Brits with temporary residency urged to record their time abroad

Photo: Odi Busman

A campaign group for British nationals in the Netherlands says it is concerned about what appears to be a change in the criteria for temporary residence permits and has called on the immigration service to explain.

Last week, the IND issued new guidelines which state that officials will start adding up all the dates British nationals are out of the Netherlands within a 12 month period to assess if their temporary permits are still valid.

The IND described the rule shift as a clarification of the current situation. The new rules do not affect people with permanent residency documents.

From October this year, British nationals with a temporary residence permit can be out of the Netherlands for no more than six months in total within a 12-month period.

“It’s important for Brits who have been living in the Netherlands since before Brexit to remember that the Dutch government actually doesn’t have the latitude to introduce new rules limiting their rights,” said Jeremy Bierbach, the immigration lawyer who successfully litigated against the IND’s attempt to revoke the permanent residence permit of a British citizen who had moved back to the UK.

What the Dutch are now saying, Bierbach said, is that that they have not previously applied the rule on residency so strictly, but starting from the dates they announced, they will.

“So it’s always safest, if you’re a British citizen with a non-permanent residence permit, not to spend more than six months a year outside the Netherlands, and to keep records — travel tickets, bank transactions, receipts – documenting the dates that you left and returned to Dutch soil.”

British nationals who think they may be affected by the new rules are being urged to let the British in the Netherlands group know, so it can get a sense of the extent of the problem for discussion with the British embassy and the IND.

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