NETHERLANDS – Implementation of Modern Migration Policy
The long awaited Modern Migration Policy is now finally due to be implemented on 1 June 2013, after more than three years of delays related to software problems. The Migration Policy both simplifies application procedures and places the burden of immigration compliance squarely upon the shoulders of the Dutch entity sponsoring the application.
Single Application Procedure
One key benefit of the Modern Migration Act is that the application for entry permission on the Netherlands (the regular provisional residence permit) and the application for residence in the Netherlands (the residence permit) are combined – only one application (The Admission and Residence Procedure, or TEV) need be submitted.
Longer Validity and Increased Flexibility
The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has confirmed that residence permits will, where possible, be granted for the duration of the intended residence, up to five years (although residence permits for certain purposes of stay, such as exchange visitors, will be limited to one year). This will reduce the need for frequent renewals and take an administrative burden away from employers of foreign nationals.
Additionally, the Modern Migration Policy will make it easier for individuals to change employers without having to apply for a new permit.
Sponsor Rights and Obligations
The Modern Migration Policy follows the UK and Australian systems of making companies who wish to bring foreign employees to the Netherlands register as “authorised sponsors”.
Note that companies who are already registered on the Knowledge Migrant Scheme and who have been granted at least one Knowledge Migrant Programme residence permits since 1 June 2012 will be automatically registered as sponsors.
These sponsors will have the right to submit applications on behalf of foreign nationals (i.e. they will be able to submit residence permit applications for them) and can also lodge objections and appeals
Importantly, sponsors will have certain duties and obligations, specifically with regard to immigration compliance, in particular:
- The duty to inform: the duty to report changes which are relevant to the right of residence of the foreign national
- Record keeping – the duty of keeping detailed and relevant records of foreign nationals on file in case of audit
- Duty of care - the sponsor has a duty of care to foreign nationals under their sponsorship
- Repatriation responsibility – sponsors will be liable for certain repatriation costs of foreign nationals are found to be staying illegally in the Netherlands within one year of the relationship between them and the foreign national having ended
- Check if your company in the Netherlands needs to register as a sponsor or not (are you already registered with the Knowledge Migrant Programme and if so, have you had residence permit applications approved since June 2012?) – if so, contact us or V&A Group directly for assistance
- Read up on your new responsibilities and obligations as a sponsor (see IND website here) and check that your colleagues in the Netherlands understand these – failure to comply will have consequences for your organisation