Main residency

Last update: 10 May 2022

If you have a Dutch residence permit, you must have your main residency in the Netherlands. This means that you live in the Netherlands and spend most of your time here. Find out when the IND considers that you have moved your main residency.

When main residency has been moved

In these situations the IND assumes that you have moved your main residency out of the Netherlands.

  • You have been abroad longer than allowed. How long you may stay abroad depends on the type of residence permit.
  • When you left the Netherlands, you used a remigration scheme. For example, a scheme under the Remigration Act (in Dutch: Remigratiewet or Rw).

Consequences of moving your main residence

Does the IND consider that you have moved your main residency abroad? In that case the IND can withdraw your residence permit. The IND can also decide not to extend your residence permit.

Rules on moving main residency by residence permit

The period you may remain abroad depends on your residence permit. See for each residence permit when the IND considers that your main residency has been moved.

Temporary or permanent residence permit (asylum or regular)

  • You have been outside the Netherlands for more than 6 months in a row. Your stay outside the Netherlands was not due to force majeure, but your own choice.
  • You have been outside the Netherlands for more than 4 months in a row for 3 continuous years. The IND counts these 4 months per calendar year (January to December). We do not add up separate periods. You have moved the centre of your activities abroad. This means that you cannot prove that you carry out the largest part of your activities in the Netherlands. The IND looks at this this per person.

Examples of moving main residency

  • You were outside the Netherlands from 1 November 2020 to 1 June 2021. This is more than 6 months. 
  • In 2019, 2020 and 2021, you were outside the Netherlands from 1 July to 1 December. This is more than 4 continuous months for 3 years in a row.

Examples of not moving main residency

  • You were outside the Netherlands from 1 November 2020 to 1 May 2021. This means that you were outside the Netherlands for 6 months, but not more than 6 months.
  • In 2019, 2020 and 2021, you were outside the Netherlands from 1 December to 1 May.  This counts as 4 continuous months for 3 years in a row (January to April, inclusive). The period from 1 December to 1 January is not added to the period from 1 January to 1 May. This means that you were not outside the Netherlands for more than 4 consecutive months for 3 years in a row.

Exceptions for a number of temporary residency permits

In these situations, the IND does not assume that you have moved your main residency.

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Residence document for family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen

The IND assumes that you have moved your main residency if you have stayed outside the Netherlands for a total of more than 6 out of 12 months. This means that we also add up separate periods.

Residence permit for long-term EU resident

In these situations, the IND assumes that you have moved your main residency.

  • You have been outside the EU, EEA  or Switzerland for more than 12 months in a row.
  • You have been outside the Netherlands for more than 6 years in a row, but within the EU, EEA or Switzerland.

Permanent residence document (permanent for family members of EU, EEA or Swiss citizens)

The IND assumes that you have moved your permanent residency if you have been outside the Netherlands for more than 2 years in a row.

Temporary residence permit under Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (UK citizens and family members)

The IND assumes that you have moved your main residency if you have been outside the Netherlands for more than 6 months in a row.

Permanent residence document under Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (UK citizens and family members)

The IND assumes that you have moved your main residency if you have been outside the Netherlands for more than 5 years in a row.

Other situations in which your main residency can be moved

The IND does not only look at the duration of your stay abroad. Other facts like the following are also important in assessing whether you have moved your main residency.

  • You are no longer registered in the Personal Records Database (BRP) of your local council (in Dutch: gemeente). Are you temporarily going to another EU country for intra EU-mobility? In that case you may temporarily deregister from the BRP. But in that case, your employer, educational institution or research institution must notify the IND of this in time.
  • You have been deregistered from the Tax and Customs Administration (in Dutch: Belastingdienst) before departure abroad.
  • The Aliens Police (AVIM) have been notified of your departure abroad.
  • You resign or are dismissed, or your employer’s business stops. Or you stop your own business.
  • You cancel a bank or giro account.
  • You regularly (periodically) have money transferred to an address outside the Netherlands.
  • You buy off your pension rights.
  • Your home in the Netherlands has been emptied and your home contents (possessions) have been moved abroad.
  • Your home in the Netherlands has been let or sublet to other people.