Netherlands: Country-Specific Brexit Information

December 16, 2020 Lucy Halse

UK nationals who have been legally living in the Netherlands before December 31, 2020 when the UK withdraws from the EU may continue to live, study, and work in the Netherlands through rights established through the Withdrawal Agreement. UK nationals who are residents of the Netherlands by the end of the Brexit transition will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and their rights will be protected if they remain a resident. UK nationals should make sure they are registered as residents.

Entry and Residency Requirements

UK nationals will be able to stay in the Netherlands if they were residents before December 31, 2020. UK nationals who are lawful residents of the Netherlands before the end of the Brexit transition must apply for residency under the Withdrawal Agreement by June 30, 2021.

All UK nationals in the Netherlands must have a citizen service number, which is called a burgerservicenummer (BSN). A BSN is required for many administrative procedures in the Netherlands, such as working, getting health insurance, opening a bank account, obtaining medical services, and applying for benefits. UK nationals who leave the Netherlands and return later keep the same BSN, but they must re-register with the municipality.

To receive a BSN, UK nationals must register with their local municipality first. They will receive a BSN after successfully registering. UK nationals must apply for a BSN within five days of arriving in the Netherlands. They must make an appointment in the municipality where they live to apply. Details on scheduling an appointment and required documentation is available on every local municipality’s website.

All UK nationals who are residents of the Netherlands must also be registered in the Personal Records Database, which is also called the Basisregistratie Personen (BRP). The BRP can be applied for at the same time as the BSN with the local municipality Administration. Individuals who move to a new location in the Netherlands must re-register their new address at the local municipality Administration.

UK nationals will need to obtain a new residence document in 2021. Anyone who has lived in the Netherlands for less than five years must apply for a temporary residency document. UK nationals who have lived in the Netherlands for five years or more must apply for a permanent residency document.

The following information is required to apply for a new residence permit:

  • DigiD (app)
  • iDEAL (electronic application payment method; requires Dutch bank account)
  • Passport pages showing personal details and passport validity (scanned copies)
  • Scanned copies of required information for temporary/permanent residency (IND)
  • BSN number
  • V-number (optional – available on the IND invitation letter)

UK nationals can apply for a new residence document online or by downloading a paper application from the IND website and sending it to the IND through mail. Applications for dependents can be submitted or mailed simultaneously. The same required documentation must be provided for family members and dependents. Biometrics are required to receive a new residence document.  

Different residency requirements apply to individuals who move to the Netherlands after the Brexit transition. UK citizens who move to the country in 2021 must obtain a residence permit for a specific residence purpose that permits lawful residence in the Netherlands. UK nationals may receive a residence permit to reside with their partner in the Netherlands, study, work, or obtain Dutch citizenship. Certain exceptions apply to the post-Brexit residency requirement, including UK nationals who are returning residents and UK nationals who are Swiss, EU, or EEA nationals.

Starting on January 1, 2021, travel is permitted in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 180-day period without a visa to visit family or friends; attend business meetings, sports events, or cultural events; for tourism, and for short-term study or training. Travelers should note that visits to other Schengen countries within the previous 180 days also count towards the 90-day maximum stay. Any days spent in the Netherlands before January 1, 2021 will not count towards the 90-day limit.

Working in the Netherlands

UK nationals who are residents of the Netherlands before December 31, 2020 will retain their right to work in the country if they remain residents. Individuals who arrive after December 31, 2020 may need a work permit.

Individuals who live in the Netherlands and commute to work in another EU/EFTA country may need a permit proving that they are a frontier worker starting in January 2021. The Home Office will provide further details when guidance is available.

Passports

Rules on travel within the EU will stay the same through December 31, 2020. During that time, UK nationals may travel to countries in the EU and Schengen area with their UK passport. UK nationals should ensure that their passport is valid for the duration of their trip. Individuals who have a British Citizen passport do not need a visa to enter the Netherlands.

Starting on January 1, 2021, travel is permitted in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 180-day period without a visa to visit family or friends; attend business meetings, sports events, or cultural events; for tourism, and for short-term study or training. Travelers should note that visits to other Schengen countries within the previous 180 days also count towards the 90-day maximum stay. Any days spent in the Netherlands before January 1, 2021 will not count towards the 90-day limit.

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