What is the change? The state secretary of justice has announced changes to government filing fees under the Highly Skilled Migrant Program (HSMP) beginning Jan. 1, 2017 and will delay the proposed reintroduction of work permit requirements on Japanese nationals until that date.

What does the change mean? In a July 6 letter, the state secretary of justice announced to the Second Chamber of Parliament that he will increase the government fee for entry and stay approvals and residence permits under the HSMP to €910, while the government fee for companies applying for recognized-sponsor status who have fewer than 50 employees or who are reapplying due to a change in legal status will decrease significantly to €2,592 (half of the current amount). Although the state secretary’s announcement only related to the HSMP, companies should expect that the government fee for single permit and European Blue Card applications could likely change to € 910 as well, since the fees for HSMP, single permit and Blue Card are normally set at the same amount.

  • Implementation time frame:  Jan. 1, 2017.
  • Visas/permits affected: Recognized sponsor status applications, entry and stay approvals, residence permits, single permits, EU Blue Cards; work permits for Japanese nationals.
  • Business impact: The change in fees will increase costs for companies hiring non-EU nationals under the HSMP and the EU Blue Card Program and reduce costs for companies with fewer than 50 employees applying for recognized-sponsor status or reapplying due to a change in legal entity.

Background: The Immigration and Naturalisation Service announced last month that it would reintroduce work permit requirements for Japanese nationals beginning Oct. 1. This week, the minister of social affairs and employment announced that the requirements would be delayed until Jan. 1, 2017. Currently, Japanese nationals are exempt from work permits based a 2014 court decision, A case now pending in a Dutch appeals court may affect whether the authorities may reintroduce work permit requirement

BAL Analysis: Companies should adjust their budget for the new government fees beginning next year. BAL is following the status of Japanese nationals and will report any additional developments.

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