Netherlands: Rules amended for recognised sponsors

New rules implemented by the State Secretary of Security and Justice subject recognised sponsors – those that can sponsor highly-skilled migrants – to sponsorship withdrawal if they do not employ foreign workers, and create a new exemption from the standard points-based analysis for prospective recognized sponsors established for less than 1.5 years, among other changes.

Sponsorship Withdrawal Rules

The Dutch Immigration Authorities (IND) may now withdraw recognized sponsorship status if a company has not applied for any long-term entry visas or residence permits in the last thee years and if the company is no longer sponsoring residence permits for foreign nationals. Previously, recognised sponsors could only lose their accredited sponsorship if they were found to have violated sponsorship requirements and/or applicable immigration regulations. Companies whose sponsorship has been withdrawn can reapply for recognized sponsorship, should they wish to benefit from the recognised status again.

Business Plan Submission Rules

The requirements for submitting a business plan – a projection document used by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency to perform a points-based analysis to ensure the company’s solvability and continuity – have been amended. The business plan adds approximately six weeks to the application processing time. Companies established for less than 1.5 years applying for recognized sponsorship are exempt from submitting a business plan in the following situations:

  • For a subsidiary that is fully owned by a corporation which is not required to submit a business plan (a special tax statement from the parent company must instead be provided);
  • Following a merger of two companies that are recognised sponsors at the time of the merger;
  • Following the acquisition of a corporation by a recognised sponsor; or
  • If the legal status of the recognised sponsor changes. Notarial deeds should prove that the nature of the activities has not expended and that the supervisor remains the same.

Additional evidence such as deeds, statutes and/or agreements may also be required to support the exemption.   

Additional Documentary Requirements

Furthermore, if the IND questions the company’s solvability and continuity, it may require prospective recognized sponsors to provide the following additional documents for the points-based check by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency:

  • Companies that have been established for less than 1.5 years would have to present a business plan;
  • Companies established for 1.5 through three years would have to present a business plan, financial statements verified by an independent party (if available), and a verified special corporate projection for the next two years;
  • Companies established for more than three years would have to present financial statements for the last three years verified by an independent party, and a verified special corporate projection for the next two years.

What This Means for Employers

Eligible employers established for less than 1.5 years should benefit from the new exemption from the standard points-based analysis.  Eligible employers established for more than 1.5 years may need to submit additional documents.

Recognised sponsors should be aware that they may lose their accredited status if they do not make use of their sponsorship.

Employers should contact their immigration professional to discuss the effects of the new rules and eligibility for the various exemptions that are available.