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The Minister of Social Affairs and Employment has decided to terminate the special regulation for employing non-EU chefs in Asian restaurants (paragraph 19a Ruwav 2014). 

The regulation was created to help ease a structural shortage of qualified chefs in the Asian catering industry.

It offers a more flexible treatment of applications for a work permit or a combined work and residence permit (GVVA) for non-EU chefs to work in an Asian specialty restaurant in the Netherlands. It drops the obligation for the employer to demonstrate sufficient recruitment efforts (the ‘labor market test’). The regulation does stipulate requirements for the qualifications of the chef and the specialization level of the restaurant.

In response to media publications and observations from Immigration and Liaison Officers in China about misuse of the regulation, the Dutch government has now decided to end the special regulation.

The decision to end the regulation enters into force on 1 January 2022.

The period from 1 January until 1 February 2022 is a transitional period. During this month the requirement of the employer to demonstrate sufficient efforts to recruit staff locally or within the European labor market, not leading to a suitable candidate, will not be applicable yet. However, the employer must be able to explain why a qualified Asian chef is needed and must be able to support this with documents if this is requested by the Netherlands Employees Insurance Agency (UWV). Also, the vacancy notification must be submitted with the UWV 5 weeks before the application, instead of the shortened notification term of 3 weeks.

From 1 February 2022, applications for a work permit or a GVVA will be examined on the basis of the general rules for work permits applicable to third country nationals. This means that the labor market test fully applies. The recruitment efforts must have been made for a period of 3 months prior to the application. Besides this, the employer must submit a notification of the vacancy to the UWV at least 5 weeks prior to the application.

For applications for extensions of the work permit or GVVA which was issued on the basis of the special regulation, the regulation remains applicable. It is important to apply for the extension of the permit well in advance of the expiry date.

Whether an alternative regulation for the Asian catering industry will be introduced in the future, is uncertain. The Minister expressed the will to examine this, because the shortage of qualified chefs in the Dutch Asian catering industry is unsolved.

If you still want to invoke the special regulation for the Asian catering industry before it ends, please contact Lotte van Diepen or Adam Diels. Please make sure to get in touch as soon as possible because the application should be thoroughly substantiated. The application must also be preceded by a vacancy notification.

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