Overview of Moving to the UK from the Netherlands
The Netherlands is one of the closest neighbours geographically to the UK, and the two countries have long enjoyed an amicable relationship.
Dutch is noted for being one of the languages that is most similar to English linguistically, and a significant proportion of Dutch people can either speak or understand the English language to a certain degree.
Movement between the two countries has also historically been strong, as the UK has plenty of options to travel quickly to and from the continent. For example, direct trains link London and Amsterdam and other European countries via the Channel Tunnel.
Moving from the Netherlands to the UK is therefore an appealing option for many Dutch people due to these relatively few barriers. As of 2019, there were estimated to be around 68,000 Dutch-born people in the UK, with the figure set to rise over the coming years.
Despite the end of free movement since the UK’s departure from the EU, there are still many opportunities for Dutch nationals to settle in the UK on a permanent basis.
Some of these include the EU Settlement Scheme, which allows Dutch nationals to settle in the UK permanently, and various visas that will eventually allow you to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR).
Can I Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme?
The EU Settlement Scheme is the easiest way for EU citizens to settle in the UK after its departure from Europe.
However, it’s important to note that the deadline for most applicants was 31 June 2021. However, Dutch citizens can still apply for the scheme if any of the following apply:
- You have a Dutch (or other EU) family member who was living in the UK by 31 December 2020
- You’re exempt from immigration control, or you stopped being exempt from immigration control after 30 June 2021
- You’re already in the UK with limited leave to enter or remain in the UK (such as if you’re here on a work or study visa) which expires after 30 June 2021
- You’re a family member of a British citizen who you lived with in the EU
- You must have lived with them in that country by 30 December 2020, and returned to the UK with them
You may also still be eligible to apply if you have ‘reasonable grounds’ for not applying before the main deadline. ‘Reasonable grounds’ may cover many different things, but some acceptable cases include, but are not limited to, if:
- You have, or had, a medical condition which prevented you from applying
- You lacked the physical or mental capacity to apply
- You’ve been the victim of modern slavery
- You’ve been in an abusive or controlling relationship
How Do I Apply for the EU Settlement Scheme?
In most cases, you will be able to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme online through the official Gov.uk website.
You will also need to apply online if you’re changing your status from pre-settled to settled.
Note that you will not be able to use the online service to apply for the Settlement Scheme if you’re applying as any of the following:
- The family member of a British citizen you lived with in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein by 31 December 2020 and you returned with them to the UK
- The family member of a British citizen who is also a citizen of an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, and they lived in the UK as a citizen of one of those countries before becoming a British citizen
- The child (who is in education in the UK) of someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein who used to live and work in the UK
- The primary carer of certain individuals (by 31 December 2020)
If any of the above apply to you, you will need to contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre.
UK Work Visas for Dutch Nationals
If you’re ineligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, there are a number of other immigration routes available to you, including a wealth of work and business visas.
The most common work visa for the UK is the Skilled Worker visa, which covers a wide range of skills and professions to suit a number of Dutch professional workers.
In order to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa, you must first accrue enough points in the points-based system. You can do this by meeting various criteria, such as having an eligible job from an approved sponsor, relevant work experience, and educational qualifications.
The points-based system ensures that the most skilled and experienced workers have a good chance of being able to travel to, and settle in the UK.
Other work visas for the UK include the Senior or Specialist Worker visa, which is well-suited if you wish to come and work in a UK-based branch of your company.
There is also the Scale-Up visa, which is ideal for those who wish for more flexibility in terms of working restrictions than a Skilled Worker visa. This is because unlike the Scale-Up visa allows you to freely switch between different sponsored roles, before then allowing you to undertake any kind of employment you like.
All of these visas, except for the Senior or Specialist Worker visa, will allow you to eventually apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
UK Spouse Visas for Dutch Nationals
If you are a Dutch national in a relationship with an eligible UK-based spouse or partner, you may be eligible for a Spouse visa.
The UK Spouse visa (also known as a Civil Partnership visa or Unmarried Partner visa) is a visa that will allow you to settle with your spouse or partner in the UK.
In order to be eligible for this visa, your spouse or partner must be one of the following:
- A British or Irish citizen
- Settled in the UK, such as through indefinite leave to remain, settled status or pre-settled status
- An individual with a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish Worker visa
- An individual with refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
You must also meet a variety of eligibility criteria to prove that you are suitable for this visa. This includes proving that you and your spouse have enough funds to support yourself while in the UK, and proving that you meet the minimum language requirements.
After spending 5 years in the UK on a Spouse visa, you will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
UK Student Visas for Dutch Nationals
If you’re looking to explore international opportunities that don’t involve employment, you may wish to consider applying for a short-term UK Student visa.
A Student visa will allow you to come to the UK and study in a UK-based university or college, and will typically only be valid for the duration of your course.
However, you will be able to switch to another visa in order to stay in the UK after your course finishes. For example, a Graduate visa will allow you to stay and work in the UK for an additional 2 years, after which you can apply for another visa, such as one that will lead to indefinite leave to remain.
The benefits of applying for a Student visa include being able to accumulate the relevant cultural, work and language experience that may come in useful for settling into life in the UK long-term.
In addition, having a qualification from a UK-based educational institution will mean that you’re exempt from having to prove your language abilities when you apply for indefinite leave to remain and certain visas.
How Can IAS Help?
Moving to the UK from the Netherlands is a significant process with many moving parts and factors to contend with. Amongst other things, it’s important that you have all of your immigration and legal affairs in order before travelling.
If you’re unsure regarding issues to do with visas or immigration when moving to the UK, or anything else to do with your move, IAS can help.
We are expert and professional immigration lawyers who specialise in UK and international immigration. We help clients relocate to the UK on a regular basis and are well-versed in the challenges that people face when moving abroad.
Whether you need assistance with applying for a UK visa, clearing immigration or border checks, or arranging the logistics of your move, we’re here to help.
Last modified on July 17th, 2023 at 7:30 am
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Indefinite leave to remain is the UK’s term for permanent residence. It allows you to stay in the UK indefinitely, and work, study and claim public funds with little to no restrictions.
You will only become eligible to apply for ILR after spending the necessary amount of time in the UK according to your visa type. For most visas, this will be 5 years.
In order to be eligible, you must also have not spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 month period, meet the minimum language requirements, and also have passed the Life in the UK Test, which will test you on details about the UK’s history and everyday life.
If you meet all of these criteria, you will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain online through the official Gov.uk website.
Note that you may lose your indefinite leave to remain if you spend more than 2 years outside of the UK, so you may not be able to move to the Netherlands permanently again without surrendering your ILR.
You have the option of applying to become a British citizen after spending one year in the UK with indefinite leave to remain.
However, it’s important to note that the Dutch government generally does not allow its citizens to hold dual citizenship.
This means that if you apply for British citizenship, it’s likely that you will have to renounce your Dutch citizenship also.
However, the advantages of British citizenship include things such as the right to vote and run for public office, as well as the right to carry a British passport.
As an EU citizen, you will be able to visit the UK visa-free for any period of time up to 6 months. This includes if you wish to engage in tourism, see family or friends, study, or conduct certain business activities.
When it comes to the NHS, the situation can sometimes be confusing for foreigners. Regardless, it’s an important question to ask if you’ll be able to access healthcare when living here.
The NHS is typically free at the point of service for British citizens and those with indefinite leave to remain or settled status.
However, those with a visa, such as a Skilled Worker visa, typically need to pay something called the immigration health surcharge (IHS) in order to access NHS services.
The IHS typically costs £624 for every adult applicant, which is paid annually for every year you’ll be in the UK.