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Stay in the Netherlands as key personnel of an NGO

By Sofia Helbing

Charities, non-profit organisations or other non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) can bring managers or specialists – so called key personnel – to the Netherlands under special conditions.

The NGO must demonstrate that it is internationally oriented, and that it has more than 50 employees worldwide. Furthermore, the NGO must show that the manager or specialist is of direct importance to the NGO due to the organisation’s international activities.

The employee must be a manager or specialist with at least a degree from a university of applied sciences (‘hbo’ in Dutch), and their salary must be in line with market levels. This means that the terms of employment, employment relations or working conditions are not below the level required by law or as customary in the relevant industry. If the salary is in line with the applicable collective labour agreement, it will in principle be in line with market levels. The same is assumed if the salary is in line with the salary thresholds for highly skilled migrants: salary criteria.

The NGO acts as the employee’s sponsor for this application. As a sponsor, the NGO must comply with sponsor obligations. There is a sponsor duty regarding administration, and there is a duty to inform the IND on circumstances that may influence the right of residence of the specific employee. Failure to comply with these sponsor duties may lead to a fine.

The decision period for this application is 90 days. Depending on the nationality of the employee, the employee will have to collect an entry clearance visa (mvv) once the application is approved. The mvv must be collected at the Dutch embassy in the country or origin, or in the country where the employee currently holds a residence permit.  

The residence permit can initially be granted for a maximum of three years, after which the permit can be extended if the conditions are still met.

For more information about residence permits for key personnel of an NGO, please contact us.

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