Several years after Brexit, its effect on those relocating to the Netherlands from the UK can still be confusing. Moving to the Netherlands from the UK after Jan 1, 2021, without EU, EEA or Swiss nationality makes you a ‘third country national’. As an implication, relocating the UK to the Netherlands as a ‘third country national’ requires a residence permit.

Although the post-Brexit process may be more complicated, it is still an exciting adventure with many benefits. If you are considering relocating to the Netherlands for work, here’s what you can expect on your journey.

Preparing for the move

Depending on your case, you can get different types of visas through The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). If you are relocating as a skilled migrant to the Netherlands, your employer needs to be an IND a ‘recognized sponsor’. You can apply for a visa through IND at your local Dutch Embassy. For more information on what type of visa may apply to your case, you can visit the official IND website. As for your application process, you will need to provide various documents such as your marriage lisence, or your birth certificate. 

Note During your immigration process, you may need to translate and legislate your documents. Thus, paying attention to the requested type of documents is crucial.

Once the application is approved and you arrive in the Netherlands, you must register at your local municipality (gemeente). Similar to a national insurance number, you will be assigned a citizen number (BSN), and receive your residence permit at an IND location. 

After immigration, finding housing will be the biggest task on your agenda. Due to the housing shortage, the Dutch housing market is competitive; therefore finding permanent housing takes time. When you arrive in the Netherlands, you may consider opting for temporary housing before you find your permanent home. Going into the house search process, consider prioritising your essential preferences, keep an open mind, and act fast and decisive. Once you have found the perfect house, congratulations, you are then an official resident in the Netherlands. You can now fully enjoy all the wonders the Netherlands has to offer!

Culture Shock

Aside from adapting to the smaller sizes of beer and the biking culture, moving from the UK to the Netherlands can be a tricky transition. It may take time to get used to the Dutch ways of life, but once you get accustomed, people often fall in love with the culture and the cities. The Dutch are famous for their English skills, which is an advantage for people coming from the UK. Almost everybody you encounter will speak English fluently which eliminates the language barrier and makes the transition for internationals smoother.

Dissimilar to British politeness, one thing you can anticipate about the Dutch is their directness. They often will not sugarcoat or use euphemisms. Instead, you can expect them to give full honesty, which most people appreciate. The Dutch are often praised for their work and life balance. Most employers will not demand over time, as the culture revolves around socializing after work. Employees value their time outside work and don’t often compromise on this.

Cost of Living

Compared to the UK, the cost of living in the Netherlands varies depending on the city and area. Overall, the cost of living in the Netherlands is similar to the UK, but this is generally case-by-case.

For example, living in London will be much more expensive than living in Amsterdam. Living in other Dutch cities, or even out of the city centre can be more cost-effective. Many people will prefer finding housing outside major cities and commuting to work by public transportation.

Working in the Netherlands

Since unemployment rates are low in comparison to other EU countries, there are many job opportunities that do not require speaking Dutch; therefore the Netherlands presents much to British nationals looking to relocate.

There are different cases where a UK national might qualify to relocate to the Netherlands for work: as a highly skilled migrant, a self-employed person setting up a business, paid employment, an Intra Corporate Transferees permit (ICT), a European Blue Card, or a startup permit holder. To find out which category you fit into and what type of visa you need to apply for, you can visit the Dutch government website and fill out a questionnaire which provides the information specific to your case.  

Healthcare in the Netherlands 

The Dutch healthcare system is ranked among the best in the world. Taking out healthcare insurance is mandatory for all residents in the Netherlands. The type of insurance you need will depend on your employer and your needs. For more healthcare-related information for UK citizens coming to the Netherlands, you can also visit the UK government website.


Once you have found your housing and are done with the immigration process, you can now discover all the unique customs and traditions of the Netherlands. For example, the Dutch have a very egalitarian culture. They are highly tolerant of other cultures and value treating everyone as equals. This welcoming trait of the Dutch, combined with their English skills makes relocating to the Netherlands much more of a desirable and smooth experience. 

Most internationals will advise you to meet as many people as you can during your first week in the Netherlands. If you want to make friends during your stay, whether it is joining borrels (after-work drinks), or wearing orange on King’s Day, it is important to make an effort to socialize.

Although the procedure has become trickier since Brexit, relocating to the Netherlands from the UK is still an exciting opportunity that offers many benefits. The Netherlands offers a high quality of life that approaches work and socializing differently than the UK, but considering the common fancy for a good glass of beer and acclimating to the cloudy weather, British expats can find much joy in the Dutch way of life.


Get Support

If you have questions and are in need of assistance during your relocation process from the UK to the Netherlands, here at Jimble Destination Service Provider, we offer support through every step of your journey. Contact us to talk to one of our specialists to find out how we can help you have the best relocation experience.

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