NETHERLANDS - Biometric Residence Permits and EU Blue Card Introduced While Modern Migration Policy Still Delayed
The Immigration and Naturalisation Service of the Netherlands (IND) has issued a newsletter announcing the introduction of biometric residence permits and the European Union (EU) Blue Card, in line with EU policy. The same newsletter announces that the Modern Migration Policy, originally scheduled to come into effect on 1 January 2011, is still delayed, with no firm implementation date.
Biometric Residence Permits
As for all EU members, the Netherlands is required to introduce residence permits with a biometric component (in this case, a biometric photograph and a chip containing fingerprint details) according to EC regulations 1030/2002 and 380/2008. All European Union member states were required to implement biometric residence permits by 1 May 2011 and most are on the way to doing this; however, many have experienced delays. The biometric residence permits are supposed to be more secure than previous documents, plus must be issued in a uniform format across the EU.
Biometrics in the Netherlands
The Netherlands already requires non EEA nationals to apply for residence permits and the biometric process is not anticipated to add significant delay. However, the photograph to be submitted with the residence permit application must now comply with specific requirements. Further details can be found here. (click the menu item Fotomatrix English on the right hand side to download an English language PDF instruction sheet).
EU Blue Card
Another EU Directive (Council Directive 2009/50/EC) requires EU member states (apart from Denmark, Ireland and the UK) to implement the new EU Blue Card for highly skilled workers by 19th June 2011, although little progress seems to have been made in many EU countries. It is also important to note that the Blue Card, although designed to implement a uniform immigration policy towards skilled migrants entering the EU, specifically to encourage such migrants, can be implemented in different ways in each EU country.
In the Netherlands, the following conditions (among others) apply, which are stricter than the conditions for the already existing Knowledge Migrant Programme for highly skilled workers:
- Employee must earn at least 60,000EUR gross per annum and contract must be for one year
- Employee must have higher educational qualifications, obtained by completing a programme of at least three years, to be evaluated by the Netherlands educational authority (Nuffic)
Benefits of the Blue Card include the right to work, after a period of eighteen months, in another EU state – however, this is subject to the approval of the second EU state, meaning that a second application will need to be made, and approval is not guaranteed.
Blue card applications will be decided by the Netherlands immigration authorities (IND) within 90 days of receipt. Since this is a new process, realistic timeframes are not yet available, but if the authorities take the full 90 days, the Blue Card will be a significantly more administratively burdensome application than the Knowledge Migrant application.
Delay of Modern Migration Policy
The Netherlands’ new immigration policy, the Modern Migration Policy, which places more responsibility for immigration compliance onto the shoulders of the employer (the sponsor), particularly regarding reporting duties, administration duties and repatriation duties, has been delayed until further notice. Originally scheduled to be implemented on 1 January 2011, the new Policy has been delayed pending the completion of the immigration authorities’ new computer system (INDiGO).
- Note that new photographs are required, effective immediately, for all residence permit applications for non-EEA nationals
- Note that the Blue Card has been implemented in the Netherlands but is as yet untested; for more information contact Peregrine
- Note that the Modern Migration Policy has been delayed again, until further notice.