Brexit: Dutch government guarantees citizen rights in case of No Deal

Brexit No Deal

Brexit: Dutch government guarantees citizen rights in case of No Deal

On 7 January 2019 the Dutch government announced that British citizens can remain in the Netherlands if the UK leaves the EU without withdrawal agreement. In the event of a no deal Brexit, British citizens and their families who are lawfully resident in the Netherlands prior to 29 March can continue to work, study and live in the Netherlands for at least another 15 months. This transition scheme also applies to family members of British citizens who do not hold EU citizenship themselves.

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

  • During the 15-month national transition period (29 March 2019 - 1 July 2020), the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) will invite roughly 45,000 British citizens to apply for a permanent residence permit, which will be required after the transition period. The IND will stagger the invitations across the transition period, allowing all those affected to properly organise their future stay in the Netherlands. The permit will cost €57, unless you already have some form of residence permit.

  • British citizens will be eligible for the permit if they meet the same residence conditions that apply to EU citizens. British nationals who have lived in the Netherlands or longer than five years will be eligible for a permanent residency document and will not have to take language and other integration tests.British nationals who have lived in the Netherlands for less than five years will get a regular residency document which will enable them to continue to work. They will also be exempt from integration tests. Employers will not have to apply for permits for their British staff. Students who have already started their degree will not be affected.

  • Before Brexit on 29 March 2019 the IND will send you a letter. This letter will be your temporary residence permit. 

  • British citizens who decide to come to the Netherlands after Brexit to live, work or study have to apply for a residence permit as a third-country national. The applicants will be allowed to apply for a residence permit in the Netherlands and will be exempted from the authorisation for temporary stay (MVV) requirement.

Letter from the IND

The IND will send British citizens and their family members living in the Netherlands a letter containing information about the right of residence after Brexit in case of a no deal. The letter is sent to all British citizens (and their family members) who are registered in the municipal Personal Records Database (BRP).

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

  • If you are staying lawfully in the Netherlands now, you will be able to continue your stay here in the event of a deal. After 5 years of legal residence in the Netherlands you can obtain a permanent right of residence in the same way as EU citizens can. With that you can therefore simply continue your life here.

  • Initially nothing will change and you can continue to have the same rights as now until 31 December 2020. You do not have to do anything for this. You do not need a special document for this.

  • You will, however, be invited by the IND between 29 March 2019 and 31 December 2020 to make an application for your new residence status.

  • You do not have to take any action yourself for this either, as you will receive an invitation from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) to submit an application. The IND will assess your application based on the same conditions as applicable to EU citizens.

  • The invitation letter will be sent to the address at which you are now registered in your municipality (in the Personal Records Database (BRP). You must ensure that these details are correct.

  • By using invitations, the IND can see to it that each application is handled carefully and promptly. If everyone were to submit an application at the same time, that would not work, and your application might incur a delay.

What you can do now?

The IND advises British nationals to:

  • Register yourself with the municipal Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen, BRP) of the municipality where you live. With this the Dutch government can get in touch with you if necessary. The letters of the IND will be send to your registered address.

  • Apply for your DigiD. Using your DigiD, you can issue an online application with the IND easily. Do you already have DigiD but no sms-verification? Install this on the My DigiD app.

Privileged persons and Brexit

The right of residence of British privileged staff working for embassies, consulates and international organisations will not be affected by Brexit. Privileged persons will maintain their privileged status as stipulated in international conventions and seat agreements. The information about citizen rights after Brexit from the IND only applies to people residing legally in the Netherland on the grounds of EU law. The IND tries to only contact people who are registered in the BRP (municipal Personal Records Database) without privileged status.

Privileged persons do not need to register with the BRP or apply for DigiD because of Brexit. In general, government services are delivered faster if you do register for the BRP. Please contact your HR department for further questions about the affect of Brexit on your residency rights and privileges.

More information

The latest information on Brexit is available at the websites of the IND for citizen rights or at for all Brexit-related topics. If you have questions about your right of residence, you can also call the IND Brexit information line: +31 (0)88 04 30410.