Long Stay categories
Long term stay: Highly skilled migrant program
In order to obtain a residence permit under the Highly Skilled Migrant Program (HSMP) the Dutch host entity that will sponsor the employee has to acquire the Recognized Sponsorship Status.
To be eligible, the following conditions must be met:
- the company is not insolvent or in a situation of suspension of payment or bankruptcy;
- the company and its shareholder and directors have not been bankrupt/insolvent over the past three years;
- the company did not receive any tax negligence penalty over the past four years;
- the company did not receive three or more penalties under the Aliens Act, Labour Act for Aliens or Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act over the past four years;
- the applicant organization, managing directors or other persons involved in the organization have been prosecuted for a crime (*).
Benefits of the Recognized Sponsorship Status are:
- the IND will endeavor to make a decision on an application within two weeks. If a work permit is required, this is extended to seven weeks;
- less support documents: in many cases, a statement that the applicant satisfies the requirements and a passport copy will suffice
- access to the facilities of Expatcenters
Sponsor duties for Recognized Sponsors are:
- duty to satisfy the salary requirement;
- reporting duties;
- record keeping duties;
- duty of care.
We can provide more information on the sponsorship duties upon request.
The legal set processing time is ninety days upon the day the IND receives the application, however the IND aims to decide in four weeks. The legal set processing time can be extended to six months in case further investigations are required.
In principle Recognized Sponsorship Status is issued for an indefinite period of time. It can be suspended or revoked however if the requirements are no longer satisfied and can be revoked in case the Dutch host entity has not applied for a highly skilled migrant permit in the last three years, and no longer sponsors any highly skilled workers.
If the Recognized Sponsorship Status is obtained, one can apply for an entry clearance visa (unless the applicant is a non-visa national) and a residence permit for the employee. The anticipated processing time is two weeks upon the day the IND receives the application. To be eligible for the highly skilled migrant, his salary must be according to the current thresholds on this page.
The salary must be in line with Dutch market level for the employee’s position.
Long term stay: Intra Company Transfer
Multinational corporate groups with entities in the EU, including the Netherlands, can transfer their personnel to one or more of these entities. As of 29 November 2016, the Netherlands has implemented EU Directive 2014/66 on the intra-company transfers of non-EU nationals (third-country nationals) to the entities of corporate groups in the member states that have adopted the Directive.
The ICT Directive is applicable to:
- non-EU nationals;
- under contract with an entity of the company outside the EU at the time of application and during the transfer;
- employees to be transferred to an entity of the company inside the EU;
- managers, specialists or trainees, as described in the Directive.
The following general conditions must be met:
- the foreign national is a manager, specialist or trainee
- the foreign national is qualified at a university or undergraduate level
- professions that appear on the list of regulated professions published by the Netherlands, such as pharmacist, architect or doctor must have accredited foreign qualifications
- the foreign national has been employed by the company for at least 3 months
- the foreign national possesses a valid employment or trainee contract with an employer outside of the EU or an assignment letter from an employer
- the foreign national has a principle residence outside the Netherlands at the time of application
- the foreign national has not resided in the Netherlands on the basis of the ICT-Directive in the last 6 months
- the foreign national returns to a corporate group outside the EU after the transfer period expires
- the salary meets statutory minimum wage and vacation pay requirements
- the salary meets the industry benchmark considering position, age, expertise and experience
- the host entity and sending entity belong to the same corporate group
- the host entity is not established for the purpose to facilitate entry into the EU
- the transferee spends the longest time in the Netherlands
- the host entity has not been previously sanctioned for undeclared work or illegal employment
- the host entity conducts economic activities; secondment of company employees in the Netherlands is allowed as a core economic activity of the entity
- there is no reason to reject the application because it does not meet the general admission requirements of the Aliens Act; art.16 Vw.
The salary must be in line with Dutch market level for the employee’s position. The gross monthly salaries considered to be market level can be found on this page.
The processing time of an ICT application filed by a Recognized Sponsor is 2 weeks. The processing time of an ICT application filed by a non-Recognized Sponsor is 7 weeks to 90 days.
Long term stay: European Blue Card
The third long term category is the European Blue Card.
To apply for a European Blue Card the Recognized Sponsorship Status is not required. We would apply for an entry clearance visa (unless the applicant is a non-visa national) and a residence permit in the name of the employee.
