The United Kingdom (UK) will be leaving the European Union (EU) on 29 March 2019. This departure, better known as Brexit, will affect most British people and their family members living and working in the Netherlands, and vice versa. The European Union attaches great importance to the freedom of movement of people, goods, services and capital between member states. Brexit means that this freedom of movement between the UK and the Netherlands will come to an end. It is still unclear what the new relationship with the UK will be precisely following Brexit. However, we would like to provide you with further details about how Brexit will affect residency rights.


Brexit negotiations
The EU and the UK are engaged in negotiations to reach a withdrawal agreement (deal). This withdrawal agreement lays down that after Brexit Britons who were already living in the Netherlands before the end of the transition period may continue to live, work and study in the Netherlands. The same applies to Dutch citizens living and working in the UK. This withdrawal agreement will only enter into force after it has been approved by both the British and the European Parliaments. On 15 January 2019 a majority in the British House of Commons voted to reject this withdrawal agreement. Given the uncertainty surrounding this state-of-affairs, the Ministry of Justice and Security is making preparations for both a situation where a withdrawal agreement is concluded between the UK and the EU (a deal scenario), as well as a situation where the UK leaves the EU with no agreement (a no-deal scenario).

Brexit means that the rights of EU citizens and their families in the UK on the basis of freedom of movement will lapse. The same applies to the British citizens who live and work in EU member states. The Dutch government considers it important that even in the event that no withdrawal agreement is reached, Britons can continue to live, work and study in the Netherlands.

No withdrawal agreement 
When the UK leaves the EU British citizens in the Netherlands will no longer be able to derive their residency status on the basis of EU citizenship. The government has instituted a transition period of 15 months from 29 March 2019 to 1 July 2020, during which British citizens and their family members who before 29 March 2019 were already legally entitled to residency in the Netherlands, will retain their right to live, work and study in the Netherlands. This is also because the government would like to keep the Dutch employment market open to British citizens. Before 29 March 2019 the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) will be writing to all Britons in the Netherlands and this letter will serve as a temporary residence permit. No action is required in this context.  

During the course of this transition period the IND will be inviting British citizens and their family members to apply for a permanent residence permit. The same conditions will apply for this residence permit as those which also apply to EU citizens. On the basis of this residence permit Britons will be entitled to live, work and study in the Netherlands. As an employer you will not have to apply for a separate work permit in this situation.

The situation mentioned above only concerns Britons who live and work in The Netherlands. There is also a group of Britons who qualify as UK residents, and only work in The Netherlands on the basis of the freedom of movement.  Because of the Brexit, the freedom of movement will come to an end. For this group of Britons, for now no action is taken by the Dutch government.

At present there is still a great deal that is unclear about what the situation will be after 29 March 2019. Despite this turmoil, by providing a transition period of 15 months, the Dutch government wishes to provide British citizens in the Netherlands with certainty. Should the withdrawal agreement actually enter into force, then British people in the Netherlands will have more options.

Actions

  • If you are living in the Netherlands, no action is required; the Dutch government will take the required actions
  • If you are living in the UK and working in the Netherlands it most likely that you will have to take action yourselves, such as apply for the necessary VISA

 
Please contact us should you need any further information or assistance, we are happy to  help

 

January 2019