Living in the Netherlands

Official information British people moving to and living in the Netherlands need to know, including EU Exit guidance, residency, healthcare and driving.

EU Exit: what you need to know

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There will be no change to the rights and status of UK nationals living in the Netherlands while the UK remains in the EU.

While the government continues to negotiate EU Exit, you should:

Before you go

See our travel advice for the Netherlands and sign up for up-to-date information on local laws and customs, safety and emergencies.

The rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. You can check a passport for travel to Europe.

See moving or retiring abroad.

Visas and residency

See entry requirements for the Netherlands in our travel advice.

You must carry photographic ID at all times.

If you’re in the Netherlands for more than 3 months, you must register with your local Municipality Administration (GBA). Your local council (gemeente) can tell you what documents you need to apply for your residence permit (verblijfsdocument).

The UK and EU have agreed the full legal text of the draft Withdrawal Agreement in principle. The agreement on citizens’ rights will allow UK nationals to stay in their Member State of residence after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.

For more information on the effect of the UK leaving the EU on the existing residence possibilities in the Netherlands, please visit the IND Brexit page. In particular, read the Netherlands Immigration and Naturalisation Service information on the existing residence possibilities and consequences of Brexit.

If you have any questions about your right of residence, call the IND Brexit information line: +31 (0)88 04 30410, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.


See our travel advice for the Netherlands.

The NHS has information about healthcare for British people living in and visiting the Netherlands.

You need a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get emergency medical treatment during temporary stays in EU countries. You also need comprehensive travel insurance to cover anything not covered by your EHIC.

If you’re studying, your UK EHIC card will cover you for the duration of your course. If your course isn’t part of a UK degree (eg postgraduate studies), your EHIC is valid for 12 months. See studying abroad and international students in the Netherlands.

You have 4 months from arriving in the Netherlands to arrange health insurance – this is compulsory. The basic Dutch health insurance (basis verzekering) covers general medical care, such as visits to a local GP or hospital and basic dental care. See health insurance information centre.

You can find English-speaking doctors in the Netherlands. You should also check your prescriptions are legal in the Netherlands.

S1 form – healthcare paid for by the UK

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in the Netherlands and get an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit.

You need to apply for a S1 form – contact the Department for Work and Pensions’ International Pension Centre.

When you get your S1 form, register it with your local state office before you register with a GP and get a medical card.

Working in the Netherlands

See working in another EU country.

Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check).

You can also get a Certificate of Good Conduct Netherlands.


See tax if you leave the UK to live abroad and tax on your UK income if you live abroad.

We recommend you get professional advice on paying tax in the Netherlands.

See paying income tax in the Netherlands.

You may be able to pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.


See State Pension if you retire abroad and new State Pension.

The UK government will continue to pay state pension, child benefits, and disability benefits to eligible UK nationals in the EU after the UK’s exit from the EU. Find guidance on benefits and pensions in a no deal scenario.

If you’ve worked in the Netherlands, you can claim your Dutch pension through your local pensions office.

If you haven’t worked in the Netherlands, you should claim your UK state pension by contacting the International Pension Centre.

If you’ve worked in several EU countries, see state pensions abroad.

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.


See claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad.

Find out which UK benefits you might be able to get while you’re abroad and how to claim them.

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

You may be eligible to claim some Dutch social security benefits – see social security benefits – the Netherlands.

Driving in the Netherlands

See driving abroad and road travel in the Netherlands.

Holders of UK driving licences who are resident in an EU country should exchange their UK licences for a driving licence from the EU country you are living in before 29 March 2019. For more information see driving abroad.

See driving licence renewal and exchange and taking a vehicle out of the UK.

Once you’re resident in the Netherlands, and registered with your local town hall (gemeentehuis), you must register your car with the Dutch authorities. See car registration and taxes – the Netherlands.

When driving, you should always have your:

  • driving licence
  • insurance documents
  • ID document, ie passport or residence permit (verblijfsdocument)

If you receive a traffic fine while in the Netherlands, see Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice.


British citizens living abroad can vote in some UK elections – you’ll need to register as an overseas voter.

If you’re resident in the Netherlands, you can vote in local municipal and European parliamentary elections.


See register a birth abroad.


See what to do after someone dies.

See also:

Getting married

See getting married abroad.

Renewing passports

See overseas British passports applications and get an emergency travel document (sometimes called an emergency passport).


See travelling with pets.

UK nationals will still be able to travel to and from the UK with a pet (cat, dog or ferret) when the UK leaves the EU, but the rules will change. See pet travel to Europe after EU Brexit for more information.


The Netherlands uses the European emergency number 112 – see the Netherlands – emergency numbers.

If you need urgent help, contact your nearest British embassy or consulate.

Accommodation and buying property

See buying a property abroad.

Other useful information

Returning to the UK

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

See tax if you return to the UK.

See bringing your pet to the UK.


Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Dutch authorities. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Published 17 May 2013
Last updated 18 January 2019 + show all updates
  1. EU Exit update: updated information on pensions and driving.
  2. EU Exit update: Latest Brexit information from the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) added to the EU Exit and Visa and Residency sections.
  3. 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.
  4. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.
  5. Updated information on healthcare entitlement
  6. Addition of energy and services comparison website
  7. added more links re: health insurance in the Netherlands
  8. added information about health insurance for students and expats.
  9. First published.