Dutch immigration authority is giving British citizens faulty information about their rights of residence after Brexit

8 Jan, 2020 | Brexit, EU Law, News

UPDATE (as of Jan. 9, the day after this complaint was filed): the IND did correct its website to change the reference to “sufficient income” to a reference to “sufficient resources” (the correct term of EU law), and removed the hyperlink to the page with incorrect requirements for “income”.


All British citizens who are living in the Netherlands at the moment the United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union, or who establish residence in the Netherlands during a transitional period thereafter, are guaranteed to have the same rights of residence there that they currently have as EU citizens (based on Directive 2004/38). This will be based either on express provisions of the proposed withdrawal agreement, which has yet to be ratified by the UK and the EU (so the agreement that one could expect to apply in the case of a Brexit with a ‘deal‘), or on express provisions of the unilateral policy instituted by the Dutch government that will enter into force in the case of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

However, the IND (the Dutch immigration authority) seems to be incapable of correctly explaining what those conditions will be for British citizens who do not have a job or a business in the Netherlands, but are fully self-supporting: on the IND Brexit website it is claimed that they will have to have ‘sufficient income’ that is independently earned (such as, seemingly paradoxically, from work), that is ‘stable’ (e.g. contractually guaranteed) and ‘sufficient’ (in other words, more than a certain amount defined by the IND).

The IND does this by linking to a page on ‘sufficient income’ that does not at all apply to EU citizens or to qualifying British citizens, but only applies to non-EU citizens applying for residence permits based on Dutch immigration law. Having been notified of this by several concerned British clients (all of whom live off of resources that would not satisfy the requirements of Dutch immigration law, such as savings or gifts from family members), attorney Jeremy Bierbach filed a complaint with the IND. EU law does not permit such conditions to be imposed on self-supporting EU citizens, as long as they in fact have enough financial resources to avoid making use of need-based social assistance.

This kind of misinformation, Bierbach says, already has the effect of dissuading British citizens from moving to or staying in the Netherlands.

Link to complaint filed (in Dutch): Klacht Bierbach over IND-website Brexit