Guidance

Living in the Netherlands

Official information for UK nationals moving to and living in the Netherlands, including guidance on residency, healthcare, driving and the Withdrawal Agreement.

Coronavirus

You should follow the advice of the Dutch government and your local authority. You can also read our Netherlands travel advice for our latest guidance.

Stay up to date

You should:

You can also:

The Withdrawal Agreement

The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.

If you are resident in the Netherlands at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in the Netherlands.

Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations. Read this guidance page for more information.

Visas and residency

Residency

If you are lawfully resident in the Netherlands on or before 31 December 2020, you will be able to stay. You will need to submit your application for residency by 30 June 2021, in line with the Withdrawal Agreement.

Citizen service number (BSN)

Everyone living in the Netherlands must have a citizen service number, often referred to as a BSN (burgerservicenummer). You must register with your local municipality (gemeente) and you will be assigned a citizen service number (BSN).

You must apply for a BSN within 5 days of arriving in the Netherlands. You will need to make an appointment with the municipality (gemeente) in which you live. Information on how to book an appointments and what documentation you will need will be on your local gemeente’s website.

A BSN is required for a variety of administrative procedures in the Netherlands. You will need one in order to work, open a bank account, arrange health insurance, visit a doctor or hospital, or apply for benefits.

If you leave the Netherlands and later return, you’ll keep the same BSN when you re-register with the municipality.

Read the Dutch government guidance about BSN numbers.

Registering in the Personal Records Database

Every resident of the Netherlands must be registered in the Personal Records Database, referred to as the BRP (Basisregistratie Personen) which is held by the local municipality Administration (gemeente). You may request to do this at the same time as you apply for your BSN.

If you move house, you should make sure you re-register again at your new address. The IND and other government bodies will use the BRP to contact you, if they need to.

The new residency document

You do not need to be invited to apply for the new residency document.

If you have been living in the Netherlands:

If you have questions about making an application call the IND’s helpline for UK nationals, on +31 (0)88 04 30410, to discuss your personal situation.

Before starting your online application, make sure that you have all the following:

  • DigiD with sms code or DigiD app. If you do not yet have a DigiD, apply for it on www.digid.nl/en. You should also read the explanation about the DigiD app (in Dutch and English)
  • iDEAL (online payment method) to pay for your application. You need a Dutch bank account to set this up
  • scanned copy of the pages of your passport showing your personal details and period of validity
  • scanned copy of any other documents you need to upload. Read the IND guidance on what documents you will need for temporary residency or for permanent residency
  • BSN number
  • (optional) V-number: This is a unique identification number used by the IND, you can find it on your invitation letter

You may also apply by downloading a paper version of the application form from the IND website and by sending it to the IND by post.

You can submit an application for other family members within the same household at the same time as your own. You need their documents to do so.

Decision on your application and biometrics

When you submit an application for residency, you will receive an acknowledgement from the IND.

You don’t have to wait for a decision to have your biometrics taken. The IND will need your fingerprints, a passport photo and signature. You can choose whether you would like to book your appointment at an IND desk or at an expat centre.

You will receive a decision on your application through your DigiD message box (Berichtenbox). The decision will be written in Dutch.

Read the IND guidance on biometric appointments an how to book one.

The IND will aim to have your biometric residency card ready within 2 weeks of your biometric appointment. It will be delivered to your home by the IPKD (Interdepartementale Post-en Koeriersdienst), a Dutch governmental organisation specialising in courier services. Read the Dutch government guidance on how you will receive your residency card (open the Brexit tab under FAQs).

You are not required to carry your new biometric residence card during the transition period.

Other residency documents

If you have a valid EU residence document (duurzaam verblijf), you need to exchange it for a new residence card. You do not need to submit an application, you just need to make an appointment to have your biometrics taken. Read the IND guidance on how to exchange EU residency documents.

If you are currently outside of the Netherlands, and you haven’t provided your address, then the IND will not be able to contact you to arrange the exchange. If you want to discuss your circumstances and what you need to do, call the IND’s information line for UK nationals on: +31 (0)88 04 30410.

Dutch nationality or other EU nationalities

If you have Dutch citizenship or a valid Dutch national residence permit, you don’t need a new residence document and you will not receive a letter from the IND.

If you have another EU nationality you may not receive a letter from the IND.

Read the IND guidance on residency rights.

Arriving in the Netherlands after 1 January 2021

If you arrive in the Netherlands after 31 December 2020 and you are not coming for the purpose of family reunification under the Withdrawal Agreement, different immigration requirements will apply.

