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Questions and answers Brexit with a deal

Published: 30 January 2020
Last update: 10 February 2022

These Q & As are for UK nationals who come under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Brexit with a deal: Withdrawal Agreement 

What does Brexit with a 'deal' mean?

On 31 January 2020 (Brexit), the UK left the EU with an approved Withdrawal Agreement (WA). As a result of Brexit, your right of residence as a UK national has changed. You are no longer an EU citizen. This means that you will need a residence document to continue to live in the Netherlands after the transition period. The transition period ended on 31 December 2020.

At the end of December 2020 the EU and the UK reached an agreement on their trading relationship. Brexit with a ‘deal’ also refers to this trade agreement.

Transition period after Brexit

What is the transition period and how long did it last?

The transition period started on the date of Brexit and lasted up to and including 31 December 2020. During this period all UK nationals with lawful residence in the Netherlands did not need a residence document. According to the Withdrawal Agreement they could continue to live, work and study in the Netherlands on a valid passport.

Residency in the Netherlands after the transition period

Can I apply for residency under the Withdrawal Agreement?

Starting on 1 January 2021, you and all other UK nationals and their family members living in the Netherlands need a residence document to live, work or study here. The Withdrawal Agreement (WA) applies to you if you came to live in the Netherlands on or before 31 December 2020. 

What is the deadline for applying for residency under the Withdrawal Agreement?

If you have not already done so, apply for residency by latest 30 September 2021! Then you can use your residence document to easily show that you are entitled to live in the Netherlands starting on 1 January 2021. The Withdrawal Agreement states that you will keep your rights under the agreement if your application is pending.

What will happen if I submit my application under WA on or after 1 October 2021?

Your application will officially be too late because you applied after the end of the grace period. From 1 October 2021 all Dutch government organisations will register your residency status as illegal. However, the Dutch government will apply a flexible policy up to and including 30 September 2022. This means that we will still consider your application to see if you are eligible for a Brexit residence document. If you are then your illegal status will be corrected from 1 October 2021.

N.B. It is still in your best interests not to become registered as living here illegally! If you are registered as illegal, this will have very serious consequences for you. You may lose your job, social benefits and or tuition fees. 

What do I need to do before I submit my application online for a residence document?

  • Go in person to the town hall where you live to register in the Personal Records Database (BRP)  if you have not already done so. This registration is required for everyone who is planning to live here for 4 months or longer.
  • Request a DigiD. You need it to easily submit an online application to the IND. Do you already have a DigiD but no sms-verification? Make sure you also set this up on My DigiD.
  • Register to receive mail from the Dutch government digitally in your message box (Berichtenbox) on https://mijn.overheid.nl/. In your private message box you can receive digital post from government institutions, including the IND. Go to Instellingen (Settings) and under Landelijke Organisaties check Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst (Immigration and Naturalisation Service, the IND).
  • Open a Dutch bank account. You will need it to use the online payment methodiDEAL. You can only pay for an online application for a residence document with iDEAL.

Which type of residence document should I apply for?

Apply for temporary residency if you have been living in the Netherlands for less than 5 years. Apply for permanent residency if you have been living in the Netherlands for over 5 years consecutively. You do not need to wait for your temporary permit to expire first. The application costs ​€ 69 for adults and ​€ 37 for children under 18. 

I have a Dutch national permanent residence permit. Can I exchange it for a permanent residence document under the Withdrawal Agreement (WA)?

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. This is free of charge up to and including 30 September 2021. From 1 October 2021 you need to pay a fee.

I also have Dutch nationality or another EU nationality

Then you do not need to apply for a residence document as a UK national for after the transition period. If you have another EU nationality, you can continue to live in the Netherlands. Ask your town hall (municipality) to register your EU nationality as your main nationality in the BRP. Then the IND will not send you any future letters regarding Brexit and residence under the Withdrawal Agreement.  

I am a UK national with privileged status. How does Brexit affect my residence rights in the Netherlands?

As long as you are a UK national with privileged status, Brexit will not affect your residence rights in the Netherlands. Privileged persons will maintain their privileged status and residence rights as stipulated in international conventions and host state agreements for as long as they are employed by the embassy, consulate or international organisation. Make sure that you and your family members are registered as having privileged status in the Personal Records Database (BRP) at you local town hall.

Since Brexit has no consequences for UK nationals with privileged status, you do not need to submit an application for a residence document under the Withdrawal Agreement. However, as a UK national you are entitled to apply for one. Please note, receiving a residence document Withdrawal Agreement could possibly effect your privileged status. Contact your HR manager if you intend to apply for a residence document.

I am registered in the BRP but am temporarily living abroad. How can I receive post from the IND?

Register to receive mail from the Dutch government digitally in your message box (Berichtenbox) on https://mijn.overheid.nl/. Then you will (also) receive post from the IND digitally. If you are entitled to receive a residence document, you will also receive a message notifying you in your message box.

