June 05, 2013

As scheduled, the new Dutch Modern Migration Policy Act (“MOMI” Act – Wet modern migratiebeleid) was implemented into practice on June 1, 2013. This brief will provide details of the most important changes in the Netherlands.

Modern Migration Policy Act

The Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) first announced the MOMI Act on March 6, 2013 as a major reform to Dutch immigration. Seeking to improve both on the responsibilities of company sponsors, as well the work and residence permit application procedures themselves, the MOMI Act affects regular purposes of stay for employment, family reunification, and study in the Netherlands.

What’s Changed?

Both Dutch employers and foreign nationals working in the Netherlands should take close note of the following major changes that were on June 1, 2013:

Admission and Residence Procedure (TEV) for Residence Permit Applications

Traditionally, the work and residence permit process in the Netherlands was a two-step process: a consular application for an entry visa (the Provisional Residence Permit or MVV – Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf), followed by an in-country residence permit application for the long-term residence permit.

On June 1, 2013 the MOMI Act simplified this process into a single step: company sponsors and foreign nationals will undergo the Admission and Residence Procedure (TEV), which will allow the in-country IND to issue the long-term residence permit (VVR) automatically as soon as the Dutch consular post abroad approves the MVV application.

For those visa-waiver nationals who do not require an entry visa to the Netherlands, the MOMI Act allows for company sponsors to submit the VVR application to the IND on the behalf of their employee. The IND will then be able to begin processing the residence permit application while the employee remains abroad.

Finally, the IND recently announced their ultimate goal to have the residence permit cards ready upon the employee’s arrival in the Netherlands or, at the latest, no later than two weeks after entry. However, it should be noted that such quick processing times are not anticipated until the authorities are able to streamline the new procedures. In the meantime, processing times for issuance of the residence permit cards may be upwards of one to two months.

If the residence permit card is not ready upon the applicant’s arrival in the Netherlands, a stamp will be able to be placed in the applicant’s passport so that he or she may begin working immediately.

Passport Photo Specifications

In order for the IND to have the residence permit cards ready to be placed in an employee’s passport upon their arrival, the residence permit application must now contain passport photographs that meet very specific requirements.

It is important to note that these specifications do not match standard passport photographs issued within the United States. If the photographs are not acceptable, the IND will request that that applicant resubmit acceptable photographs; however, this may delay the issuance of the Residence Permit for an unknown amount of time.

New Application Forms

The IND has also confirmed that new application forms were released on June 1st along with the MOMI Act implementation. These forms will be made available on the IND website (www.ind.nl), which was also updated on June 1st to reflect the changes.

Knowledge Migrant Residence Permit Holders

Finally to reconfirm our earlier alert, those individuals living and working in the Netherlands under Knowledge Migrant (KM) Residence Permits that are valid beyond June 1st will not be required to change their permits until the validity of their current permit expires.

However, pending KM Residence Permit applications that were not yet been adjudicated by June 1st may have been terminated upon the MOMI Action implementation depending on the date of filing. Please coordinate with your Pro-Link GLOBAL Immigration Specialist or Dutch immigration provider if you may have an employee in this situation.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

Generally, employers who have foreign nationals working in the Netherlands need to be aware of the significant changes on June 1st. These changes will affect all parties to the immigration process: the foreign employees, their families, and the Dutch sponsoring company.

Employers should also make sure to coordinate with their Pro-Link GLOBAL Immigration Specialist or Dutch immigration provider to ensure that their company sponsorship is in place and up-to-date before any new immigration procedures are initiated.

As with any country, such considerable changes to an immigration system will take many weeks to implement fully and streamline. Significant and unexpected delays in processing times, as well as potential changes to processes and document requirements are expected in the coming weeks. Employers should keep these possible delays in mind when planning assignments to the Netherlands within the next several months.

Finally, as this is a major ongoing transition, we will continue to keep you updated with further changes as the new requirements and procedures are solidified and streamlined.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification. This alert was prepared by SooHyung Smit, Coordinator, Knowledge Management. Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with our PLG | KGNM Correspondent Office in the Netherlands to provide you this update.

Information contained in this Global Brief is prepared using information obtained from various media outlets, government publications and our KGNM network of immigration professionals. Written permission from the copyright owner and any other rights holders must be obtained for any reuse of any content posted or published by Pro-Link GLOBAL that extends beyond fair use or other statutory exemptions. Furthermore, responsibility for the determination of the copyright status and securing permission rests with those persons wishing to reuse the materials. Interested parties are welcome to contact the Knowledge Management Department (km@pro-linkglobal.com) with any additional requests for information or to request reproduction of this material.