Good news for British people in the Netherlands:The Dutch government announced on Monday evening that Britons in the Netherlands will be granted residency in the country post-Brexit.
In a statement sent out by the IND, British people who have lived in the Netherlands for more than five years will be invited to apply for permanent residency. Those who have lived in the Netherlands for less than that will receive a letter, providing proof of residency and working rights up until the end of a transition period (1 July 2020). The letter will be sent before the end of March this year.
Dutch Migration Minister Mark Harbers announced the news on Monday: “Britons are very welcome to live, work and study in the Netherlands- also after Brexit”. Whilst a draft agreement fully protecting and guaranteeing Citizens Rights was agreed in December, it faces several political hurdles before it would come into force.
No integration exam requirement
A new national residence permit will be introduced after the transition period ends, which will not include a requirement for integration exams. British nationals will be invited to apply by the IND in stages, such is the logistical challenge of providing for 45,000 new permit-holders. The new permit will not require a working permit counterpart, and employers need do nothing.
British students will be eligible for Dutch financial aid (studiefinanciering)following Brexit. The cost of the new permit is likely to be the same as for EU citizens applying for a residence document, which is currently 57 euros. Citizens will maintain their rights to access healthcare, childcare, and rent allowances, assuming all conditions are met.
The Dutch government stresses the need for British citizens for keep their BRP record up-to-date. This record is held by the municipality, and corresponds to each person’s tax number (BSN). Since last year, the IND has also kept its Brexit information pages fully up to date, and even has a Brexit newsletter.
For British people in the Netherlands, and indeed the rest of Europe, the last year has been unnerving: the Dutch government recently released results from a survey of 1,419 British people in the Netherlands about their Brexit concern, which found that 87 percent of respondents are worried about losing freedom of movement. Nevertheless, 80 percent of respondents stated that Brexit would not affect their desire to remain in the Netherlands.
In September, DutchNews.nl carried out its own survey among 1,700 British citizens in the Netherlands which revealed that four out of ten people had not taken any steps to secure their right to remain in country after March due to a lack of clarity about what their status would be.
Curious to hear more about what the impact of Brexit will be on the the Netherlands? Check out our conversation with professor Bart Los on Econ 050 to find out which industries and regions are set to be hit the hardest by Brexit. You can find every episode of the podcast at econ050.northerntimes.nl and on iTunes.
Thomas Ansell is the Internationalization Coordinator at the International Welcome Centre North and a contributor to The Northern Times.