Your partner in British Dutch Business

In partnership with Vialto Partners, a consultancy firm that specializes in global immigration and mobility services, we at the NBCC aim to guide British workers who are planning to stay or already staying in the Netherlands. We recognise the myriad of regulations that UK workers often face, and the challenges brought about by Brexit. As such, we have prepared this comprehensive guide that covers the essential topics of immigration, social security, and taxation in the Netherlands.

In the post-Brexit era, British citizens wishing to enter and stay in the Netherlands or any other Schengen area country can do so for up to 90 days in a 180 day period using their valid passport. However, for stays exceeding this limit, a residence permit is necessary, the eligibility for which requires a stated purpose such as employment or family reunification.

Regarding employment, from the first day of work in the Netherlands, a British citizen will need a work permit, obtained by the Dutch employer on their behalf. The requirement applies to all non-EU/EEA/Swiss workforce members. Therefore, a British citizen seeking employment in the Netherlands will generally need to be temporarily assigned to or employed by a Dutch company to receive work and/or residence authorisation. Depending on the length of stay, the company can sponsor a work permit application or a combined residence permit with work authorisation application.

Application processes for permits vary based on specific circumstances. For example, if employed by a recognised sponsor at the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), a Highly Skilled Migrant permit is usually the best fit. For temporary assignments, an Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) permit is typically most suitable. Detailed information about various permit categories can be accessed on the IND and UWV websites.

For expatriates envisioning a life in the picturesque landscapes of the Netherlands, it's often more than just an individual adventure. Many wish to share this unique experience with their loved ones - be it their spouses, partners, or children. In such instances, the question that naturally arises is: "Can my family join me in the Netherlands?"

The answer is a resounding yes. The Dutch immigration system acknowledges the importance of family unity and makes provisions for this. British citizens who hold a Dutch residence permit generally have the ability to sponsor a residence permit for their spouse, partner, or unmarried minor children, facilitating the process of creating a new home together in the Netherlands.

However, it's important to remember that all British citizens, irrespective of their age, fall under the same immigration rules we've discussed earlier. For family members who are not British or non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals, different rules apply concerning their entry and stay in the Schengen area. Comprehensive information on possible entry visa requirements per nationality can be accessed using this Dutch government's online tool:

The type of work permit required may also depend on the skill level of the worker, with specific salary thresholds and qualification requirements attached to each permit category. Special rules apply to British citizens based on the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the UK and EU, but their practical implementation details by Dutch authorities are yet to be published. It is also relevant to note that in principle all British citizens are subject to the work permit requirement as outlined above, including those who are self-employed in the UK and (temporarily) work in the Netherlands or military personnel.

Social security
Navigating the post-Brexit landscape has led to a substantial shift in the way social security is managed for British citizens in the EU, including the Netherlands. Since January 1, 2021, the EU coordination rules on social security have been supplanted by a new Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which incorporates a Protocol on Social Security Coordination.

The Protocol guarantees that UK citizens moving to EU countries after the stipulated date will continue to have access to reciprocal healthcare cover. Moreover, it ensures that cross-border workers and their employers are required to pay social security contributions in only one state at a time, usually where the work is performed.

An important aspect of the Protocol is the ability to obtain a certificate confirming the country of insurance for multi-state workers and detached workers. This Protocol applies only to EU member states, with specific rules laid out for Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland based on bilateral agreements.

There are some noticeable differences between the benefits covered by the EU Regulations and the Protocol. The latter doesn't include family benefits such as child benefits in the Netherlands. However, it does cover the Dutch Long-term Care Act.

For British employees starting new assignments from January 1, 2021, onwards, the Protocol dictates that these employees will only pay social security contributions in the UK while temporarily working in an EU state, and vice versa. This provision applies to all 27 EU member states as they've agreed to uphold the 'detached worker' rules. For multi-state workers, the Protocol aligns with the existing EU regulations. However, all EU member states automatically fall under these rules with no option to opt out.

In essence, the new Protocol aims to streamline social security provisions for British citizens in the EU post-Brexit, ensuring continued access to healthcare and regulating social security contributions in the event of cross-border employment.

The taxation situation for expatriates in the Netherlands depends significantly on individual circumstances. Typically, residents in the Netherlands are taxed on their worldwide income, divided into three types of taxable income known as 'Box 1', 'Box 2', and 'Box 3'. Income is generally taxed in the year it's earned. Non-residents, on the other hand, are typically only taxed on income from Dutch sources.

Expats may be eligible for the Dutch 30% ruling, a specific tax regime for incoming employees working for a Dutch resident employer or a foreign employer with a wage tax withholding agent in the Netherlands. This ruling is applicable for a maximum of 5 years and is subject to several conditions such as recruitment or assignment from abroad, a distance requirement of 150 km, joint filing by the employee and employer, and a certain salary requirement. However, the eligibility for the 30% ruling is complex and depends on personal circumstances.

Regarding tax returns, whether you need to file one in the Netherlands is contingent upon your taxability in the country. If you're required to file a tax return, it should be done annually before May 1 of the following calendar year, with the tax year being the same as a calendar year. Tax returns are filed individually, but if you're married or have registered partners, you can connect your returns digitally and allocate joint income. The tax liability is finalized once you've received your final tax assessment from the Dutch tax authorities. Note that the tax return should be filed digitally.

In conclusion
Navigating the post-Brexit Dutch landscape as a UK worker can seem like a maze, but with the right guidance, it can become an exciting adventure. From obtaining the right permits to understanding the complex web of social security and taxation rules, all it takes is accurate information and a reliable partner. Vialto, with its vast experience in global immigration and mobility services, can be your trusted companion in this journey. For more detailed information or to start your journey to the Netherlands, get in touch by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.