By our IAC Paola Hoek
Now that 2012 is in its 4th quarter, let’s look back on some of the changes in the Dutch Immigration Law regarding family reunion and short term stay. How has it affected our labour migration practise?
As per October 1, 2012 the changes of Family Migration have come into effect. What are the changes?
In short, the definition of what constitutes a ‘dependent’ has become stricter. Not married non-EU partners will no longer receive a residence permit for the Netherlands as dependents unless:
a| they have concluded a registered partnership, or
b| they are able to prove that they were legally not allowed to marry in their home country (e.g. same-sex couples).
The same stricter definition applies to children over 18 years of age as well as parents, including those of 65 years and older, of persons residing in the Netherlands.
These non-EU individuals are also no longer eligible for family forming and/or reunification and will not be granted a residence permit. Unmarried partners will no longer be accepted for family reunification or formation, unless they may not marry due to the laws in their country of origin. If this is the case, a temporary marriage permit can be applied for at the IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Department) in the Netherlands. With this permit the couple will have a six-month time frame in which to arrange for a marriage or legal partnership. These new rules will apply to all applications filed after 30 September 2012, including requests for MVV entry visa.
How does this affect labour migration, what does this mean to an employer?
When considering an employee for an assignment to the Netherlands, it is important to realise that it will no longer be self-evident that the employee may bring his or her non-EU partner or other non-EU family members. A couple may be obliged to enter into a marriage prior to relocating to the Netherlands. Employers should carefully review present and future Dutch immigration regulations with their immigration expert before offering an assignment.
Short term stay
When a non-EU individual is entering the Netherlands, the Dutch government is always asking two questions:
1. How long will the individual stay, and
2. What is the purpose of his visit?
A non-EU citizen staying the Netherlands for 3 months or less might need a visa to enter our country, yet will not require a residence permit. The purpose of stay might be labour and for that a work permit is needed.
The new short term highly skilled migrant permit, available since January 1, 2012, is a way to have a non-EU individual work in the Netherlands for a short term project. The requirements of the regular highly skilled migrant permit are applicable and need to be met in order for the UWV (Governmental Employment Agency) to issue a work permit. At the same time, the work permit will be available within 2 weeks instead of the regular 5 weeks. The pilot will run from 1 January 2012 until the end of 2013, in order to allow ample time to assess whether the simplified procedure should be implemented definitively.
So far, it seems like a very useful solution to what the labour market and the employers need!