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I'm a British citizen living in the Netherlands with a permanent residence permit with type "PERMANENT RESIDENCE DOCUMENT WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT ART. 18(1)"

According to the website for the Immigration and Naturalisation Services (IND) I can spend 6 months at maximum outside the Netherlands.

Typically when leaving and reentering the Netherlands they don't stamp my passport, but last time I left they did stamp it. Then when I came back ten days later they didn't stamp it.

My concern is that if I go on holiday outside Schengen next year (after the 6 months are up) and they look at my passport it'll look like I've been outside the country for too long. Another possibility is that when applying for a replacement card (the card needs to be replaced every 10 years) the IND might look at this stamp and get confused about how long I spent outside the country. Another situation where they might get confused is if I apply to naturalise and they look at my passport, and again get confused about how long I spent outside the country.

So basically my question is this, should I be concerned about this stamp at all? Does it have any legal implications at all?

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    See also: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/157743/…. Basically the "enforcement" of stamps for residence permit holders are so inconsistent (since it is inutile) that it is very unlikely to pose any problems for you.
    – xngtng
    Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 15:13
  • If you are working in the Netherlands, your employer can confirm that you were there and paying taxes. Account card usage in the Netherlands, paying rent etc. There are so msny other ways of showing that you were actualy there. Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 17:35
  • @MarkJohnson and better ways, since the stamps don't establish that the traveler was in any particular Schengen country for any length of time. Presumably the people charged with enforcing the six-month absence rule know this too and don't pay much attention to the stamps.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 18:16
  • @phoog yes, I think that to. I see no problem here. Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 19:30

2 Answers 2

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According to the EC:

Depending on national law, border guards may stamp your passport when entering and exiting your country of residence. This practice does not serve any real purpose as the 90-day stay limitation does not apply to beneficiaries of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement (including their family members) when travelling to their EU country of residence. However, to prove your residence status and associated rights (i.e. the non-applicability of the 90-day stay limitation in a 180-day period), we advise you to show your national residence documents issued (under the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement) in your EU country of residence when crossing an external Schengen border.

Furthermore

The Commission recommends – notably as regards beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement – that Member State border guards refrain from stamping. In any case, should stamping nevertheless take place, such stamp cannot affect the length of the authorised long-term stay.

Hence, if you have a 'missing' stamp, under EU law and the withdrawal agreement, this should not be used to infer anything about the length of time you have spent outside the EU. There are any number of reasons you would not have been stamped on entering or leaving, including departing or entering Schengen through a country who is actually following the EC's directive on stamping.

You might wish to keep additional records of your entry/departure from Schengen such as boarding passes just in case you are ever questioned on your residence status.

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Whatever happens with your stamp, it is widely recognized as weak evidence. Even for visitors suspected of overstaying, the Schengen Borders Code says that other evidence can be used to show that the stamps are incorrect. That must be even more true for someone whose right of permanent residence is in question.

Even if you don't have records of your actual travel, as MJeffryes wisely suggests, other evidence that you are in the Netherlands will be useful. In fact, such evidence will be more useful, because the stamps only show your arrival in and departure from the Schengen area, not necessarily the Netherlands. Even incontrovertible proof that you arrived in Schiphol in January and never boarded a plane until you left from Schiphol in December does not prove that you were in the Netherlands for those eleven months, since you could have left the Netherlands on the same day and spent the next eleven months in Italy.

Don't worry about the stamp.

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