Read the IND guidance on moving to the Netherlands after 1 January 2021.

Studying

If you are living in the Netherlands on or before 31 December 2020, you will still be entitled to receive student finance and pay statutory tuition fees as long as you meet the residency conditions.

Due to coronavirus, some Higher Education providers may be offering their courses online only. You should contact your educational institution for guidance on how this may affect you.

To study in the Netherlands, you need to obtain a residence permit. To do so you must:

If you are under 30 and live in the Netherlands for study purposes only, you cannot enrol with a Dutch health insurer for the mandatory basic health insurance. Read the NHS guidance on healthcare and studying abroad.

If you have a part-time job during your studies, you become subject to Dutch social security legislation and are required to have mandatory basic health insurance with a Dutch health insurer. This includes if you have a zero hours contract, volunteer position or internship.

If you are coming to study in the Netherlands after 31 December 2020, you should contact your Higher Education provider so that you can check what fees you may have to pay.

We will update this guidance when more information is available.

For more information visit the Nuffic website

Passports and travel

The rules on travel will stay the same until the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to travel to countries in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU with your UK passport.

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.

You can apply for or renew your British passport from the Netherlands.

Passports from 1 January 2021

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip.

From 1 January 2021, you must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). This requirement does not apply if you are entering or transiting to the Netherlands, and you are in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.

You will need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

As a non-EEA national, different border checks will apply when travelling to other EU or Schengen area countries. You may need to show a return or onward ticket and that you have enough money for your stay. You may also have to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped for visits to these countries.

Entry requirements

From 1 January 2021, you will be able to travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism. This is a rolling 180-day period.

To stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel, you will need to meet the entry requirements set out by the country to which you are travelling. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit. You may also need to get a visa if your visit would take you over the 90 days in 180 days limit.

Periods of stay authorised under a visa or permit will not count against the 90-day limit. Travel to the UK and Ireland will not change.

Different rules will apply to EU countries that are not part of the Schengen Area. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

Healthcare

If you move to the Netherlands, you must arrange health insurance within 4 months of your arrival. The basic Dutch health insurance (basis verzekering) covers general medical care, such as visits to a local GP and hospital care. You can read guidance on health insurance in the Netherlands.

If you are a resident and purchase basic Dutch health insurance, your access to healthcare will not change.

Read our guidance on who can access healthcare in the Netherlands and how to register.

State healthcare: S1

If you live in the Netherlands and receive an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may currently be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.

Read our guidance on how to get an S1 form.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you are resident in the Netherlands, you must not use your EHIC from the UK to access healthcare in the Netherlands.

When you travel from the Netherlands for a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, you can use an EHIC to access state-provided healthcare in that country. During that short stay:

There will be no changes to your healthcare access before 31 December 2020. You can also continue to use your EHIC, as you did before, during this time.

You should also read guidance on:

If you are a student, read further information about healthcare:

Working

Read our guidance on working in an EU country.

To apply for a job you may need to apply for a:

If you are resident in the Netherlands on or before 31 December 2020, your right to work will not change, as long as you remain resident in the Netherlands.

If you arrive in the Netherlands after 31 December 2020, you will be subject to the rules applicable to non-EU nationals and may need a work permit. Read the Dutch government’s guidance on who will need a work permit.

Money and tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with the Netherlands to ensure you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries.

Existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in the Netherlands have not changed.

For more information, you can read our guidance on:

We recommend you get professional advice on paying tax in the Netherlands. Find an English-speaking lawyer in the Netherlands.

National Insurance

You may also be able to pay National Insurance while abroad so that you protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.

If you are employed or self-employed in the EU or EEA and you have a UK-issued A1/E101 form, you will remain subject to UK legislation until the end date on the form.

Pensions

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

If you retire in the Netherlands, you can claim:

For more information you can read the Dutch government’s guidance on Dutch social security, including pensions.

Life certificates for UK State Pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible – your payments may be suspended if you don’t.

Pensions after 31 December 2020

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming the UK State Pension in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020 you will get your UK State Pension uprated every year for as long as you continue to live there. This will happen even if you start claiming your pension on or after 1 January 2021, as long as you meet the qualifying conditions explained in the new State Pension guidance.

If you are living in the Netherlands before by 31 December 2020, you will be able to count future social security contributions towards meeting the qualifying conditions for your UK State Pension.

If you work and pay social security contributions in the Netherlands, you will still be able to add your UK social security contributions towards your Dutch pension. This will happen even if you claim your pension after 31 December 2020.

