• Home
  • Questions and answers Brexit with a deal

Questions and answers Brexit with a deal

Published: 30 January 2020
Last update: 28 June 2021

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. 

Why do I need a residence document for residence after the transition period?

Before Brexit you had a right of residence as an EU citizen in the Netherlands. As a result of Brexit you are no longer an EU citizen. You will need a residence document to continue living, working and studying in the Netherlands starting on 1 January 2021. This also applies to UK students whose study makes it necessary to continue their temporary residence in the Netherlands after 31 December 2020.

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

The WA provides for a grace period to apply for a residence document. You can apply for a residence document up to latest twelve midnight (24.00 CET) at the end of 30 September 2021. In Spring 2021 the Dutch government decided to extend the grace period from 30 June to 30 September 2021. Read more about this extension in our news article. If you have not already done so, apply for residency as soon as possible. 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 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. The application costs ​€ 64 for adults and ​€ 33 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.

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.

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.

Do I need to wait for an invitation from the IND to apply for a residence document?

You no longer need an invitation letter from the IND to apply for residency after Brexit. All UK nationals registered in their town hall's Personal Records Database (BRP) before 1 August 2020 received a letter inviting them to apply for a residence document. From August 2020, the IND has stopped sending out invitations. What if you did not receive an invitation, but you are eligible for a residence document? Submit an application for a residence document online as soon as possible. And by latest twelve midnight (24.00 CET) at the end of 30 September 2021. You can then use it to easily prove your right of residence in the Netherlands.

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.

Please note that your residence document will be delivered to you at home by the courier of the Dutch government, IPKD (Interdepartementale Post- en Koeriersdienst). Visit our website about this home delivery for more information.

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.

I have been living in the Netherlands for nearly 5 years consecutively and I have received an invitation letter. Should I wait until I have lived here for 5 years before submitting an application for permanent residency? 

Submit an application for temporary residence now. And then the IND will get in touch with you.

I would like to apply for permanent residency and have a child under 5. Can I apply for the both of us at the same time?

Please note that if you apply for permanent residency, you cannot apply online at the same time for your child turning 5 or younger in 2021. Then you need to submit a written application for temporary residency for your child.

I am a UK national living in the Netherlands and am temporarily living abroad. How can I still arrange my residency if I will only return to the Netherlands in 2021? Can I go to the embassy to have my biometrics taken (photos, signature, fingerprints) and to collect my residence document?

If you come under the Withdrawal Agreement  you can easily submit an application for a residence document to the IND online while living abroad. However, you do have to be in the Netherlands to have your biometrics taken and to receive your residence document. 

You can travel to the Netherlands in 2021 without a visa. Make an appointment online to have your biometrics taken when you return to the Netherlands. Afterwards you can receive your residence document in the Netherlands. Please consider the travel restrictions due to the coronavirus on our website. 

Please also take into account the maximum time you may stay abroad. This is 6 months if you have had a right of residence in the Netherlands for less than 5 years. And 5 years if you have had a right of residence for over 5 years. If you are outside the Netherlands for a longer period, you will lose your right of residence.

Have you been outside of the Netherlands for longer than is permitted under the WA? If you return to live in the Netherlands the IND will check if you have lost your right of residence.

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 integrate.

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.

Replacement residence document

The IND apologises for any inconvenience caused as a result of the need to replace the residence documents of some UK nationals and their family members.

Does my residence document have to be replaced due to the faulty biometrics units at the temporary IND desks in Amsterdam and Utrecht?

Your residence document must be replaced if you had your biometrics for your Dutch residence document taken at one of the following temporary IND desks. These were set up specially for UK nationals and their family members and are now closed. 

  • IND desk Amsterdam
    • Johan Huizingalaan 757
    • 1066 VH Amsterdam
  • IND desk Utrecht
    • Proostwetering 41a
    • 3543 AC Utrecht

Why does my residence document have to be replaced?
The IND recently discovered that there were some technical faults with the mobile biometrics units used at the temporary locations for UK nationals and their family members in Amsterdam and Utrecht (see above). This resulted in two issues:

  1. The photos taken were not of sufficiently high quality. They do not meet the high standards required, for example regarding resolution, sharpness and contrast.
  2. In some cases, the left and right fingerprints were also incorrectly recorded. 

In order to meet the quality standards and in - some cases -  also correct the recording of the fingerprints, the IND must replace the residence document of those concerned. 

Is my current residence document still valid?

Yes, your current residence document is still valid. You should not experience any problems. The IND has notified relevant partners, such as the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (KMar) responsible for border controls, and the police about the documents. However, we do need to replace your current document so that it meets the necessary EU quality standards.

