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Changes in Dutch immigration law 2009

27th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

Our immigration experts from Ernst and Young give you the latest updates on immigration law procedures which include the relaxing of immigration procedures for foreign students, a new salary requirement for knowledge migrants and inter-company transfer work permits.

Relaxed immigration procedure for foreign students
The Dutch government aims to strengthen its position in ‘the battle for talent’ and therefore introduced a more relaxed residence permit application procedure for foreign students as of 1 January 2009.

Foreign students graduating from one of the top 150 universities according to the ranking of  “Times Higher Education Supplement” and “Jiao Tong Shanghai University” or those who have obtained a masters degree or doctorate at an official institute of higher education in the Netherlands can apply for a Dutch residence permit under a point-based system. The student does not need to have a specific job offer, but needs to pass a points-based assessment to be eligible to apply. The residence permit is valid for a maximum period of 1 year.

New salary requirement for knowledge migrants
The salary requirements for knowledge migrants are being indexed on an annual basis. As of 1 January 1, 2009 the salary requirements to fall within the scope of the knowledge migrant policy, will increase as follows:

•    A knowledge migrant should earn a gross salary of at least 49,087 EUR per year to obtain a (temporary) residence permit as a knowledge migrant.
•    When the knowledge migrant is under 30 years, they will have to earn at least EUR 35,997 gross on an annual basis.
•    The salary requirement for a foreign graduated student who will start working as a knowledge migrant in the Netherlands is EUR 25,800 gross per year.

New salary requirement for inter-company transfer work permit
The salary requirement for work permit applications based on a transfer within an international group of companies is being indexed on an annual basis. As of 1 January 2009 the gross annual salary requirement for these work permits is EUR 49,087. The company car and housing provided by the employer can no longer be included in the gross annual salary.

Work permit requirements for employees from Bulgaria and Romania
Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU on 1 January 2007.

For employees of both countries a work permit was still required during a transitional period of two years.

The Dutch government has recently decided to extend the transitional period until 1 January 2012 at the latest. This means that – without further notice – employees from Bulgaria and Romania will still need a work permit to work legally in the Netherlands until January 1, 2012.

Extension of the Schengen area
As of 12 December 2008 the Schengen area has been extended to include Switzerland. This means that as of this date people will be able to travel freely between Switzerland and the other Schengen countries. Border controls for air travellers will be abolished as of 29 March 2009. Due to the fact that Switzerland is not part of the EEA, border controls on goods will not be abolished.

We will keep you informed about any further developments regarding the above points.

For further information, please contact your local Ernst & Young Human Capital professional or in the Netherlands:
Edith de Bourgraaf:    tel: +31 10 406 85 42 ,
Anne Kwint-Bijleveld    tel: +31 88 407 12 54 ,

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