To be eligible, the following conditions must be met:
- the assignee must have completed a higher education degree education (Bsc and/or Master) with a duration of at least three years. The degree must be attested by the Dutch Institute for Diploma Evaluation;
- the assignee must have Dutch employee protection, under Dutch employment laws, with the host company;
- the monthly base salary is according to the threshold on this page.
The processing time for the degree validation by the Dutch Institute for Diploma Evaluation is two weeks.
The processing time for the European Blue Card by the Dutch Immigration Department is 90 days.
The EU Blue Card offers mobility within the Member States of the European Union after 18 months of legal residence in the first Member State as an EU Blue Card holder. The EU Blue Card holder and his family members are allowed to move to another Member State for the purpose of highly qualified employment as meant in the EU Blue Card Directive. The applicant would need to file a complete application for a new EU Blue Card in the other Member State. The EU Blue Card is not some sort of European residence permit.
EC-Long term residence permit
After five years of legal and continuous stay in The Netherlands, every migrant may qualify for a permanent EC long term residence permit under Directive 2003/109/EC. The EU Blue Card holder however is allowed to accumulate periods of residence in different Member States in order to fulfil the requirements of 5 years of legal and continuous stay. Provided, that the applicant has legal and continuous residence for two years immediately prior to the submission within the territory of the Member State, where the application for the EC-long term residence permit is lodged.
Short Stay categories
Short term stay: Business visitors
Business visitors are foreign nationals who come to the Netherlands for a short-term visit and for this purpose will not stay beyond 90 days in any period of 180 days.
As regards entry and stay for a business visit, the Netherlands applies the visa rules of the European Union. The Netherlands belongs to the group of so-called Schengen countries; these are the countries in Europe which apply a single set of common rules to determine a visa application and all use a uniform visa format called ‘Schengen visa’.
To date, the Schengen countries are:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The type of Schengen visa required for a business visit is called Schengen visa Type C; this type of visa allows the visitor to stay up to 90 days in any period of 180 days in any of the Schengen countries. This means, that a foreign national business visitor must comply with this rule on every day of the visit, from the day of arrival in any of the Schengen countries through the day of departure from any of the so-called Schengen countries in Europe.
Why visa compliance in Schengen countries?
The governments of the European Schengen States prepared in this Guideline all take immigration non-compliance very seriously. The administration and enforcement of their visa policies including applying of sanctions are harmonized by the legal framework of the Schengen Borders Code and the Schengen Visa Code. The penalties resulting from non-compliance range from the imposition of a fine to refusal at the border, border detention, deportation and the issuance of an entry ban for the Schengen Area up to 2 years. Border management in the Schengen Area is supported by large-scale IT systems such as the Schengen Information System (SIS) recording inter alia all entry bans and unwanted persons. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that both the visa and the national work authorization rules and processes are complied with by business visitors in the designated Schengen countries.
On the basis of international treaties conducted by the EU in the form of bilateral trade agreements with certain third countries, business visitors from those countries are also allowed a duration of stay up to ninety days within a time frame of twelve months.
At this point, you need to establish on the basis of your nationality whether you are a visitor, subject to a Schengen visa-requirement: please see this web link.
Duration of stay
Visitors to the Schengen Area can stay for a maximum period of 90 days within any
given 180 days’ time window, regardless how this is calculated.
- 'Any given’ implies a ‘rolling’ 180 days period. A visitor cannot be in the Schengen Area for more than 90 days, counting back 180 days from each day of the stay. This means that only an absence for an uninterrupted period of 90 days allows for a new stay for up to 90 days.
- Only days in Schengen on visitor status are relevant for the 90 days calculation. Days spent in a Schengen country on the basis of a Residence Permit or Long Stay Visa for that country are not included in this calculation, but days in other Schengen countries during that period (where the applicant does not hold a residence permit or D-Visa ) are included.
- The EC has developed a ‘Schengen Calculator’ tool enabling visitors to calculate their remaining visitor days in Schengen, available for the public here.