If you are considering moving to the Netherlands on or after 1 January 2021 and you are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, the rules depend on negotiations with the EU and may change. Check our guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

You can continue to receive your UK State Pension if you live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you can still claim your UK State Pension.

Benefits

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

You may still be able to claim some UK benefits like child and disability benefits if you live in the Netherlands.

You should:

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit cannot be paid to you if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

You may be eligible to claim some Dutch social security benefits. Read the EU’s guide to benefits in the Netherlands.

You can request proof of the time you’ve worked in the UK from HMRC if you are asked for this.

Benefits after 31 December 2020

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming UK benefits in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020, you will continue to receive any UK benefits you already receive. This will continue for as long as you live there and meet all other eligibility requirements.

If you work and pay social security contributions in the Netherlands, your UK social security contributions will be taken into account when applying for Dutch contributions-based benefits. This will happen even if you claim contributions-based benefits after 31 December 2020.

If you are considering moving to the Netherlands on or after 1 January 2021 and you are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, the rules depend on negotiations with the EU and may change. Check our guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

Driving

Driving licence rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

Driving licences can be exchanged at your local council (gemeente). More information about the process can be found via the Netherlands’ Vehicle Authority (RDW).

For information on driving in the Netherlands, read guidance on:

When driving in the Netherlands, you should always carry your:

  • driving licence
  • insurance documents
  • ID (verblijfsdocument), such as a passport or residence permit

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to the Netherlands

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

Once you’re registered as a resident in the Netherlands, you must register your vehicle with the Dutch authorities and you may need to pay some taxes.

You can read the RDW (Netherlands Vehicle Authority) advice on importing a vehicle into the Netherlands. You may be exempt from some of these taxes. If so you will need certificates of exemption.

Voting

Once you are registered in the Personal Records Database (BRP) you can vote in the Water Board Elections.

If you have been resident in the Netherlands for 5 years or more you can vote and stand in local municipal elections.

You cannot vote in European Parliament elections.

You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:

Births, deaths and getting married

If your child is born in the Netherlands, you will need to register the birth abroad.

If someone dies in the Netherlands you can:

Find out how you can get married abroad.

You may also need:

Accommodation and buying property

Read our guidance on buying a property abroad.

Pets

Current pet travel rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

If you’re travelling with your pet for the first time you must visit your vet to get a pet passport.

Read guidance on bringing your pet to the UK.

Emergencies

For all emergencies dial the European emergency number on 112.

People with disabilities can use the emergency application, a web-based emergency access and relay service.

If you’re the victim of crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis abroad, contact your nearest British embassy or consulate.

Returning to the UK

Tell the UK and the Dutch authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently.

If you get a UK State Pension, you must tell the International Pension Centre.

If you get healthcare in the Netherlands through the S1 form, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 (0)191 218 1999 to make sure your S1 is cancelled at the right time.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, tax, access to services and bringing family members.

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Netherlands authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is not liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Published 17 May 2013
Last updated 16 September 2020 + show all updates
  1. Visas and residency section updated to include details of changes to the new residency system.

  2. Passports and travel section updated to include information on passport validity and entry requirements when travelling to other European countries from January 2021.

  3. Visas and residency section updated with further information on the new residency system

  4. Brexit update: includes further details on passport validity, healthcare rights and State Pension uprating if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

  5. Brexit update: healthcare section updated to reflect transitional arrangements announcement

  6. Brexit update: Pensions section updated to include further details on State Pension uprating.

  7. EU Exit update: updated information in the Passport & Travel, Pensions, and Returning to the UK sections.

  8. EU Exit update: updated information on EU Exit in healthcare, visas and residency, driving and working sections

  9. We have updated the contact details you need to apply for an S1 form.

  10. EU Exit update: Updated information on passports. You must use the checker tool to see if your passport is still valid for your trip.

  11. EU Exit update: Updated information on double taxation following EU Exit in the money and tax section

  12. EU Exit update - Updated information on access to healthcare

  13. EU Exit update: updated information on pensions and driving.

  14. EU Exit update: Latest Brexit information from the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) added to the EU Exit and Visa and Residency sections.

  15. EU Exit update: New information in residency and visa section on draft withdrawal agreement in principle between the UK and EU. Plus information on travelling with pets in Europe in Pets section.

  16. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.

  17. Updated information on healthcare entitlement

  18. Addition of energy and services comparison website

  19. added more links re: health insurance in the Netherlands

  20. added information about health insurance for students and expats.

  21. First published.