International Society of Primerus Law Firms

Brexit: the implications

Russell Advocaten B.V.
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Brexit is done. As of 1 February 2020, the United Kingdom will withdraw from the European Union with a deal. What will be the implications of Brexit for British people and their family members that work or live in the Netherlands or for those that are planning to do so after Brexit?

Transitional (or implementation) period

Following Brexit, there will be a transitional period which will last until 31 December 2020 (subject to extension). During that period, nothing changes to the free movement of persons. A valid passport is sufficient for British people and their (EU or non-EU) family members to enter the EU and for EU citizens to enter the UK for temporary or permanent residence and work.

If Britons intend to stay in an EU country after the transitional period, they should register at the municipality of their residence in that country before the end of the transitional period. In that case they will receive an invitation to apply for a residence permit in that country for after the transitional period. If you intend to stay in the Netherlands or Germany after the transitional period, you should register in the Netherlands or Germany respectively before the end of the transitional period.

British frontier workers living in the Netherlands and working in Belgium, can register in the Netherlands before the end of the transitional period, to retain their rights to work cross border after the transitional period.

For Britons that already have a permanent EU residence document, the IND will check whether they are entitled to a new Dutch residence document to replace the EU document after the transitional period. They do not have to apply for that.

After the transitional period

After the transitional period, Britons that have not already registered in an EU country will lose their right to free movement and residence in the EU. The same applies to EU nationals that have not registered their residence in the UK before the end of the transitional period.

At the end of the transitional period, the UK will be a third country for immigration purposes, just like the US, Australia or Japan. This means that for short stay in the Schengen area a visa is not required, but the maximum duration of stay will be limited to 90 days in every 180 day period.

Britons that wish to live and work in the Netherlands and enter the Netherlands after the transitional period, will have to apply for a residence permit for the purpose for which they meet the specified criteria (work, family or studies).

Britons and their family members already living in the Netherlands will receive an invitation to apply for a residence permit for a specific purpose of residence.

How to prepare?

In order to receive an invitation to apply for a residence permit, the Dutch Immigration Service (IND) has to know your home address. Therefore, British people and their family members in the Netherlands are required to register their address with the (municipal) personal records database. Furthermore a DigiD (authentication for digital correspondence with Dutch authorities) and a Dutch bank account are required to apply for a residence permit after the transitional period.

More information

Do you have any questions about the specific consequences of Brexit for your situation? Or do you have any other questions about corporate immigration? Please contact Ynze Kliphuis (ynze.kliphuis@russell.nl or +31 20 301 55 55).


The general information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.

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