Visitors to the Schengen Area must also observe various other requirements and may
need to report arrival with a local authority. In the Netherlands, one does not need to
Work as a Business Visitor in Schengen countries
A Schengen visa does not allow work in the host country. A Schengen visa only allows entry and stay. Work of any sort by non EU national business visitors is as yet not harmonized by a regulatory framework of the European Union. Work as a business visitor is governed by the national immigration rules of each Schengen country.
Work as a business visitor to the Netherlands
A short term visit for business purposes to the Netherlands may cover a wide range of activities.
Business visitors typically are employed and paid by a company outside the Netherlands. They come to the Netherlands to carry out activities relating to their job, e.g. attending conferences, meetings or participating in training. Such activities are usually organized as a business meeting or a conference held in a smaller meeting or larger conference room. In principle, the Netherlands’ Work by foreign nationals Act requires that a work permit is obtained prior to the foreign being engaged in such activities.
However, exceptions - work permit waivers - are applicable to employed business activities, which can be qualified as both incidental and temporary. The below list is not exhaustive; the most important categories for companies are the following:
- To participate in business meetings; multiple visits are allowed but the visits should not exceed 13 weeks in a period of 52 weeks.
This waiver includes:
• managers, professionals, and specialists sharing procedures for the mutual benefit of the home country employer and the local entity;
• employees of the sending foreign company to negotiate a business deal;
• any round the table gathering of participants who will engage in discussing the developments or the management of the hosting company;
• sales representatives who meet with customers or accompany customers to various sites in the Netherlands.
Any activity relating to the primary production process or the core business activity of the hosting company is excluded from this waiver; such activity is considered work, which is forbidden without a work permit.
- Being employed abroad within the same group of companies, receiving in-company training or tuition in the Netherlands’ entity. The program is limited to observation, familiarizing with the company culture, receiving instructions in a conference or a classroom or other clear situation of training and instruction under the guidance of a trainer. The program may also include participating in meetings that are organized to promote the company’s culture. A one-time visit for this purpose must not exceed 12 consecutive weeks within a period of 36 weeks.
- Computer specialists, manufacturing technicians, and other foreign employees traveling to the Netherlands to install or repair equipment or install and implement software products, and train others to use the equipment or the software products, provided that the equipment and the software is manufactured and supplied by the home country company of the employee; for such activities the requirement to obtain a work permit prior to arrival is waived for a one time visit up to a maximum of 12 weeks in a period of 36 weeks.
Employees traveling to the Netherlands to engage in these activities must be able to document exactly what equipment or software they will be installing, and what service or training they will provide as an accessory to the installation. In view of this, it is advisable to apply for a waiver assessment with the Dutch Work Permit Authority prior to arrival.
- Corporate lawyers assisting local lawyers in the Netherlands in resolving issues when the nature of the activity can broadly be construed as meetings; multiple visits are allowed but the visits should not exceed 4 weeks in a period of 13 weeks.
- Sales and marketing personnel from abroad soliciting orders, providing product information, negotiating contracts, and resolving issues with customers; multiple visits are allowed but the visits for this purpose should not exceed 4 weeks in a period of 13 week.
- Individuals involved in setting up and representing the home country company at exhibitions for a one time visit not to exceed 12 weeks in a period of 36 weeks.
- Attending seminars and exhibitions organized by a hosting company, trade organizations, universities, etc. The visit does not involve any type of work; multiple visits are allowed but the period of stay is not to exceed 90 days in any 180 day period or the duration of the visa.
- Business visitors who are legally residing in another Member State on a residence permit as an intra-company transferee, issued under Directive EC 2014/66, are allowed to visit and work at a company in the Netherlands that is a subsidiary of their employer’s group of undertakings, provided the activity is properly notified to the Labor Directorate (UWV) ultimately two days prior to the commencement of the activity.
Short term stay: Highly skilled migrant (short term) work permit
For an assignment up to 90 days, an applicant can be eligible for a short-term work permit under the Highly Skilled Migrant Program, provided that:
- the employer has the Recognized Sponsorship status;
- the employee will receive a gross monthly salary according to the salary criteria on this page;
- the applicant’s salary can be considered market level in the Netherlands;
- in case of a non-visa national: the employee will not exceed 90 days in a 180 days’ time window in the Schengen area; in case of a visa-national: the employee obtains a Schengen visa.
The processing time of the application by the Labour Authority is 3 to 5 weeks.