UK citizens in the Netherlands and Brexit: A quick update
Everaert Advocaten is a respected leader in Dutch migration law. Based in Amsterdam, its multilingual team advises expats on residency and migration-related legal issues.
If you are a UK expat living in the Netherlands, the end of the uncertainty regarding your legal residence in the Netherlands post-Brexit is not yet in sight. The UK parliament voted down the Brexit Agreement and a No-Deal Brexit is closer than ever.
What does this mean for your legal residence in the Netherlands post-Brexit? Here is a quick update on what we do know.
The right of residence for UK nationals living in the Netherlands or Dutch nationals living in the UK is no longer a topic of debate. If an agreement is reached in time, it is likely that the section on rights of residence will be taken from the voted down Agreement. You can find an overview of your rights in the case of an agreement here.
The Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has made known what the rights of British citizens and their family members in the Netherlands are in case of a No-Deal.
During the transition period from March 29, 2019, until July 1, 2020, British citizens and their family members legally residing, working and / or studying in the Netherlands before March 29, 2019, will keep these rights of residence.
During the transitional period, you will need to apply for a Dutch residence permit. You will receive an invitation from the IND to apply for this permit. To obtain a Dutch residence permit, you need to comply with the requirements for residence laid down in EU Law:
- Employees or self-employed persons must continue to be employed or self-employed.
- Economically inactive residents must have sufficient resources not to become a burden on the social assistance system of the Netherlands and have comprehensive health insurance coverage.
- Students must be enrolled at a recognised private or public educational institution accredited or financed by the Dutch government, and have sufficient resources to not become a burden on the social assistance system of the Netherlands as well as have comprehensive health insurance coverage.
Once you have obtained a Dutch residence permit, you are not required to comply with any integration measures and you are entitled to work in the Netherlands without a work permit.
British students will retain their rights to statutory tuition fees and student finance if they meet the conditions applying to EU citizens.
After 5 years of legal residency in the Netherlands, you can apply for a Dutch permanent residence permit. If you already have a Dutch residence permit (temporary or permanent), nothing will change for you.
If you have an EU permanent residence permit, the IND will automatically change your permit to a Dutch permanent residence permit. IND will inform you as soon as your national permanent residence permit is ready for collection.
Do you hold another EU-nationality besides your UK nationality? You will keep your right of residence as an EU-citizen after Brexit if you continue to meet the requirements laid down in EU law.
Coming to the Netherlands post-Brexit
According to IND, you will need to fulfil the same conditions to obtain residency as any other non-EU citizen.
However, you 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. This means that you can first travel to the Netherlands and submit an application for residency after arrival.
When it comes to Brexit, political initiatives have been tabled to allow UK nationals living in the Netherlands to keep their UK nationality when obtaining Dutch nationality and vice versa. However, the outcome of these initiatives is most uncertain.
Luckily, the current Dutch Nationality Act already creates the possibility to obtain dual citizenship.
If you have any questions relating to Brexit or dual citizenship, please do not hesitate to contact one of the lawyers from Everaert Advocaten Immigration Lawyers. They will gladly answer all of your questions.