Now that it is only a matter of time that the United Kingdom (UK) will leave the European Union, this exit (Brexit) has consequences for most British nationals and their family members who wish to continue living in the Netherlands.

The UK and the EU reached an agreement in 2018 on the conditions for this process. However, the UK parliament has not approved this agreement. For this reason, the 27 remaining EU countries and the British government have decided to postpone Brexit until 31 October 2019 at the latest. This date will be moved forward if the UK parliament approves the agreement earlier. This means that the UK will have to take part in European elections between 23 and 26 May. In case the UK does not organize elections for the European Parliament and has not ratified the withdrawal agreement, Brexit will be on 31 May 2019.

In this article we will outline for the general counsels facing questions on this topic the consequences of a deal and a no deal scenario with regards to the residence rights of British nationals in the Netherlands, what British nationals can or should do now.

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

  • There will be a transition period as from the date of Brexit until 31 December 2020.
  • British nationals (or family members of British nationals), who legally reside, work and/or study in the Netherlands on or before the date of Brexit and British nationals coming to the Netherlands during the transition period to work or study can continue to live and work and study in the Netherlands during the transition period.
  • During the transition period British nationals do not need to hold a permit or letter. They must however be correctly registered in the Personal Records Database (BRP) and be able to identify themselves (hold a valid passport).
  • After 5 years’ legal residence in the Netherlands British nationals can obtain a permanent right of residence in the same way as EU citizens. With a permanent residence permit they can simply continue their life here.
  • After 31 December 2020, British nationals will need a residence document in order to stay in the Netherlands.
  • For this they will be invited spread across the transition period by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) to apply for a residence document.
  • The IND will assess their application based on the same conditions applicable to EU citizens. meaning:
  • Employees or self-employed must continue to be employed or self-employed.
  • Economically inactives must have sufficient resources not to become a burden on the social assistance system of the Netherlands and a comprehensive health insurance coverage.
  • Students must be enrolled with a recognized private or public educational institution accredited or financed by the Dutch government, and have sufficient resources not to become a burden on the social assistance system of the Netherlands as well as a comprehensive health insurance coverage.
  • British nationals (and/or family member of a British citizen) holding an EU permanent residence permit before the date of Brexit do not need to file a new application for a residence permit. IND will automatically change their EU permanent residence permit into a national permanent residence permit after the transition period. They IND will inform them as soon as national permanent residence permit is ready for collection.

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 legal right of residence in the Netherlands on 29 March 2019 can also stay in the Netherlands after a no-deal Brexit.

  • During an extension up until the date of an eventual Brexit, UK nationals will in any event continue to retain the right to freedom of movement and residence as EU citizens.
  • In the event there is no deal, a national transition scheme will take effect until 1 July 2020.
  • During this transition period British nationals (or family members of British nationals) retain their rights to live, work and study in the Netherlands.
  • Between 13 and 29 March 2019 sent British citizens and their family members living in the Netherlands and registered in the BRP a temporary residence permit valid from 29 March 2019 till 1 July 2020 and information about their right of residence in different possible situations.
  • During the Brexit extension no temporary residence permits are needed. Therefore IND does not send temporary residence permits anymore.
  • If a possible no-deal Brexit is pending, IND will again send temporary residence permits to registered UK nationals without one.
  • British nationals do not have to take action themselves to receive this temporary residence permit. With this residence permit and their valid passport, British nationals can prove that they legally reside in the Netherlands until 1 July 2020.
  • After the transition period British nationals will need a new national residence permit.
  • For this they will be invited spread across the national transition period so until 1 July 2020, by IND to apply for a residence document.
  • They can obtain a residence permit if they meet the same residence conditions  for residence that apply to EU citizens, meaning:
  • Employees or self-employed must continue to be employed or self-employed.
  • Economically inactives must have sufficient resources not to become a burden on the social assistance system of the Netherlands and a comprehensive health insurance coverage.
  • Students must be enrolled with a recognized private or public educational institution accredited or financed by the Dutch government, and have sufficient resources not to become a burden on the social assistance system of the Netherlands as well as a comprehensive health insurance coverage.
  • British nationals or family member of a British citizen holding a national permanent residence permit on the date of Brexit will not receive a temporary residence permit as they do not need it. Brexit has no influence on their residence right in the Netherlands.
  • British nationals or family member of a British national coming to the Netherlands to reside, work and/or study after the date of Brexit need to fulfil the conditions to obtain residency and the right to work that apply to any other non-EU citizen. They will be exempt from the requirement to obtain a provisional residence permit (machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf or mvv) in order to travel to and enter the Netherlands for a potential long-term stay.

What should employers do?

  • Request your British employees, currently employed for a copy of the IND information letter and temporary residence permit valid until 1 July 2020 and a copy of their UK passport.
  • If they did not receive such letter, verify if the British national is registered correctly in the BRP. If so the British employee should call with IND Brexit info line +31(0)88 0430410. If not the British national should register with the BRP as soon as possible.
  • Check if British current employees receive an invitation letter of IND before 1 July 2020 in case of a no deal and before 31 December 2020 in case of a deal.
  • Check if British employee has received a residence permit before 1 July 2020 (no deal) or before 1 January 2021 (deal). Keep a copy of the residence for your files.

 

Eugenie Nunes
Partner Dentons Boekel NV
D +31 20 795 36 05
M +31 6 53 84 71 69
Eugenie.nunes@dentons.com

 

 

Sascha Kuit
Senior Associate Dentons Boekel NV
D +31 20 795 36 21
M +31 6 21 51 86 69
Sascha.kuit@dentons.com