The Dutch immigration service IND has totally overhauled the Brexit information section of its website, and now tells British nationals the government will provide ‘a decent solution’ even in the case of a no deal.
‘Your situation is a top priority for the Dutch government. Consequently the Netherlands will do its utmost to reach a deal with the UK,’ the website states.
The revised website outlines the two steps the nearly 50,000 adult British nationals in the Netherlands should now undertake – make sure you are registered with your local authority and apply for a Digid electronic signature.
It also now points out that if there is a deal, nothing will change until the end of the transition period in December 2020. ‘You do not have to do anything for this. You do not need a special document,’ the website states. ‘You will however be invited by the IND between March 29, 2019 and December 31 2020 to make an application for your new status.’
This invitation will be sent to the address at which British nationals are registered in their local authority. The process will spread out across 21 months to avoid everyone applying for a licence at the same time. ‘That would not work,’ the website states.
In the event of a no deal situation, the ‘Dutch government will provide for a decent solution for your residence in the Netherlands after 29 March, 2019,’ the IND says, adding that the ‘conditions for obtaining new residence status are not yet known.’
In that eventuality, the IND says it will contact everyone, using the address in the central register, and tell them about what to do next.
The IND has been criticised by immigration lawyers for scaremongering in previous versions of the website.
A survey by DutchNews.nl in September showed that almost four in 10 British people living in the Netherlands had done nothing yet to regulate their stay post Brexit.
However, immigration service officials have told DutchNews.nl that they are now ‘extremely busy’ processing applications for residency permits and for Dutch nationality.
DutchNews.nl has contacted the IND for comment.
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