UK employees in the Netherlands


Currently, and during the transition period, employees holding British passports can live and work in the Netherlands without any impediments. Post-Brexit they will need (new) residence permits.

But how does Brexit affect employers?

This depends on the terms of the withdrawal agreement yet to be signed. Then Brexit UK nationals may stay in the Netherlands; post-Brexit the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (‘IND’) will decide whether UK nationals are granted or may keep residence permits. Most likely a new residence permit will be required. There will no longer be free movement of persons and goods.
Employees not residing in the Netherlands: Work permit for persons from outside the European Economic Area / Combined Work and Residence Permit
Dutch employers who wish to hire UK nationals must apply for work permits for persons from outside the EEA (‘TWV’) or combined work and residence permits (‘GVVA’). TWV’s are sufficient for employment contracts of less than 3 months. Employment contracts of more than 3 months require GVVA’s. Hiring UK nationals is an option only if recruitment within the Netherlands/the EU/Norway /Liechtenstein and Switzerland has been unsuccessful. An exception is the highly skilled migrant scheme.

Employees already residing in the Netherlands.

These UK nationals, too, need a temporary residence document in the form of a letter. They must carry that letter and a valid passport on them at all times, while their employers must keep a copy of those letters in their records. The IND will forward the residence permit to the Key Register of Persons (BRP) and invite these employees to apply for permanent residence once the last period expires. UK employees holding documents for permanent residence in the European Union will also require new residence documents. They can exchange their documents free of charge. Brexit does not affect UK nationals who have acquired Dutch citizenship or have national permanent residence; their rights of residence will continue as long as they hold valid permits and comply with the criteria.

When to expect the invitation from the IND?

The longer UK nationals have been registered with the Key Register of Persons (‘BRP’), the sooner the IND’s invitation will come in the post. The term of registration is decisive! UK nationals not yet registered should register as soon as possible to enable the IND to send them the invitation.

Cross-border workers

This status, too, can be maintained post-Brexit. These workers can get a ‘general residence sticker’ in their passport.
After 31 December 2021 this sticker can be granted to workers satisfying the criteria listed below:

– They were working in the Netherlands at the time of Brexit
– They wish to continue to do so
– They have employment contracts showing that they will continue to work in the Netherlands
– The UK is their principal place of residence and they return to the UK once a week on average
– They hold valid passports.

ACTIONS to be taken by employers NOW

– Prepare employees for Brexit / provide information
– Check whether employees are registered with the BRP
IF NOT: employee should register immediately!
– Notify employees that they should apply for a DiGiD