January 7, 2014

After the implementation of the MOMI Act in June 2013 (see our Global Briefs from March 12, April 17 and June 5 2013), many changes are still taking place in The Netherlands this winter. On December 6, 2013 we already reported on the implementation of the BRP Act on January 6, 2014, as well as on the issuance of new MVV stickers for Knowledge Migrants and Scientific Researchers, which allows this group of foreigners to start working upon arrival in the Netherlands on their visa. Following EU regulations, the IND has now also started the implementation of biometric residence permits this month. Additionally, the IND has announced that as of January 6, 2014 it is no longer required for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals to register at the IND and obtain a residence sticker.

Implementation of Biometric Residence Permits

Pursuant to Council Regulations (EC) nos. 1030/2002 and 380/2008 all 27 European Union (EU)-member states are required to introduce the electronic residence permit (“e-residence permit”). This is designed to standardize all EU-member country residence permits by providing the permit holder’s biographic and biometric information and reducing incidence of fraudulent documentation.

The required fingerprints and biometric photo will be taken from all foreign applicants of six years and older, with the exception of EU, EEA and Swiss nationals. Applicants who require a MVV visa will be asked to submit their biometrics at the Consulate at the time of submitting their application for endorsement of the MVV visa. Visa exempt nationals will need to provide their biometrics at an IND office or an Expat Center. The collection of the biometric data will take place at the time of the in-person application for the residence permit. In case the application is filed by mail, the applicant will need to make a separate visit to one of the IND offices at any time after the submission of the application to submit their biometrics, for which an appointment is not required. The Expat Center in Amsterdam has announced to be able to collect the biometric data as of February 2014.

Lifting of EU Registration Requirement

As of January 6, 2014 the requirement for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals to register their residence in The Netherlands at the IND and to obtain an IND residence sticker in their passport as proof of this registration has been lifted. The IND has made this decision because the registration only confirmed that the applicant was fulfilling the requirements for the right of residence at the date of registration, and on the other hand, someone could have the right of residence without having fulfilled the registration requirement. Going forward, to prove long term residence authorization it is now sufficient for an EU/EEA/Swiss national to show a valid EU/EEA/Swiss passport or identity card. This new rule also applies to nationals from the newest 3 EU countries: Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia. However, Croatian nationals do still need to obtain work authorization before carrying out any work activities.

It is important to note that the requirement to register one’s address at the local Town Hall if staying in The Netherlands for more than 4 months has not been lifted. This requirement still applies to all nationalities.


Employers should note that a copy of a valid passport or national identity card is now sufficient proof of legal residence for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals. It therefore is no longer necessary to ask employees from these countries to provide a copy of their IND sticker.

The implementation of biometric residence permits might, depending on their nationality and the application submission method, require employees and their family members to make an additional visit to an IND office to submit their biometrics. This, however, would take place before the start date of employment and therefore should not affect employers.

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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 Pro-Link GLOBAL’s Knowledge Management team. Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with our PLG | KGNM Correspondent Office in The Netherlands to provide you this update.

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