When will my residence document be replaced?

The IND wishes to replace the residence documents of the UK nationals and family members concerned as soon as possible, and before the end of this year. The IND is writing to those concerned enclosing a passport photo form for completion. You can expect a letter by post around 8 April 2021. We aim to replace your document within 8 - 12 weeks of receiving the signed form with your photo meeting the necessary requirements. The sooner you return the signed form with your photo, the sooner we can prepare your replacement residence document.

What do I need to do to receive a new residence document?

The IND is writing to the UK nationals and family members concerned with full information about what they need to do. A  photo form appendix is enclosed with the letter. You need to affix a recent passport photo that meets the necessary requirements and sign the form. Then post it back to us at the address provided. No stamp is needed. 

Please note, photographers are allowed to open during the Covid-19 lockdown to take passport photos, but only by appointment. The IND will not refund the cost of having a passport photo taken.

Can I use the photo form appendix digitally received in my message box from MijnOverheid? 

No, please only use the Dutch photo form appendix you will receive by ordinary post. Please use this link to view an anonymised example. This appendix is  specially made to affix a photo and sign in the box. Please note that this photo form appendix is different from our standard passport photo form.

Do I have to come to an IND desk to have my biometrics taken again?
No, you do not have to come to an IND desk to have your biometrics taken again. 

To ensure that you experience as little inconvenience as possible, the IND has arranged that you can send us a new passport photo using a photo form. This photo must meet the necessary standards. Read the requirements for your passport photo on government.nl. 

The IND will correct the problem with the recording of fingerprints of some UK nationals when we prepare your new document.

N.B. Instead of making use of the photo form, you can visit an IND desk to have your biometrics taken if you want. Then you will first need to make an online appointment. This also applies when your residence document needs to be replaced when it is about to expire.

Will I have to come to an IND desk to collect my replacement residence document?

No, once your replacement residence document is ready, the government’s courier service (IPKD), will deliver it to you at your home address.  Find out more about delivery

More information


If you need further information, you can call our special Brexit phone line which is available from Mondays to Fridays from 9.00 to 17.00 on +31 (0)88 04 30410

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. 

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.

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.


Home delivery of your (residence) document

To whom will the IND arrange home delivery of a residence document?*

First the IND will send you a letter saying that your document is ready. Then it will be delivered to your home. Please note that you will only receive this letter after the IND has approved the application you have submitted.

*Are you a UK frontier worker (cross-border commuter) in the Netherlands under the Withdrawal Agreement? Your document 'Frontier worker' will be delivered in the same way as residence documents. 

Who will deliver my residence document?

On behalf of the IND, the IPKD (Interdepartementale Post- en Koeriersdienst) delivers your residence document to your home. The IPKD is a government organisation specialised in courier services.

When will my residence document be delivered at home?

From 12 August 2020 until 1 October 2021 the IPKD will be delivering residence documents at home. We cannot tell you when the IPKD will deliver your residence document.

Do I need to prove my ID in order to receive my residence document?

You will need to show a valid proof of identity (passport or ID-card) to the courier. Only then you can receive your residence document personally. No one else can receive it for you. The courier will verify all details.

Do I have to hand in my old residence document if I have one?

To receive your residence document you must hand in your old one if you have one.  What if you have lost your old residence document or it has been stolen? The courier will only hand the new residence document to you if you can show a police statement confirming the loss or theft of the old one. If you cannot show this, then the IPKD will send the residence document back to the IND.

I am a parent or a guardian. Can I receive the residence document for my child under 12?

Yes, provided that your child is also present when the couriers visits your house. Your child needs to prove his or her identity by showing a valid passport or ID-card. Children from 12 years and older can receive their residence document themselves.

I will not be at home for a longer period because I am on holiday. Will my residence document remain at the IPKD during my absence?

The IPKD will make 3 attempts to deliver your residence document at home if you do not make an appointment with the IPKD. If the third attempt is unsuccessful you have 7 days to collect your residence document at an IPKD location. After that, the IPKD will send your document back to the IND. The IND will keep your residence document in a safe. 

Can someone else collect my residence document for me at an IPKD location?

No, only you can collect it personally. Is the residence document for a child under 12? Then the child needs to collect his or her residence document together with a parent or guardian.

How can I obtain my residence document if the IPKD sent it back to the IND?

Please, call the Brexit line on weekdays if you would like to obtain your document on +31 (0)88 04 30410. Both home delivery by the IPKD or collecting it yourself at an IND desk are possible. Do you wish to collect it at an IND desk? When your document is available at the IND desk, you will receive a letter from the IND with further information.