Moving to the UK From Netherlands

Moving from the Netherlands to the UK has been a popular immigration route for Dutch nationals since the 16th century. According to the latest official statistics for the UK, around 91,000 Dutch nationals currently live in the UK, more than double that counted in 2008 (46,000). The Netherlands and the UK share a great deal: a similar culture, a strong Northern European culture, and Germanic root languages that traded closely throughout history. In the current era, nationals of the Netherlands emigrate to the UK for the job opportunities available, to be with family, and to enjoy the beauty of the British Isles and its culture. In this guide, we will set out the legal requirements, the cost of living in the UK, a checklist of the main points to consider, and why you should move to England, Northern Ireland, Wales, or Scotland in 2024 or beyond.

Moving to the UK from The Netherlands benefits

Citizens from the Netherlands adore the UK for many reasons. There is a rich culture and history, as well as wonderful villages, mountains, hills, lakes, and countryside. We have a strong and vibrant economy, high rates of pay, and a wide range of highly skilled job vacancies. Another draw card is the fact that the UK and the Netherlands are only a very short distance apart and can be reached by car, train, or ferry. And let’s not forget our excellent and renowned education system, including our world-class universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, St Andrews, and University College London (UCL).

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The legal requirements vary between each UK immigration route. Here are some of the UK visa types that you can apply for as a Dutch, and the legal requirements for each:

Immigration to the UK from the Netherlands for Work

  • UK Skilled Worker visa – The UK’s Skilled Worker visa allows non-EU and EU nationals, including Dutch nationals, to live and work in the UK for up to 5 years and then apply to settle permanently. You will need to have an offer of a job in an eligible occupation from a UK employer (they must hold a valid sponsor licence) and receive a salary that meets the minimum salary requirements. In addition, you must meet the English language requirements.

Immigration to the UK from the Netherlands to Study

  • UK Student visa – The UK Student visa permits Dutch nationals to study at a British school, college or university in the UK. Once your degree (or higher) comes to an end, you can then apply for a UK graduate visa, which will allow you to remain here for another 2 years to live and find work.

Immigration to the UK from the Netherlands as an Entrepreneur

  • UK Innovator Founder Visa – The UK Innovator Founder Visa is ideal for entrepreneurs from the Netherlands who have spotted a business opportunity in the UK. To make a successful application, you must have a business idea that is new, unique, viable, and scalable. One of the biggest benefits of this immigration route is that it provides an accelerated route to permanent settlement after just 3 years (compared to the normal 5 years for most visas).

If you are unsure of the visa routes available and which is best for you and your family, please consider speaking to an immigration Solicitor in the UK who will take the time to understand your needs and wishes and explain the options available.

Moving from The Netherlands to the UK after Brexit

On the first day of 2021, the UK ceased to be a member of the EU, bringing to an end decades of freedom of movement for the people of the EU and the UK. EU nationals, including Dutch citizens resident in the UK before this date, were eligible for pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, which allowed them to remain living in the UK. Unfortunately, if you are a citizen of the Netherlands who is now considering emigrating to the UK, and you were not living in the UK by 31st December 2020, the chances are that you will need a visa to come here. If you are unsure if you are eligible for pre-settled or settled status in the UK, it is important to check this before you proceed down the route of applying for a visa.

Get in touch with our immigration experts for help with your move to the Netherlands to the UK

What is the cost of living in the UK?

According to the cost of living comparison website Numbeo, the cost of living in the UK and the Netherlands is broadly similar. General consumer prices in the Netherlands are a bit higher, by 0.5%, than in the United Kingdom, but when the rental of property is also taken into consideration, the Netherlands is 1.6% more expensive to live in. Food and groceries are also less in the UK by 3.1%.


Moving to the UK from The Netherlands - Checklist

Moving from one country to another can be extremely stressful and confusing, but by taking the right steps, you can make your journey a smooth and seamless one. We recommend:

  • Looking at all of the UK immigration routes available to you and your family members. Don’t just assume that one visa is best for your needs. It may be that you are eligible for other immigration routes which offer more favourable terms, are less costly, and provide a route to permanent settlement (for example, see the self-sponsorship route below). To really understand your immigration options, speak to an immigration Solicitor in London who can advise and guide you.
  • If you plan to work in the UK, you will need to secure a job in the UK before you apply for your work visa. Once you have a job offer from a UK employer with a sponsor licence, they will issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) setting out your job title, start date, and salary.
  • Draw up a budgetary plan based on your expected income and the cost of living in the UK. This will allow you to confirm that you can afford to live comfortably here.
  • Research the places where you would like to live in the UK. Perhaps even come on holiday to explore different cities, towns and villages.
  • Make sure that there are spaces available in a school where you would like to live if you have children.
  • Put a plan in place for what you will do with your property and possessions in the Netherlands.
  • Speak to other Dutch citizens who live in the UK for advice on moving to and living in the UK.

Cost to immigrate to the UK from the Netherlands

The fact that the UK and the Netherlands are geographically so close makes it relatively inexpensive to immigrate here. That said, it is important to understand the likely costs of moving before you apply for your visa. We recommend getting at least three quotations from removal companies to transport your personal possessions (e.g. furniture). Perhaps one of the biggest costs will be your visa and the immigration healthcare surcharge (which gives you access to the NHS). The healthcare surcharge can be costly because it must be paid upfront for each family member for the duration of your visa. Other costs to consider include a property rental deposit, travel costs to the UK, buying a right-hand drive car, and purchasing new possessions in the UK.

How to set up your finances in the UK?

The banking system in the UK is extremely modern, making it simple and quick to set up a new bank account when you arrive here. Because you will need a permanent address and to prove your identity in person, you will most likely need to wait until you arrive here before opening your bank account. You will also need to apply for a UK national insurance (NI) number before you start your new job.

Your new UK employer will handle the payment of any income tax you owe directly to HM Revenue & Customs automatically on your behalf through the UK’s ‘Pay As You Earn’ (PAYE) system, meaning you have one less item to think about.

What is a Self-Sponsored Route?

Self-sponsorship is an innovative way for citizens of the Netherlands to relocate to the UK without the need to work for an employer here. Using the self-sponsorship route, you can establish your own business in the UK, meaning that you effectively work for yourself rather than someone else. One of the biggest pluses of the self-sponsorship route is that it provides a direct immigration route to permanent settlement in the UK and, after a further 12 months, British citizenship.

Emigrating to the UK as a non-Dutch national

It is important to understand that, since Brexit in 2021, both EU and non-EU nationals require a visa to live here. If you want to move from the Netherlands to the UK as a non-Dutch national, it is advisable to look for visa options that are most suitable for your needs, i.e. to join family, work, or study. If you are not sure which visa route to apply for as a non-Dutch national, please speak to an immigration Solicitor in the UK who will recommend the best way given your individual situation.

Joining UK Family Members as a Non-Dutch National

If you have a partner, spouse, parent or child in the UK (i.e. an immediate family member), you may be able to apply for a family visa. Your family member must be a British national, a person with permanent settlement, an EU/EEA national who started living in the UK before 1st January 2021, or a person with refugee status in the UK. If you are eligible, you will be able to join your loved one in the UK and eventually apply for permanent settlement and, ultimately, citizenship in the UK.

A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with all types of visa applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or at contact us today. We’re here to help!

Moving From Netherlands to the UK

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Moving From Netherlands to the UK

Reach out to our immigration advisors to handle your relocation process from beginning to end.

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