New Dutch permit scheme for skilled expats not working

29th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

29 August 2005, AMSTERDAM - The accelerated immigration procedure for highly-skilled expats is causing serious problems for companies in the Netherlands because it is so slow and complicated, an employers group has claimed.

29 August 2005

AMSTERDAM - The accelerated immigration procedure for highly-skilled expats is causing serious problems for companies in the Netherlands because it is so slow and complicated, an employers group has claimed.

The AWVN said in financial newspaper 'Het Financieele Dagblad' on Monday that the accelerated procedure is taking months and not weeks as the government promised.

Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk introduced the new "kennismigrantenregeling", or knowledge worker procedure, on 1 October.

She made the changes following complaints from business groups that it was taking too long to arrange work permits and residence permits for key foreign workers. 

The changes Verdonk brought in were based on recommendations from a report by the Innovation Platform "Borderless Mobility Knowledge Migrants".

Under the accelerated procedure, one office within the Immigration and Integration Service (IND) deals with applications for highly-skilled workers. Expats earning more than EUR 45,000 gross no longer need a work permit and are to be issued with a 5-year residence permit within weeks.

The system for 'regular' applications for companies hiring expats is more complicated. The firm has to be able to prove to the Labour agency CWI that there is no Dutch person available to do the work. This is done by a prolonged job advertisement procedure.

A work permit can be issued once the CWI is satisfied a foreign worker is needed. But this can taken several weeks and then the expat has to apply for a residence permit - leading to a further wait of up to six months.

Citing the AWVN's survey of 70 firms, Het Financieele Dagblad reported that in reality some companies have found that the regular system is faster than the accelerated procedure.

The AWVN has accused the IND of imposing "nearly impossible demands". For example the IND requires applicants to submit a passport photograph that has been taken in the Netherlands even though the applicant is still waiting for permission to enter the country.

The law states that residence permit applications filed on behalf of highly-skilled expats must be processed within two weeks. In reality this deadline is scarcely met, the AWVN said.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news + IND + working in the Netherlands

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