The story of Marleen

‘The appreciation of the British made the work enjoyable’

Marleen worked at the IND's Brexit team. On 29 March 2019, Brexit would formally begin. This date was repeatedly postponed. Eventually, Brexit and the work of the IND to that end started on 31 January 2020.
Marleen lacht aan het water
Photo of Marleen
The different scenarios for the Brexit have each been mirrored with customer groups

Marleen and her team then immediately assessed the first applications. Marleen: ‘I would not have missed experiencing the Brexit process so at first hand. It is such a special new situation that needed a lot of development to make it run smoothly. I decided on applications and supervised a few practitioners who concluded simple cases. Together with my team, I dealt with the complicated cases, rejections, and objections.'

45,000 applications

‘The IND's task was to process the applications of 45,000 British residing in the Netherlands. The subject received a lot of media attention. Making it interesting but not affecting our work. The applications kept on coming. We followed the Brexit news closely and had various scenarios ready as a team. These were always mirrored with customer groups.’

A lot of contacts

‘In my work, I had a lot of direct contact with the British. Often you need data or additional information, and then calling is the quickest way. Many times they also called us to ask what they should do. In general, everyone was pleased with the way we handled the applications. The Netherlands was the first country to start issuing residence permits to the British. They knew and valued that. When I could not help them, I still tried to find a solution, and that was appreciated.’


‘The Brexit project in Almere has now ended. I have learned a lot in these two years about Brexit and other types of work. There is this idea of the IND mainly dealing with asylum issues. That is certainly not the case. Asylum is only a small part.’


‘We have really been able to make a difference. I noticed that some British were afraid not to meet the conditions. Then, when they got a permit, they would call especially to say they were happy. A woman told me she had been crying when she got the pass. I also received an invitation from someone who had a juice bar to come and get a juice when I was in the area. These are the people you do it for, as you can really help them. As might be expected, we also had to turn people away, but most of them got a permit. Brexit is something very unique. Therefore no one knew what to expect. How we dealt with Brexit, we can be proud of. 'The appreciation of the British made the work really enjoyable.’

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