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Brexit: Residence / Work Permit in The Netherlands

On the 31st of December, 2020 the transition period between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (Brexit) has ended. Just before the end of 2020 the European Union and the United Kingdom have reached a “deal”, the so called Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Mainly this will have consequences for the British citizens who want to work in the Netherlands as of 1 January 2021.

For more news about Brexit & the Netherlands, visit our Brexit hub

Registered UK-citizens in The Netherlands

UK-citizens who are registered in the Netherlands keep their rights to residence, employment and study. As of 1 January 2021 the UK citizens who are registered in the Netherlands before 1 January 2021 need a residence document. The residence permit should be applied with the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service before 30 June 2021.The UK-citizens who have lived in the Netherlands for at least 5 years (legal residence) can apply for a permanent residence permit. UK-citizens who have lived in the Netherlands for less than 5 years, should apply for a temporal residence permit.

The application should be filed online by using DigiD, but in some particular cases a written application is possible. When applying for a residence permit the UK-citizen should mention a valid reason for staying in the Netherlands (employment, entrepreneurship, no work but sufficient income, study or family). Depending on the reason, the application should include supporting documents such as employment contract in case of employment or financial information in case of no work but sufficient income.

Visiting Netherlands as a UK citizen

According to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement UK citizens are free to travel to the Netherlands and do not need any visa if they stay for a maximum period of 90 days within 180 days. However, please be informed that at this moment, because of Covid19, the travel possibilities are limited to “strictly necessary” visits and a negative Covid19 test is required.

Dutch Residence / work permit for UK citizens

The possibility to travel without any visa doesn’t mean that UK citizens are allowed to work in the Netherlands. At this moment UK citizens are considered as citizens from a “third country”. This means that all Dutch national residence and work permit procedures are applicable. Depending on the reason of stay there are different possibilities to acquire a work/residence permit in the Netherlands.

If the UK citizens will work in the Netherlands as an employee and for a longer period (more than 90 days within 180), than the following procedures might be used to arrange a residence permit:

If the UK citizens will work in the Netherlands for a short period (maximum 90 days within 180 days) a work permit should be applied.

There are various work permits such as:

  • Work permits for managers and specialist in case of a transfer within concern;
  • Work permits for employees of foreign companies that you supply goods;
  • Work permits for employees of foreign companies that supplies software and equipment;
  • Work permits for trainees, work students etc;
  • Work permits for short term highly skilled migrants;
  • Work permits for regular work.

Please be informed that each procedure has special requirements and the duration of the procedure can be up to 3 months.

Exemptions regarding work permit

In case of some particular activities UK nationals with main residence place outside the Netherlands do not need a work permit. Some of those reasons are:

  • visiting the Netherlands for business discussions and to enter (business) agreements with companies and institutions, for a period of 13 weeks within 52 weeks;
  • reparation of machines and equipment and instruction/installation of software supplied by foreign employer, for a period of 12 consecutive weeks within 36 weeks;
  • receiving training or instructions with regard to the use of goods manufactured in the Netherlands and services to be provided in the Netherlands, for a period of 12 consecutive weeks within 36 weeks;
  • preparing, furnishing, holding or dismantling an exhibition or stand for a client established outside the Netherlands, for a period of 12 consecutive weeks within 36 weeks.

Please be informed that to be able to fall under one of the aforementioned exemptions, the UK national should have documents which are supporting his situation.


In a UK nation will work in the Netherlands without a valid work/residence permit and the exemptions related to the work permit are not applicable the company can receive a fine to the amount of EUR 8.000 per employee. Depending on the circumstances the fine increased to 200%.

In case of any questions related to Brexit or residence and work permits in the Netherlands, please feel free to contact Crowe Peak’s Legal Services.

Crowe Peak
Olympisch Stadion 24-28 1076 DE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
+3188 2055 000 contact@crowe-peak.nl