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Living in the Netherlands after Brexit

You are a UK national or the family member of a UK national and you would like to continue living or come to live in the Netherlands under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (WA). Find out what you need to arrange for your situation.  

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Who does the Brexit agreement apply to?

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 

You will need a residence document under the Withdrawal Agreement

On 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (Brexit). Do you come under the Withdrawal Agreement (WA)? And would you like to continue to live, work or study in the Netherlands? Then you need a WA residence document. You may do not need a residence document if Brexit does not affect your right of residence.

Quickly submit your application under the Withdrawal Agreement

When you need to submit your application depends on your situation.

Resident in the Netherlands before 1 January 2021

The official, last day on which you can submit an application is 30 September 2021. What if you apply for a residence document after 30 September 2021? Then your residency in the Netherlands is no longer legal and your application is too late. Living here illegally has serious consequences. For example, you could lose your job, benefits or subsidies.

Flexible policy for late applications 

However, you can still submit an application after 30 September 2021. This is because the Dutch government is applying flexible rules up to latest 30 September 2022. During this period Then the IND will still process your application, even if you are officially too late. You do not need to explain why your application is late. Starting on 1 October 2022, this flexible policy will no longer apply. Then the main rule applies: you can no longer apply if you are too late. Then the other standard rules for third country nationals wishing to apply for residency apply. A third country national is someone who does not have EU, EEA or Swiss nationality.

NB Have you applied for a residence document under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement in the period starting on 1 October 2021 up to and including 30 September 2022? And has the IND taken a positive decision? Then your residency becomes legal starting on 1 October 2021. 

Coming to live with family reunification in the Netherlands on or after 1 January 2021 

Apply for your residence document within 3 months of arriving in the Netherlands. Then your application is on time. The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement also applies to family members who come to live in the Netherlands on or after 1 January 2021 to live with a UK national who has a WA residence document. 

What if you submit your application more than 3 months after arriving in the Netherlands? Then you are officially too late. However, you can still submit an application under the flexible policy that applies until latest 30 September 2022. In this case you do not have to explain why your application is late. What if you submit an application for family reunification under the WA on or after 1 October 2022? Then the main rule applies: you must apply within 3 months of your arrival. If you do not, your application is too late.

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.

You came 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 as a third country national 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.

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