: you would like to work in the Netherlands. There are various options for paid work for an employer (employment). You can also set up your own business as a self-employed person or start-up
  • Dutch citizenship: Dutch nationals can of course live in the Netherlands. Perhaps you can quickly and easily become Dutch. This applies for example, if you were Dutch before. Another possibility is that your mother is Dutch (though your father is not) and you born before 1 January 1985.

When Brexit does not affect your right of residence

  • You are a UK national and have a national residence permit for permanent residence. This also includes a residence permit as an EU long-term resident in the Netherlands. Brexit does not affect your right to live in the Netherlands. The WA gives the possibility to exchange your national permanent residence permit for a permanent residence document under the WA. 
  • You are a UK national and also have EU, EEA or Swiss nationality. Brexit does not affect your right to live in the Netherlands because of your other nationality. This also applies to your family members without EU, EEA or Swiss nationality.
  • You are a third country national and the relationship with your British partner (UK national) in the Netherlands has ended as result of divorce or death. You are a third country national if you do not have EU, EEA or Swiss nationality. Under EU provisions, it is possible that you may stay in the Netherlands. In that case, you do not need a new residence document. If you wish, you can apply for a residence document. When considering your application, the IND will check whether your situation meets the conditions.

Dutch nationals returning after Brexit

You are Dutch and are currently living as an EU citizen in the UK. You would like to move back to the Netherlands with your partner after Brexit. Find out more on the page about Dutch nationals returning after Brexit.

If you have any questions

  • Read the Q & As for Brexit with a deal.
  • On Government.nl you can find more information, including other topics that may be relevant to you.
  • Visit the other pages on this website with more information about applying for a temporary or permanent residence permit and cross-border workers.

Call the Brexit information line: +31 (0)88 04 30410

Here you can ask your questions about your right of residence. The Brexit information line can be reached from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 17:00.