I want to move back to the Netherlands from the UK. What do I need to arrange?

Find out below what you need to arrange in relation to your home, job and family if you decide to move back to the Netherlands from the UK. It may vary depending on whether you are planning to move or have already done so, and whether that was before or after 1 January 2021.

Read this information in Dutch.

Making arrangements before leaving the UK for the Netherlands

I am a Dutch national; can I move to the Netherlands?

If you are a Dutch national or a national of another EU member state, you are allowed to live and work in the Netherlands.

I am a British national; can I move to the Netherlands?

If you are a British national and do not hold Dutch nationality or another nationality of an EU member state, until 31 December 2020 you were considered an EU national and could move to the Netherlands without having to meet certain conditions. If you live in the Netherlands and want to stay here, you must apply for a residence document via the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) before 1 July 2021. You can move to the Netherlands with a Dutch partner or family member provided you meet certain conditions.

From 1 January 2021 you can move to the Netherlands only if you are eligible for a residence document. See the conditions you must meet to be eligible for a residence document on the IND website.

I no longer have Dutch nationality; can I move to the Netherlands?

If you lost your Dutch nationality while living in the UK or if you lost the nationality of another EU member state, you will need a residence permit  to move to the Netherlands. You can apply for a residence permit on the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

Do you wish to regain your Dutch nationality? Find out more about regaining Dutch nationality on the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

If your partner and children are Dutch nationals

If your partner and children are Dutch nationals or nationals of another EU member state, they can live, work and study in the Netherlands if they have a Dutch passport or a passport of another EU country.

If your partner and children are not Dutch nationals

If your partner and children are not Dutch nationals or nationals of another EU member state and they want to move to the Netherlands, they may do so provided they meet certain conditions.

If your partner and children are not Dutch nationals or nationals of another EU member state and they want to move to the Netherlands, they may do so provided they meet certain conditions.

Residence permit for partner and children

Your partner and children must apply for a residence permit in the Netherlands. There are certain conditions that must be met in order to receive a residence permit. For instance, your child must live with you in the Netherlands and be registered at your address.

If you want to be with a British partner or family member (family reunification)

If you are the partner or family member of a British national who was living in the Netherlands on or before 31 December 2020 and you want to move to the Netherlands to be with them, you may do so provided you meet certain conditions. Read about the conditions for family reunification after Brexit on the IND website.

Benefits

If you receive a social security benefit in the UK (for example, incapacity benefit, unemployment benefit or disablement benefit), contact the organisation that pays your benefit and check whether you are entitled to receive the benefit in the Netherlands.

Bringing UK documents to the Netherlands

When you come to the Netherlands, bring your UK documents from the last 5 years with you. Examples include:

  • Payslips and/or annual salary statements;
  • Proof you have lived in the UK (such as a utility or council tax bill, or a registration certificate from the police if you have one).
  • Current insurance policies that would also be valid in the Netherlands (this depends on your insurance policy conditions);
  • Income tax documents.

Are my UK documents valid in the Netherlands?

UK documents are valid in the Netherlands if they were issued before 1 January 2021. UK documents issued on or after 1 January 2021 must be legalised by the UK authorities. Only then will documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates and death certificates be valid for use in the Netherlands. You can find out where you can have UK documents legalised and how much it will cost on the UK government website. Read more about legalising UK documents on netherlandsworldwide.nl.

Arranging housing

You must arrange your own accommodation in the Netherlands. The Dutch government will not do this for you. You can buy a home or rent one in the private sector. If your income is too low, you can register for social housing. You can register with the housing department of the municipality where you wish to live or with housing associations. Bear in mind that the wait for social housing is almost always several years. In the meantime, you can rent housing via the private sector or a housing association. Another option may be to stay with friends or family.

If you find rental housing, you may be entitled to government housing benefit (in Dutch).

See the instruction video: How can I find social housing? on the Dutch version of this website.

Importing your household effects into the Netherlands without paying import duties

If you want to import your household effects into the Netherlands without paying import duties, you must submit an import declaration to Customs. In the declaration you should indicate that you want to import your household effects without paying import duties.

Read more about the rules for moving to the Netherlands from a non-EU country on the Tax and Customs Administration website.

Arranging work in The Netherlands

You should look for work before you move to the Netherlands, so you have an income once you arrive. The Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) can provide support with looking for work and applying for jobs. You can find more information on looking for work and applying for jobs (in Dutch) on werk.nl.

After you move from the UK to the Netherlands

Registration in the Personal Records Database (BRP)

If you are planning to live in the Netherlands for more than 4 months, you must register as a resident with your municipality so that your details can be entered in the Personal Record Database (BRP). You must do this within 5 days afters arriving in the Netherlands.

Taking out health insurance

You must take out health insurance with a Dutch insurer. This is mandatory for all residents of the Netherlands aged 18 or over. You must take out health insurance within 4 months of arriving in the Netherlands. You are free to choose your insurer and insurance package. Find out how health insurance works in the Netherlands.

Applying for a DigiD

More and more government organisations are providing access to their services via the DigiD identity management platform. You can apply for a DigiD via the DigiD website. Applying for a DigiD is not mandatory. If you don’t have a DigiD and don’t wish to apply for one, contact the relevant government organisation to find out how you can manage your affairs in some other way. If you are a Dutch national, you can also apply for a DigiD from outside the Netherlands (in Dutch)

UK pension, Dutch state pension (AOW) and other pensions

  • UK pension: To find out what will happen to your UK pension, you should contact your UK pension provider.
  • Dutch state pension: If you receive a Dutch state pension (AOW), moving to the Netherlands will not affect the amount you receive. If you do not yet receive a Dutch state pension (AOW), the size of your future pension will depend on the number of years that you have been insured for AOW and whether you live alone or with a partner. More information on the Dutch state pension is available (in Dutch) on the website of the Social Insurance Bank (SVB) .
  • Other Dutch pension: If you receive a Dutch pension from a pension fund or insurer, moving to the Netherlands will not affect the size of this pension. If you have any questions about your pension, contact your pension fund or insurer. You can find an overview of your pension(s) on mijnpensioenoverzicht.nl (in Dutch).

Driving on a UK driving licence

If you have a  valid UK driving licence, you can exchange it for a Dutch driving licence. You don’t need to retake your driving test if you do this in time. 

Registering your child with a school

If you are moving to the Netherlands with children, bear in mind that all children aged 5 to 16 who live in the Netherlands are considered to be of compulsory school age. If your child has not yet obtained a basic qualification, they are considered to be of compulsory school age until they turn 18.

In the Netherlands, a basic qualification can be a senior general secondary education (HAVO) or pre-university education (VWO) certificate or a secondary vocational education (MBO) qualification at level two or higher. Equivalent UK qualifications include GCSEs and some vocational qualifications. You must register any children of compulsory school age with a school. You can find out more about how to register your children from the school you want them to go to. The municipality in which you intend to live can also provide you with more information. The website ‘Ouders en Onderwijs’ provides more information (in Dutch) about choosing a school and registering your children.