Post-Brexit guidance

For UK-based contractors working in the Netherlands or Dutch waters

If you are a UK contractor / business providing services in other EU countries, there are going to be additional immigration requirements and challenges after January 2021. With ongoing negotiations between the UK and EU looking like a no deal may be a likely scenario, there are many questions unanswered around how each EU country will approach UK workers. Under certain circumstances you will be able to apply to be a frontier worker (cross-border commuter) under the Withdrawal Agreement, and countries such as the Netherlands are taking this approach in some scenarios. A1 forms will also continue to be an acceptable way to avoid double taxation and remain compliant.

Taylor Hopkinson are keeping a close eye on developments during the final days of negotiations, and will continue to update you in line with agreements and rules as they are finalised with each EU country including Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark.

UK Workers in the Netherlands / Dutch Waters post 1 January 2021

Although the situation is still fluid, below is an update on the Brexit situation for Seafarers / offshore contractors working in the Netherlands or in Dutch waters after January 2021. With no deal to date, we wanted to address things before the end of the year. As part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, frontier workers have the right to continue working in the Netherlands following the transition. The Netherlands will require a work authorisation document for cross-border commuters, so you can continue to work in the Netherlands if you are currently working as a frontier worker in 2020 in the Netherlands and have obtained the Frontier worker document.

Since 31 January 2020, the EU and the UK have been negotiating their future relationship after Brexit.  Your ability to work as a frontier worker in the Netherlands from 1 January 2021 will depend on these negotiations.

Below is an update based on the current situation, and we will continue to update this once a deal has been finalised:

  • UK nationals working in the Netherlands or Dutch waters need to apply for a frontier worker document and we ask all current UK contractors working in the Netherlands to complete this asap (this is an online process, free of charge, lasts 5 years, and the application should be at least submitted before the end of 2020 please to avoid any issues)
  • Once we know more, we will highlight any additional exemptions made for seafarers as part of the deal

Key points

  • UK nationals who are frontier workers can apply for a Frontier Worker’s Document online – before 31 December 2020. You can do this either via an online application or via a written application form. (see link below)
  • UK national frontier workers can continue working in the Netherlands past 31 December 2020, if they have already worked in 2020 in the Netherlands and continue to do so
  • UK nationals with an employer outside the Netherlands and self-employed workers are eligible
  • A Dutch residence permit will be required starting 1 January 2021 for stays that exceed 90 days. A work permit is required if a UK employee starts after 1 January 2021 and is less than 90 days in the Netherlands. A residence permit and work permit is required if the employee will stay more than 90 days in the Netherlands. Currently, as the negotiations are not finalised it is unclear what the status of a UK frontier worker will be when they start after 1 January 2021
  • The Frontier Worker’s Document has a five-year validity

Overview & link to apply

  • UK nationals who are frontier workers can now apply online with the Dutch Immigration Authorities (IND) for a Frontier Worker’s Document. The document allows them to continue working in the Netherlands past the Brexit transition, which ends on 31 December 2020
  • With negotiations ongoing, we are advising that it is important that you apply for the Frontier Worker’s Document before 31 December 2020 and that you can then demonstrate that you have been working in the Netherlands already. As part of the application, you need to have applied for a Dutch citizen service number (BSN) in order to complete the online or written application form. We refer to the link of the Dutch immigration office for the application and further information:

To apply

You can complete the application using this link.

Apply here

In a time of great uncertainty we appreciate a lot is up in the air just now with the new restrictions, but we remain available to support you throughout.

We will be updating our website Contractor hub with information and updates about Brexit over the coming days and weeks, and will share as much as we can with you as we hear more.

Useful links


Non-UK workers who want to continue working in the UK from 1 January 2021

You will not be able to enter the UK to work from 1 July 2021 if you live outside of the UK and do not have a frontier worker permit.

A Frontier Worker permit lets you come to the UK to work while living elsewhere. Applications are now being accepted via Link below;

You may be eligible if all of the following apply:

  • you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
  • you live outside of the UK
  • you have worked in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • you have kept working in the UK at least once every 12 months since you started working here
  • If you’re an Irish citizen, you do not need to apply for a Frontier Worker permit but you can choose to do so.

Apply Today

You cannot apply if you’re a British citizen (this includes dual citizenship).

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