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December 2020 3 minutes

Brexit: What should British citizens living in the Netherlands know?

An overview of the steps British citizen must take before December 31st 2020

On January 31st 2020 Great Britain left the European Union after the settlement of the Withdrawal Agreement. At the moment we are in the transition period, which ends on December 31st 2020. Until that day British citizens are still granted the right to freedom of movement within the EU and, thus, continue to be able to travel, settle and live in EU countries. Nevertheless, since the end of the transition period is drawing closer, it’s crucial you act now to ensure you can legally stay in the EU. 

British citizens in the Netherlands: what steps do you need to take?

We know this time can be stressful for British citizens living in the Netherlands. With this article, we aim to give you an overview of the situation in the Netherlands and provide you with a precise list of steps to tick off on your To-Do list. In this way you get all the administrative tasks done quickly and effectively. With the bureaucratic hassle out of the way you can fully enjoy the Christmas period and look forward to a - hopefully much better - year of 2021 in the Netherlands.

The first steps: what do you need to do right now?

Registration as a resident: 

As long as you are lawfully registered as a resident in the Netherlands before January 1st 2020, you continue to hold the right to stay. Within 5 days of moving to the Netherlands you must register with the local municipality and apply for a Citizen service number / Burgerservicenummer (BSN). The BSN is a prerequisite for a number of administrative processes in the Netherlands. You need it to work, to open a bank account, to apply for health insurance or get health care as well as to apply for benefits.

Life in the Netherlands post-Brexit

The following sections will summarise the regulations and laws governing life as a British citizen in the Netherlands after December 31st 2020. 


You maintain your right to work in the Netherlands, as long as you are registered as a Dutch resident before December 31st 2020, given you remain resident. Depending on your employer, you may need a UK police certificate and/or a Dutch Certificate of Conduct (VOG).


Since Great Britain has a double taxation agreement with the Netherlands you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. The existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in the Netherlands will likely not change.

Banking arrangements should stay the same after the end of the transition period on December 31st 2020. If your finance provider needs to make any alterations to one of your products, they will contact you directly.


Until the end of the transition period on December 31st 2020, the legislation on driving license exchange will remain the same. Your UK license will, therefore, remain valid until December 31st 2020. After that, the situation may change, depending on the final agreement between the EU and the UK. At your local council (gemeente) you can exchange your driving license; find more information on the exact process here.

Do you still have doubts about what you must do to legally stay in the Netherlands or other EU-member states post-Brexit?

We have created a comprehensive guide on how British citizens can remain compliant with the new regulations in the Netherlands and other EU-member states. In case you still have further questions that are not answered in this article nor by the guide, please send us a message or schedule a free consultation - we will be happy to help you!

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