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[update 3 July 2020]

The measures against the spread of COVID-19 have a huge impact on the Dutch business community. The Dutch government has introduced a number of measures in order to support self-employed professionals and to maintain as many jobs as possible during this time of crisis. One of these is the Temporary measure for self-employed professionals (TOZO).

The original bridging measure (TOZO 1) has been extended with 4 months: TOZO 2. TOZO 2 income support only applies to the months June to September. You can also apply for a loan for business capital to a maximum amount of €10,157. TOZO 2 is retroactively applicable from the 1st of June, so it is possible to apply at a later date. If you already applied for income support under TOZO 1, you can submit a shortened application for TOZO 2 as soon as your municipality has this in place.

In order to qualify for income support under TOZO, you need to fulfill the requirements. Check krijgiktozo.nl to see if you are eligible and consult this infographic to determine which steps further to undertake. Be aware that the requirements of TOZO 2 differ from TOZO 1. These are the changes:

  • For income support under TOZO 2, the partner test is applicable. Your income and your partner’s income combined have to be under the social minimum due to the corona crisis.
  • You cannot apply for a loan for business capital if you have filed for suspension of payment or petitioned for bankruptcy.

Persons legally residing in the Netherlands can also claim TOZO benefits if they meet the requirements of the measure. The municipality is not required to report those with a residence permit applying for TOZO to the IND.

However, TOZO is paid through public funds for which no premiums are paid. Normally this would have consequences for one’s residency rights. During this crisis the situation is slightly different.

Residence permit for self-employment

On 17 April, 2020, the State Secretary of Justice and Security confirmed that entrepreneurs with a residence permit on the basis of self-employment can apply for TOZO benefits without any negative consequences for their residency rights. This has to do with the extraordinary circumstances and the temporary nature of the measure.

This means that all people with a residence permit for self-employment (including holders of a DAFT permit and self-employed artists) can apply for TOZO benefits without negative consequences for their residency rights, or those of their partner or family member, if you are their sponsor. You are however obliged to notify the IND of your TOZO application.

Stay with spouse / partner

In general, using public funds can have consequences on the residency rights of family members. However, holders of a residence permit for staying with a family member are protected by European regulations. This means that any use of public funds can never automatically lead to a withdrawal of the residence permit. The IND will always have to check whether the withdrawal is proportional. In this situation, the IND has to take into account that the TOZO application is temporary, that we find ourselves in an extraordinary situation and that all circumstances of the individual case must be considered whereas at the same time entrepreneurs will not suffer any negative consequences on their residency right when applying for TOZO.

European Union citizens

EU-nationals who are self-employed, who meet the hour criterion and have a viable business have residency right as being “economically active”. In this situation, public funds can be claimed without consequences for their residency rights.

If, due to the crisis, the company is no longer active, applying for TOZO could have consequences for the residency rights but only when the use of TOZO benefits would be considered “unreasonable”. The current circumstances and temporary nature of the use of public funds will have to be taken into account in this scenario as well. The IND must weigh all interests at stake.

For more information about your residence status during this time, please contact Hermie de Voer or Thomas van Houwelingen.

UPDATE: Travel restrictions lifted for unmarried partners (short stay)

[Update: July 27 2020]

On July 16 the Minister of Justice and Security has announced that the travel restrictions for unmarried partners from non-EU countries will be relaxed from July 27, 2020. Further details have been published.   

Read more ...

Travel restrictions lifted

[31 July 2020]

Algeria was removed from the list.

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Need help with travelling to the Netherlands?

Travel restrictions

Since March 2020, traveling to Europe has become a lot more difficult. Travelers from outside the EU can only travel to the Netherlands if their visit is deemed essential. In fact this meant that nobody could enter the Netherlands unless one of these exemptions applied.

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Important news for orientation year permit holders

To be eligible for a residence permit as a highly skilled migrant, your employer will have to comply with the salary criteria. Until now, recent graduates would be eligible for the lowest salary threshold, provided an application is lodged before the end date of the 'orientation year permit'.

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UPDATE: Travel restrictions

[update 31 July 2020]

The Dutch Immigration Department has confirmed that travelers living in a country for which travel restrictions still apply but who, based on their nationality, are exempt from the entry clearance visa (MVV) requirement, can enter the Netherlands if they hold an IND approval letter confirming that they are granted a residence permit in the following categories:

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Lifting of travel restrictions from July 1, 2020

The travel restrictions for the EU, the Schengen member states and the UK recommended by the European Commission, have been extended until July 1, 2020. The rules, recommended by the EC about three months ago, remain in place: all non-essential travel will be banned, unless a waiver applies.

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UPDATE: Extension of entry ban

The Dutch Cabinet has decided to adopt the EU-proposal of an entry ban for non-essential travel. Entry into the Netherlands from a third country (outside the EU and Schengen member states and the UK) is banned up until 1 July 2020. 

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