I do not have internet access or a computer at home. How can I submit the application for a residence document?

Submitting an application online is quick and easy. You can also send a written application to the IND by post. To do this, you first need to download the application form from our website. If you do not have access to internet yourself, you can go to a public library or internet café. Or ask someone you know to help you.

My application for Dutch citizenship by naturalisation or option is still pending. Do I need to apply for a residence document under the Withdrawal Agreement?

This is not compulsory. However, applying for a residence document will secure the period of 5 consecutive years of your legal residence in the Netherlands. By doing so you can avoid a residence gap and still meet the conditions. Bear in mind that the legal decision period for applications for naturalisation is a minimum of one year.

Coronavirus

Will the coronavirus measures delay the IND deciding on my application for a residence document for after Brexit? 

No, the IND is still reviewing and deciding on applications received. Make sure you submit your application as soon as possible. You will be notified as soon as we take a decision by letter.

Under Coronavirus frequently asked questions on the IND's home page you can find the latest general information about how the IND's services are affected.

I have plans for essential travel to and from the UK. What do I have to take into account?

Your residence document

How long will my residence document be valid?

That depends on the type of residence document you will receive. A temporary residence document will be valid for 5 years. If you have permanent residency, you can continue to live in the Netherlands indefinitely. A permanent residence permit will be valid for 10 years. You will need to renew it every 10 years, like a passport.

Both the temporary and the permanent residence document WA show your residence right for a non-temporary purpose. 

Which rights and obligations are connected to my residency?

Please visit the pages about temporary residency and the permanent residency. See the information at the bottom of these pages in the drop-down menu under 'After the application'. You are not obligated to take the civic integration exam.

How long can I stay outside the Netherlands with a residence document under the WA?

This depends on which residence document you have. If you have temporary residency, the maximum time you can stay outside the Netherlands is 6 months. If you have permanent residency, the maximum time you can stay outside the Netherlands is 5 years.

Frontier workers under the Withdrawal Agreement

(Information with* is from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW))

How can I get a frontier worker's document under the Withdrawal Agreement (WA)?*

This is possible if you meet these conditions:
- you do not live in the Netherlands but in the UK or in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland; and
- you are employed in the Netherlands (generally by an employer based in the Netherlands); or
- you are self-employed (sole trader) in the Netherlands and your business is (registered) in the Netherlands. 

Do I have to be employed by an employer in the Netherlands to receive a frontier worker's document?*

You can only receive a frontier worker's document under the WA as an employee if:
- you are an UK employee in the Netherlands; and
- you were previously working here before 1 January 2021 in the context of the free movement of workers.

You can receive a frontier worker's document by showing an employment contract with an employer in the Netherlands.  Do you have an employment contract with an employer in the UK? In order to receive a frontier worker's document you will have to show that you are not working temporarily in the Netherlands as a posted worker (on secondment) in the context of the free movement of services. 

NB: You are not covered by the WA if you provide services as a frontier worker. Under certain requirements UK service suppliers can apply for a temporary residence permit under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

I am a British frontier worker and am self-employed in the Netherlands. Does my business have to be established in the Netherlands to get a frontier worker's document?*

Yes, your company must be established in the Netherlands to obtain a frontier worker's document. This follows from the provisions of the WA about frontier workers. Being established means that your company is located or registered in the Netherlands. You will need to show supporting documents when applying for a frontier worker's document. You can show the establishment of your company, for example, with proof of registration at the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce. A Dutch VAT number also serves as proof.

NB: What if you cannot show that your company is established in the Netherlands? Or what if your company is based in the UK and you temporarily provide services in the Netherlands? In either case, the IND regards you as a frontier worker who performs services (service provider). British frontier workers who are service providers are not covered by the provisions of the WA. Service providers cannot, therefore, obtain a frontier worker's document. Under certain requirements UK service suppliers can apply for a temporary residence permit under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

I work (partly) at home in the UK or other EU country for a company in the Netherlands. Can I get a frontier worker's document?* 

Yes, if you have an employment contract with an employer registered and established in the Netherlands. You must also carry out real and actual work. This means that you are working for at least 40% of the usual full working hours for your profession. Alternatively, the income from your work is at least 50% of the social welfare benefits standard in the Netherlands. 
Your employer must, of course, give you permission to work from home. Your work must be suitable to be carried out at home. 

As a British frontier worker, do I have to come to the Netherlands once a week?*

No, that is not necessary. However, you do need to have an employment contract with an employer registered and established in the Netherlands. And you have to carry out real and actual work. This means that you are working for at least 40% of the usual full working hours for your profession. Alternatively, the income from your work is at least 50% of the social welfare benefits standard in the Netherlands. 

Read information about the conditions for obtaining a frontier worker's document under the WA.

As a UK national living in the Netherlands, I have a residence document under the WA. Can I use this to work as a frontier worker in another EU country?

We cannot answer this question. We advise you to ask the government of the country where you would like to work.