NETHERLANDS – Government Guarantees Rights of UK Nationals in Event of No Deal Brexit
On 7 January 2019, the Dutch Cabinet announced that British citizens who have right of residence in the Netherlands on 29 March 2019 can continue to live, work and study in the Netherlands even in the event of a no deal Brexit.
This follows various offers or proposals from Germany, Italy and France to guarantee the rights of UK nationals in the case of no deal.
If no withdrawal agreement is reached between the EU and the UK, the Netherlands will introduce a transition period from 29 March 2019 until 1 July 2020. Before 29 March 2019, the Dutch Immigration Service (IND) will send all UK citizens and their non-EU family members living in the Netherlands a letter which will serve as their temporary residence permit during this transition period.
After this transition period, UK nationals and their family members who wish to stay, work, study in the Netherlands will require a residence permit, which they can obtain if they meet the same residence requirements that apply to EU citizens. The IND will send invitation letters to apply for a residence permit no later than 1 April 2020.
The situation of non-EU family members of British nationals who come after Brexit day still remains unclear. What seems clear is that non-EU family members of British nationals will no longer be considered family members of an EU citizen after Brexit and thus will no longer be able to derive rights based on EU law. They will need to apply for a residence permit on a different basis and will no longer be able to benefit from EU law.
In the event that the withdrawal agreement is ratified by the UK and European parliaments, UK nationals’ existing residence rights will continue to apply until the end of the transition period (31 December 2020, unless this is extended) during which time the IND will invite them to apply for a residence document.
Employers of UK nationals in the European Union are encouraged to contact their immigration specialist for case-specific advice.