Nationals of the United Kingdom who qualify as frontier workers can now submit an online application with the Dutch Immigration Authorities (IND) to obtain a Frontier Worker’s Document. The Frontier Worker’s Document proves workers have the right to continue to working in the Netherlands beyond Dec. 31, 2020, the end of the Brexit transition period.

Key Points:

  • U.K. nationals employed by an employer in the Netherlands, and registered self-employed U.K. frontier workers legally residing outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a Frontier Worker’s Document.
  • All other U.K. national non-residents of the Netherlands (e.g., individuals working in the Netherlands on an assignment basis, posted employees or business visitors) will require a separate work permit to be authorized to work in the Netherlands as of Jan. 1, 2021.
  • As from Jan. 1, 2021, U.K. nationals will require a Dutch residence permit to stay in the Netherlands for more than 90 days. The Frontier Worker’s Document is not a residence permit. Therefore, U.K. nationals can only stay maximum 90 days within 180-day period in the Netherlands (and all other Schengen Area member states).

Background: Under the Withdrawal Agreement, frontier workers secured the right to work in the Netherlands after Brexit. The Netherlands opted to make the application for a work authorization document obligatory for cross-border commuters.

The online application is currently free of charge. The IND requires U.K. nationals to register as a non-resident in the Dutch Civic Register (RNI) as a BSN is required for the application. Once the application is submitted, the IND will take a decision as soon as possible. The IND requires the U.K. nationals’ biometric data in order to create the Frontier Worker’s Document.

The document will be valid for five years and authorizes U.K. nationals to enter and leave and work in the Netherlands. It should be noted that the Frontier Worker’s Document does not authorize U.K. nationals to work in another country.

U.K. nationals not qualifying for a Frontier Worker’s Document, such as U.K. nationals working in the Netherlands while employed by a U.K. employer, require another type of Dutch work authorization. Acquiring a work permit may take three to five weeks after submission of a complete application with the Dutch labor authorities; the Dutch labor market is protected, as a consequence U.K. nationals must meet the applicable salary threshold (2020 figures). Additional work permit conditions apply.

Analysis & Comments: U.K. nationals who are eligible for a Frontier Worker’s Document are urged to submit the application with the IND as soon as possible. Employers should store a copy of the Frontier Worker’s Document in the personnel file. Please contact your Deloitte Immigration professional to determine how to secure work authorization for your U.K. population.

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