Brexit

Published: 14 May 2018
Last update: 1 May 2019
Last update No-deal Brexit Q & A: 29 April 2019

The United Kingdom (UK) is intending to leave the European Union (EU). This exit (Brexit) has consequences for most United Kingdom nationals 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.

On 11 April, the heads of state and government leaders of the EU's 27 remaining countries agreed to extend Brexit. For more information, visit Government.nl.

Brexit and your right of residence

Do you currently have a right of residence in the Netherlands as a United Kingdom national, or as a family member of a United Kingdom national? 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 Parliaments.

Your situation remains 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 UK nationals.

You can find out more about the negotiation process and interim agreements on the website of the Dutch government. (See  also links right to the websites of  the British government and the European Commission. ) It is also 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 citizenship. Are you in possession of a valid Dutch national residence permit on the date of Brexit? 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 in the transition period from the date of Brexit 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. For this you will be invited by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (the IND) to apply for a residence document. Invitations will be spread across the transition period.
  • The IND will send you the invitation advising you of the next steps, by post. The IND will then assess your application based on the same conditions applicable to EU citizens. You do not have to take any action yourself to receive this invitation by post.
  • 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 document? The IND will invite you to apply for a replacement residence document 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 United Kingdom nationals 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 up to and including 30 June 2020. Under this transition scheme, UK nationals retain their rights to live, work and study in the Netherlands. This also applies if you are the family member of a UK national and you do not have another EU citizenship. Before the date of Brexit, 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 by post. If you would also like to receive the letter digitally, take the necessary steps to receive post from the IND in your Message Box on MijnOverheid.
  • After the transition period you will need a new national residence permit. You can obtain a residence permit if you meet the same conditions for residence that apply to EU citizens, and have been invited to submit an application for this residence permit. With this residence permit you also have the right to work and study in the Netherlands. During the transition period you will receive an invitation by letter to apply for this national residence permit before 1 April 2020. These invitations will be sent in stages as in a deal situation.

  • Do you already have a permanent EU residence document? The IND will invite you to apply for a permanent residence permit free of charge.
  • Family reunification: your family members can be considered for a (temporary) residence permit (regardless of their nationality or main residence) if, as a UK national living in the Netherlands, you are in possession of a (temporary) residence permit. This is only possible during the transition period (in the event of a no-deal Brexit from 29 March 2019 up to and including 30 June 2020). After this the (stricter) national requirements for family reunification apply. These are explained under Family.

No-deal Brexit Q & As

Read the Q & As for more information on your residency in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Temporary residence permit for no-deal transition period

During the Brexit extension period, you do not need the temporary residence permit received from the IND (see IND news article). Therefore, the IND will not send out any more temporary residence permits at this time. You retain your rights as an EU citizen to live, work and study in the Netherlands. However, there is still a possibility that there will be a no-deal Brexit after the extension period. Therefore the IND advises you to keep your temporary residence permit safe. If a possible no-deal Brexit is pending, the IND will send temporary residence permits to registered UK nationals without one. The temporary residence permit is valid up to and including 30 June 2020. The IND will continue to inform you about the latest developments on this website.

Infographic no-deal Brexit temporary residence permit
(Click on the image above to view full screen version of infographic)

Why did the IND send out temporary residence permits?
In the week of 14 January 2019, you received an information letter from the IND about a no-deal Brexit. This states that:

  • In Netherlands, there will be a national transition period of 15 months until 1 July 2020 (up to and including 30 June 2020);
  • During this transition period you retain your current rights to live, work and study in the Netherlands;
  • The IND will send you a temporary residence permit in the form of a written declaration with which you can establish your rights.

Although it still not known if there will be a no-deal Brexit, in the period from 13 to 29 March the IND sent out temporary residence permits with an explanatory covering letter. In this way, the IND aimed to guarantee that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, all UK nationals and their family members with a right of residence in the Netherlands who are registered in the Personal Records Database (BRP) would have a temporary residence permit in time.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, this temporary residence permit will be valid during a national transition period up to and including 30 June 2020. Please, therefore, keep this important document safe. You must be able to present it if asked to do so.

You can only use this temporary residence permit together with a valid passport. Any family members without EU/EER or Swiss nationality must also be able to present their (expired) EU residence document.

In the event of no deal, if you are employed, you will need to give a copy of your temporary residence permit to your employer. Your employer will need this copy, together with a copy of your passport, to establish that you are entitled to work in the Netherlands.

Have you registered to receive digital post from the IND in your Message Box on MijnOverheid? Then you should also have received your temporary residence permit digitally if you set this up in time. You can then download and print it.

Temporary residence permit with covering letter

Do you have any questions about the temporary residence permit? Read our No-deal Brexit Q & A

No residence permit received or lost it?

It is possible that you have not received a temporary residence permit because your residence right is not affected by Brexit. This is the case if you hold a permanent Dutch national residence permit or also hold the nationality of an EU/EER country or Switzerland. You will also not receive a temporary residence permit for the transition period if you are incorrectly registered in the Personal Records Database (BRP).

Due to the Brexit extension, the IND is not sending out any more temporary residence permits at this time. Have you lost your temporary residence permit? You do not need a temporary residence permit because of the extension. If a possible no-deal Brexit is pending, you can ask for a new one. In that case, we will advise you what you can do on this website.

Apply for new residence permit during no-deal transition period

During a no-deal transition period, the IND will send you an invitation letter to submit an application for a new national residence permit, by 1 April 2020 at the latest. The invitations will be sent out in stages during the transition period.

Cross border workers

Are you a UK national or the family member of a UK national working in the Netherlands as a cross border worker on the date of Brexit? Do you wish to continue working in the Netherlands as a cross border worker after a no-deal Brexit? Then you can obtain a residence endorsement sticker in your passport (free of charge) at an IND-desk after Brexit. With this sticker, you will be exempt from the requirement for a work permit (TWV) during the Dutch national transition period in the event of a no-deal Brexit

Please note that at present it is not yet possible to schedule an appointment for this sticker.

In order to obtain the residence endorsement sticker, you have to meet the following conditions:

  • On the date of Brexit you were a cross-border worker in the Netherlands;
  • You wish to continue to work as a cross-border worker in the Netherlands after Brexit;
  • You have a valid employment contract establishing that you will continue to carry out your activities;
  • Your main place of residence is the United Kingdom and you travel back to the UK on average once a week;
  • You have a valid passport.

Existing residence possibilities 

You can find more information about existing residence possibilities in the Netherlands under the different purposes of stay on this website, like EU, Family, Work and Dutch citizenship.

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? You can also set this up on My DigiD.
  • Make sure that you will also receive post from the IND digitally. For example, a digital version of the temporary residence permit that the IND sent by post to safeguard UK nationals' rights in the event of a no-deal Brexit, was also sent digitally to UK nationals who had set this up in advance. Use your DigiD to log in to MijnOverheid at https://mijn.overheid.nl/. There you can access your Berichtenbox (Message Box) where you can receive digital post from government institutions, including the IND. Go to Instellingen (Settings) and under Landelijke Organisaties check Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst (Immigration and Naturalisation Service, IND).

Questions?

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 9:00 to 17:00.

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