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21

How it was
As of April 1, 2017, religious organisations looking to sponsor religious workers had to demonstrate their continuity and solvency by submitting an annual report with an unqualified audited report by a chartered accountant.

This created issues as many religious organisations do not have annual reports or are unable to instruct an accountant to carry out an audit because their organisation does not qualify for it. Moreover, an audit can be very expensive. Another issue was that it is not possible to obtain an audit report, retroactively, for a year already financially closed.

In cooperation with the Konferentie Nederlandse Religieuzen (an umbrella organisation for catholic orders and congregations), Everaert submitted the practical and legal objections to the requirement, to the policy department of the IND, which has now decided to abolish the requirement for an unqualified auditor's report

What has changed?
From January 1, 2018, the IND will consider the following materials as evidence, demonstrating the continuity and solvency of a  religious institute:

  • A Statement on payment behaviour, issued by the Tax Service, and:
  • An unqualified audit of the annual accounts of the previous year, or:
  • A Report on the Findings, prepared by an accountant, demonstrating the continuity and solvency of the religious institute, or:
  • A statement, prepared by the religious organisation’s bank

What does this mean for pending cases?
The new policy will be applied to applications that are received by the IND on or after 1 January 2018 and applications and objections that are pending at that date. In court appeals, the court will, in principle, not apply the new policy, in which case you can make an new application.

More information
If you have any question regarding this policy change or would like more information about residence for religious workers, please feel free to contact our specialists Thomas van Houwelingen and Marcel Reurs.

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