Published: 14 May 2018
Last update: 14 January 2019

On 29 March 2019, the United Kingdom (UK) will leave the European Union (EU). This exit (Brexit) has consequences for most Britons and their family members who wish to continue living in the Netherlands. On this page you can read more about these consequences and what you can do now. The content of this page will be updated in the event of new developments.

Brexit and your right of residence

Do you currently have a right of residence in the Netherlands as a British EU citizen, or as a family member of a British EU citizen? Will your situation stay the same after Brexit? You will retain your right of residence up to Brexit. After that, you are no longer an EU citizen (or the family member of an EU citizen).

EU and UK in negotiations on Brexit

The EU and the UK are negotiating a withdrawal agreement (deal). On 13 November 2018, the UK and the EU reached a draft withdrawal agreement. This provides, for example, that you can continue to live and work in the Netherlands after Brexit. The agreement will only be final after approval by the British and European Parliament.

In November, all EU leaders signed this agreement. Prime minister May has announced that the British House of Commons will vote on the Brexit agreement on 15 January. Your situation is a top priority for the Dutch government. Consequently, the Netherlands will do its utmost to reach a deal with the UK. A deal scenario with good agreements is the best way to safeguard the interests of British citizens.

You can find out more about the negotiation process and interim agreements on the websites of the Dutch and British governments and the European Commission (see links right). It is possible that there will be no agreement (no deal). Both a deal and no deal affect your right of residence. However, Brexit does not affect your right of residence if you have Dutch nationality on 29 March 2019. Are you in possession of a valid Dutch national residence permit on that date? Then Brexit will not affect your right of residence either, as long as your permit is valid.

What will happen if agreement is reached on withdrawal (DEAL)?

Do you already have a right of residence in the Netherlands? Then you can continue to live, work and study in the Netherlands after Brexit. After 5 years' legal residence in the Netherlands you can obtain a permanent right of residence in the same way as EU citizens. With a permanent residence permit you can simply continue your life here.

  • Initially nothing will change and you will continue to have the same rights you have now until 31 December 2020. You do not have to do anything for this. You do not need a special document for this.
  • After 31 December 2020, you will need a residence document in order to stay in the Netherlands. Between 29 March 2019 and 31 December 2020, the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) will invite you to apply for a residence document.
  • You do not have to take any action yourself to receive this invitation. IND will send you the invitation, advising you of the next steps. The IND will then assess your application based on the same conditions applicable to EU citizens.
  • The costs for applying for the new residence status will be the same as the costs for applying for an EU document. Do you already have a permanent EU residence permit? Then the application is free of charge.
  • The invitation letter will be sent to the address at which you are currently registered with your municipality in the Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen or BRP)). You must ensure that these details are correct.
  • By inviting British nationals to apply for a residence permit in stages, the IND can ensure that each application is handled carefully and promptly. It is not possible for everyone to submit an application at the same time: this could delay your application.

What will happen if no agreement is reached (NO DEAL)?

  • On 7 January 2019, the Dutch government announced in its letter to parliament (available in Dutch only) that British citizens who have a right of residence in the Netherlands on 29 March 2019 can also stay in the Netherlands after a no-deal Brexit.
  • In the event there is no deal, a national transition scheme will take effect from 29 March 2019 to 1 July 2020. Under this transition scheme, British citizens retain their rights to live, work and study in the Netherlands. This also applies if you are the family member of a British citizen and you do not have another EU citizenship. Before 29 March 2019 the IND will send you a letter. This letter will be your temporary residence permit. You do not have to take action yourself to receive this letter.
  • After the transition period you will need a new national residence permit. You can obtain a residence permit if you meet the same residence conditions  for residence that apply to EU citizens. With this residence permit you also have the right to work and study in the Netherlands. You will receive an invitation by letter to apply for this national residence permit before 1 April 2020.

No-deal information letter

The IND has sent a letter to British citizens and their family members living in the Netherlands containing information about their right of residence after Brexit in the event of no deal. The letter has been sent to all British citizens (and their family members) who are registered in the BRP. In this letter you can find out what Brexit means for you.

There are two versions of the no-deal letter. Which letter you will receive depends on your situation.

Would you like to find out which residence permit you have? Please visit

When will British nationals receive the no-deal information letter?

You should receive the information letter in the week of 14 January 2019. This letter is already available online at the links given above. Read news article of 14 January 2019.

No-deal Brexit Q & A

For more information, read the Q & A by clicking on the image below.Questions and Answers No Deal Brexit

Existing residence possibilities and consequences of Brexit

For more information on the consequences of Brexit on the existing residence possibilities in the Netherlands, please visit the page existing residence possibilities and consequences of Brexit.

What you can do now

  • If you have not already done so, register yourself with the Personal Records Database of the municipality where you live. The Dutch government can then get in touch with you if necessary.
  • Apply for a DigiD. With your DigiD, you can easily submit an online application to the IND. Do you already have a DigiD but no sms-verification? Set this up on My DigiD.

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Do you have any questions about your right of residence? Call the IND Brexit information line: +31 (0)88 04 30410. This number can be reached from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.

On you can find more information on other topics that may be relevant to you.