Now that Brexit is a reality, the IND is providing groups of Brits living in the Netherlands with a residence document. Today, Aly van Berckel, managing director of the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (the IND) handed out the first Dutch Brexit residence cards to Michelle Colman and her sons Tristan and Ethan at the IND desk in The Hague. The Netherlands is one of the first EU member states starting to hand out residence documents to UK nationals.
The IND's aim is a decent residence solution for all UK nationals and their family members living, working and studying in the Netherlands. 'The most important thing is that Brits in the Netherlands do not need to worry about their right of residence', explains Aly van Berckel. 'After Brexit, they can also continue to live, work and study here. Throughout the year, all UK nationals and their family members will receive an invitation to apply for a residence document in stages. In this way we can ensure that Brits receive a card in time. Today the first cards were handed out.'
Aly van Berckel, managing director of the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (the IND) handed out the first Dutch Brexit
residence cards to Michelle Colman and her sons.
'The Netherlands is my home'
Michelle is happy that she and her sons are the first to receive a residence document. Í am really British, but I have been living here for 20 years. The Netherlands is my home, where I live and work. I was a bit scared at the time of Brexit, because you just didn't know what was going to happen. But for me personally, the IND has made it very easy. Now it's a matter of waiting which agreements will still be made about Brexit, for example about travelling in Europe.'
45,000 Brits need a residence document
The handing out of the first cards is the starting point for the rest of this group. In total, around 45,000 Brits will receive a residence document during the transition period. Since it is not possible to assist such a large group at once, the IND is sending out 1,000 invitation letters every week. In this way, everyone should be covered before the transition period ends on 31 December 2020.
Since the beginning of Brexit developments, the IND has been working to ensure a careful resolution for Brits living in the Netherlands and to provide them with clear information. For example, a Brexit website has been developed and a Brexit telephone information line set up. In addition, a special Brexit team is working on all Brexit-related matters. In developing information materials, the IND has consulted closely with British nationals to address their wishes and expectations as far as possible.