What is the change? The Netherlands has abolished registration for European Union nationals.

What does the change mean? EU nationals will no longer need to apply at the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) for a registration sticker in their passports.

  • Implementation timeframe: Jan. 6, 2014.
  • Visas/permits affected: EU registration certificate.
  • Who is affected: EU, EEA and Swiss nationals residing in the Netherlands.
  • Impact on processing times: The abolishment of the previous registration certificate requirement eliminates a step in processing.
  • Business impact: None.
  • Next steps: Companies and assignees should be aware of the new rule. Rather than evidencing long-term and legitimate residence in the Netherlands by virtue of the registration certificate, a foreign resident may show an EU/EEA/Swiss passport or ID card. Foreign nationals intending to reside in the Netherlands for more than four months will still have to register with the City Hall in their place of residence.

Background: As of Jan. 6, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals working and residing in the Netherlands do not need to report to the IND for registration as residents.

In the past, registration was required as proof of long-term resident status. The requirement is being terminated in part because the registration sticker that was placed in the passport could lead authorities to believe that an individual had legal residence even if his or her status in fact had changed. In addition, based on EU law, a person could argue that he or she was in fact a long-term resident even without having registered with the IND.

As many companies require evidence from their non-Dutch employees to prove long-term residence authorization in the Netherlands, the IND has prepared a letter that EU, EEA and Swiss nationals can show their employer when offering their passport or ID card as evidence of employment eligibility.

The new rule applies to nationals of Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia which recently joined the EU. Effective Jan. 1, 2014, Romanian and Bulgarian nationals also no longer require work authorization. Croatian nationals, however, still require work authorization to work in the Netherlands.

BAL Analysis: The new rule eliminates the administrative burden of registration. Going forward, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals may demonstrate legal residency with their valid passport or ID card. Alternatively, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who must prove legal residency for employment purposes can obtain a letter from the IND.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in the Netherlands. For additional information, please contact

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