Living in the Netherlands after Brexit

Last update: 18 May 2022

Brexit has consequences for British nationals who want to live in the Netherlands. The Withdrawal Agreement determines what these consequences are. Find out what Brexit is and to whom the Withdrawal Agreement applies.

Brexit and the Withdrawal Agreement

Brexit is the departure of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) as of  31 January 2020. Because of Brexit, UK nationals are no longer EU citizens. The consequences of Brexit for you depend on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. This agreement makes sure that British nationals can continue to live, work and study in the EU. However, they need to apply for a residence document. This also goes for family of UK nationals who are not EU, EEA or Swiss citizens.

The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement applies to you in these situations:

  • You are a UK national or their family member. And were living in the Netherlands before 31 January 2020. 
  • You are a UK national or their family member. And you started living in the Netherlands after 31 January 2020 but before 1 January 2021. 
  • You are a family member and want to come and live with a UK national in the Netherlands:
    • The UK national has residency in the Netherlands based on the rules of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement; and
    • the family bond between you and the UK national already existed before 1 January 2021.

Living in the Netherlands after 31 December 2020

The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement does not apply if you only started living in the Netherlands after 31 December 2020. In that case, you must apply for a residence permit for a certain residence purpose. The residence purpose is the reason why you want to live in the Netherlands.

Family reunification after 31 December 2020

Family reunification based on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement still remains possible after 31 December 2020. For family reunification, please apply for a temporary residence document based on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. You must submit this application in time. In time means within 3 months after the family member arrived in the Netherlands.

Apply for Brexit residence document

Do you fall under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and do you want to continue to live in the Netherlands? Then apply for a Brexit residence document as a British national or as their family member. There are 2 types of residence documents:

  1. Have you been living in the Netherlands for less than 5 years? Or have you just started to live in the Netherlands to reunite with family, based on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement? Then apply for a temporary residence document based on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement
  2. Have you been living in the Netherlands for more than 5 years? Then apply for a permanent residence document based on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Brexit residence document not always needed

Sometimes you do not have to apply for a Brexit residence document. Brexit has no consequences for your stay in the Netherlands in these situations:

  • You fall under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and have a national residence permit for permanent residence. This can be a regular residence permit with a certain residence purpose, such as work. Other national residence permits also include the asylum residence permit and the residence permit for long-term EU residency. You can exchange your residence permit for a permanent residence document based on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. This application comes with a fee.
  • You are a British national in the Netherlands and you  have the EU, EEA or Swiss nationality. With this other nationality, Brexit does not influence your stay and that of your family in the Netherlands. 
  • Or you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and you were the family member of a UK national. Because of your relationship with the UK national, the Withdrawal Agreement applied to you. But because of death or divorce, the relationship no longer exists. According to the EU rules, you can apply for a residence permit for independent residence in the Netherlands. You can also choose to apply for residency based on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. 
  • You fall under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and are privileged. You work in the Netherlands for an embassy, consulate or international organisation. Brexit does not influence your residency in the Netherlands as long as you are privileged. If you wish, you can apply for temporary residency based on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. Discuss this with your HR manager. After all, you may lose your privileged status if you apply for a Brexit residence document.