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Permit required after Brexit?

Published on: 09 oktober 2020
Type of publication Insight

The Brexit negotiations are currently in full swing and a hard, no-deal Brexit is expected. This would mean that the United Kingdom (UK) would no longer be a part of the European Union (EU), but instead would be treated as a non-EU country. This would have many consequences, both fiscal and legal, for companies working with British businesses and/or employees. For example, there would be important changes in the area of residence and work permits for UK nationals, once the UK is no longer a member of the EU per 1 January 2021.

Does your company have employees from the UK? Our experts will explain the consequences for residence and work permits in a number of different scenarios, both during the transitional period up to 1 January 2021, and after Brexit. These nationals with a BRP registration can file a request for a residence permit with the Dutch Immigration Services, and are advised to do so as soon as possible (preferably before 31 December 2020).

Residence permit

Residents of EU Member States do not require a residence permit in order to live in another Member State legally. During the transitional period (until 1 January 2021) this remains applicable to UK nationals who are registered in the Dutch Key Register of Persons (Basisregistratie Personen or BRP). 

After the transitional period, UK nationals will in most cases require a residence document to remain in the Netherlands. Brexit will not affect your right of residence if, in addition to British nationality, you also have an EU, EEA or the Swiss nationality. Nor will your right of residence be affected if you are a UK national, and have a either permanent residence permit or a permit as long-term EU resident in the Netherlands.


If you are a UK national, assess in advance of 31 December 2020, whether you are registered at the BRP and whether you need a residence permit to stay in or move to the Netherlands. If a residence permit is required, it should be requested as soon as possible.

Work permit

Residents of EU Member States do not require a work permit if they work in another Member State. This remains applicable to UK nationals working in the Netherlands, during the transitional period (until 1 January 2021). If you were already living in the Netherlands prior to 31 December 2020, you will not require a work permit to work after 1 January 2021.

UK nationals who come to live in the Netherlands after the transitional period and who stay to work less than 90 days, will still need a work permit. If the working period exceeds 90 days, you will need either a combined Residence and Work permit, or a highly skilled migrant / intra-corporate transferee permit.
In order to work in the Netherlands legally, UK nationals who do not come to live in the Netherlands after the transitional period, will in most cases require a work permit.


Are you a UK national? If so, find out whether a work permit is required to come to (or continue to) work in the Netherlands from 1 January 2021 onwards.

Frontier workers

A UK national who does not live in the Netherlands, but is employed or self-employed in the Netherlands, may continue to work in the Netherlands after 1 January 2021 as a frontier worker (cross-border commuter).  The UK national should request a frontier worker’s document. With this document, the UK national can demonstrate that he is permitted to keep working as a frontier worker in the Netherlands, even after the transitional period has ended (31 December 2020).

If the British frontier worker starts working in the Netherlands after 1 January 2021, the rules of the withdrawal agreement no longer apply, and the Dutch employer would have to request a work permit.


If you are currently working in the Netherlands as a frontier worker, request a frontier worker’s document as soon as possible

Any questions?

Our specialists would gladly advise you on any expat-related matters. If you have any questions about these matters, please contact your Baker Tilly advisor.

This content was published more than six months ago. Because legislation and regulation is constantly evolving, we recommend that you contact your Baker Tilly consultant to find out whether this information is still current and has consequences (or offers opportunities) for your situation. Your consultant will be happy to discuss the latest state of affairs with you.