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Brexit & The Netherlands

Brexit & The Netherlands

What is Brexit? How will Brexit affect UK citizens living and working in the Netherlands? Will anything change when it comes to their residency rights? Will they still be allowed to work in the Netherlands? Here is what you need to know about Brexit and the Netherlands. 

What is Brexit?

The name Brexit is a combination of “Britain” and “exit”. The UK held a referendum on its EU membership on June 23, 2016, and the majority of the voters (51,89%) voted to leave the EU.

The UK left the EU on January 31, 2020. A transition period was in place up until December 31, 2020. On January 1, 2021, the rules set out in the agreement on the new partnership between the EU and the UK came into force.

Can I stay in the Netherlands after Brexit?

When it comes to living in the Netherlands and your right of residence, it all depends on whether you came to live in the Netherlands before the transition period or after the transition period.

Before the transition period (December 31, 2020)

Were you already living in the Netherlands on or before December 31, 2020? If the answer is yes, you fall under the withdrawal agreement. This means that you will need to apply for a residence document before July 1, 2021, to be able to stay in the Netherlands. With this document, you will also be able to continue working in the Netherlands without a work permit.

If you have been living in the Netherlands for less than five years, you can apply for a temporary residence permit. If, however, you have been living in the Netherlands for over five years consecutively, you can apply for permanent residency.

All UK nationals who were registered with their municipality before August 1, 2020, should have received an invitation letter from the IND to apply for a residence document.

After the transition period (December 31, 2020)

Did you come to the Netherlands after December 31, 2020? If so, you do not fall under the withdrawal agreement, which means you will need to meet the Dutch requirements for living in the country, as you are considered a third-country national. Requirements for third-country nationals are often stricter and you will need a residence permit for a specific residence purpose.

Exceptions are made in the following instances: 

  • If you are a UK national who also holds EU, EEA or Swiss citizenship.
  • If you are going to live with a family member who falls under the withdrawal agreement, as family reunification is still possible after Brexit.
  • If you are a UK national with a national residence permit for permanent residence, since this includes an EU long-term residence permit. You can exchange your national permanent residence permit from the UK for a Dutch permanent residence document under the withdrawal agreement.
  • If you are a third-country national and your relationship with your partner who is a UK national has ended as a result of death or divorce. It may be possible for you to stay in the Netherlands under EU provisions.

Working in the Netherlands after Brexit

When it comes to having a job in the Netherlands and whether you need a work permit, it all depends on whether you came to live in the Netherlands before the transition period or after the transition period.

Before the transition period (December 31, 2020)

If you came to the Netherlands before or on December 31, 2020, you fall under the withdrawal agreement, which means you may continue working in the Netherlands without a work permit, provided you have a residence permit.

After the transition period (December 31, 2020)

Did you come to the Netherlands after December 31, 2020? Your employer will need to apply for an employment permit for you from the UWV, if you will be working in the Netherlands for less than 90 days. If you will be working in the Netherlands for more than 90 days, your employer must apply for a combined work and residence permit for you from the IND.

United Kingdom nationals: Travelling between the Netherlands and the UK post-Brexit

From 2021, UK nationals travelling to the Netherlands will be subject to the same procedures as third-country nationals. This means custom controls may take longer as they are more in-depth.

ID card or passport?

If you are visiting the UK from the Netherlands, you can still use your ID card up to and including September 30, 2021. From October 1, 2021, you will need a valid passport. If you are a UK resident covered by the withdrawal agreement, you may use your ID card to travel between the UK and the Netherlands until at least the end of 2025. Please note that you may need to show proof that you fall under this agreement.

Visa

If you have a British passport, you will be able to travel to Schengen countries without a visa for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Conditions may apply.

Please check your government website to see if travelling abroad is allowed and under which conditions due to coronavirus.

UK nationals: Studying in the Netherlands post-Brexit

If you come to live and study in the Netherlands after the transition period, December 31, 2020, you will not fall under the withdrawal agreement. Whether you will be able to receive student finance and pay statutory tuition fees will depend on the type of residence permit you hold. Generally, this means you will have to pay institutional fees.

Primary and secondary school in the Netherlands after Brexit

The right to primary and secondary education is not affected by nationality, which means if you live in the Netherlands, your children will retain their right to an education in this country.

Will I still be able to drive on my UK licence post-Brexit?

The answer depends on where you live. If you live in the UK and are visiting the Netherlands for a short time, then, yes, you may drive on your UK licence. However, if you are living in the Netherlands, and you have a UK driving licence, you will need to exchange it for a Dutch driving licence at your municipality. This requires you to submit a health declaration to the Central Office for Motor Vehicle Testing (CBR)

Will I still have access to Dutch healthcare post-Brexit?

If you moved to the Netherlands before the end of the transition period, nothing will change for you. You will still have access to Dutch healthcare. However, this may not be the case if you moved to the Netherlands after the end of the transition period. This will depend on agreements made by the Netherlands and the UK. You are advised to take out Dutch health insurance yourself within four months of your arrival in the Netherlands.

Please note that you will always qualify for Dutch healthcare if you fall under the Dutch Health Insurance Act and Chronic Care Act (WLZ), for example, if you live in the Netherlands and receive a UK pension. In this case, you will also have to take out a health insurance policy yourself.

Am I still entitled to Dutch social security benefits after Brexit?

If you moved to the Netherlands before the end of the transition period, you fall under the withdrawal agreement. This means you will still receive your benefits as long as you still fit the requirements.

If you moved to the Netherlands after the transition period, you do not fall under the withdrawal agreement. Whether you will still be able to receive Dutch social security benefits is not yet known. This will depend on agreements made by the UK and the Netherlands. If no agreements are made, certain social security benefits may no longer be paid out in the UK (or perhaps partly).

Importing products from the UK post-Brexit

If you buy something online from the UK, the same rules apply to ordering goods from outside the EU, which means that you will have to pay VAT on products that cost over 22 euros, and you will need to pay import duties for products costing over 150 euros.

Bringing food products into the Netherlands from the UK post-Brexit

From 2021, there are stricter rules in place when it comes to bringing food into the Netherlands from the UK. You are no longer allowed to bring in meat, fish or dairy products. There are some exceptions, however.

Can I take my pet to the Netherlands after Brexit?

As of January 1, 2021, EU pet passports that were issued in the UK are no longer valid. This means you will need a health certificate issued by an official authority in the UK instead. Your pet will also need an identification chip and a rabies vaccination. If your pet belongs to a protected species, you may also need a CITES permit.

 

 

 

 

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