Expat Essentials

Netherlands sending out residence application invitations to British expats as no-deal Brexit appears likely

British citizens in the Netherlands are getting an important letter from the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service, or IND, as Brexit negotiations founder.

The letter – in both Dutch and English – states that after 31 December, Brits in the Netherlands will need a residence document, and the letter is their invitation to start the process of applying for that document now.

The letters are going out (as late as 1 July 2021) to the 86,000 or so British expats in batches of 1,000 so that everyone isn’t applying for documents at the same time. Recipients have four weeks to apply from the date on the letter.

While the letter never states it, it’s clear the Dutch are assuming there will be no Brexit deal that would codify rules for the million-plus British expats living in the European Union. Without a deal, each of the 27 EU nations will put into place new immigration requirements for Brits, who become third-country nationals at the strike of midnight on 31 December with or without a deal.

From the IND letter:

After the transition period, you can only continue to live, work and study in the Netherlands if you have a residence document. There are two kinds of residence documents.

Temporary residence document

This document is valid for 5 years. Please apply for this document if you have been living in the Netherlands for less than 5 years consecutively.

Permanent residence document

This document is valid for 10 years. Please apply for this document if you have been living in the Netherlands for more than 5 years consecutively.

The application fee is 58 euros for adults and 31 euros for children.

The letter goes on to state that applicants will receive a letter from the IND acknowledging receipt of the application along with a date they can expect a ruling. The maximum time IND officials can take to rule on the temporary residence application is six months, three months for the permanent residence application, according to the letter.

If the Brexit transition period ends before you get a ruling, that’s okay, because the letter states as long as your application is in the processing stage, you get to stay.

You can go to this page on the IND website and get all the information about what you’ll need to apply online including a secure DigiD electronic identification.

You can also call the Brexit line, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at +31 88-04-30410.

Okay, so there’s one EU country out of 27 down, 26 to go. You can see requirements the others are putting in place on our running account of what each country is doing here.

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