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CONVINUS Global Mobility Insights NEWSLETTER Herbst / Fall 2023

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Global Mobility Insights - Herbst / Fall 2023 The role of a legal sponsor in the Netherlands – Compliancy aspects Author: Anja Seling, Expat Management Group What is a legal sponsor in the Netherlands? Every foreign national (non-EU national) requires a sponsor to be able to legally reside and work in the Netherlands. Sponsorship can be in different forms. Either through a sponsorship by a company (company-sponsored application), sponsorship by a foreign, European, or Dutch national as a (core) family member or through a different purpose such as self-employment, secondment, studies. In 2004, the Netherlands introduced the “kennismigrantenregeling”, the Highly Skilled Migrant Scheme, to attract foreign nationals who are highly educated and skilled to come to the Netherlands in a fast and quick way. This article will focus on company-sponsored applications, and particularly on applications by companies which are in possession of a sponsorship license (socalled recognised sponsors, ‘erkend referent’ in Dutch). What is a Recognised Sponsor? According to the Dutch Immigration authorities (IND), a recognised sponsor is a “company, school or organisation that has an interest in the arrival of a thirdcountry national”. It is divided into 4 categories: study, exchange, research (Directive (EU) 2016/801) and work. There are certain conditions to become a recognised sponsor: the company needs to be registered in the Commercial register, financially solvable and stable. Background checks of the directors maybe potentially conducted (police clearances can be requested in case of doubts and if it is deemed necessary to do so). Rights of a Recognised sponsor Once a company has become a recognised sponsor, a combined application for 44

Global Mobility Insights - Herbst / Fall 2023 entry, work and residency can be applied, shorter processing times apply, less supporting documents are required, and online applications are possible with the IND which saves a lot of time. The corporation between the IND and the recognised sponsor is based on self-control and trust. Once sponsorship is granted to a legal entity, it is granted for a lifetime. It can only be revoked in case of severe/frequent incompliances of the responsibilities of a recognised sponsor or in case no foreign nationals are hired. Duties and Responsibilities of a (Recognised) sponsor A recognised sponsor has certain legal obligations and responsibilities. The three main conditions are the following: Obligation to provide information Obligation to keep and retain records Duty of care Return of the foreign national The obligation to provide information implies: All relevant changes with respect to the conditions of residency need to be reported (i.e., Departure of a foreign national, change of employer, change of start dates); All relevant changes with respect to the conditions of Recognised Sponsorship need to be reported; If a statutory obligation cannot be met, this needs to be reported as well (e.g., if the administration has been destroyed by fire). Relevant information needs to be reported within 28 days after the event, in case of a change of address of the administration, within 14 days. The obligations apply for both the sponsor and the employee. The employee will only be addressed if the sponsor does not adhere to his obligation to provide information. Obligation to keep and retain records All documents relevant to the employment relationship and the right to residence need to be saved in the administration for up to five years following the year in which the sponsorship for the relevant employee has been terminated. 45

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