What is the change? The Dutch Ministry of Justice recently announced that immigration authorities will increase site inspections this year to ensure that recognized sponsors are fulfilling their duties.

What does the change mean? Recognized sponsors should anticipate a site visit by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) and an inspection that will focus on recognized sponsors’ core duties—the duty of disclosure, duty of administration and duty of care.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing. Inspections will be conducted throughout 2018.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
  • Who is affected: Recognized sponsors in the Netherlands.
  • Business impact: Companies that are not meeting their obligations may be sanctioned and, in extreme cases, could have their status as a recognized sponsor suspended.

Background: Plans for the increased inspections were developed after the Ministry of Justice audited the IND, finding that the IND had not been keeping a close enough watch on recognized sponsors. The minister of justice responded by saying he would step up enforcement to ensure compliance with recognized sponsors’ core duties. Those duties are:

  • The duty of disclosure. Employers must inform IND of any changes to company structure, including mergers, changes of business address, changes of designated contact persons, bankruptcy or criminal proceedings against the company. Employers must also inform IND of the termination of foreign employees or a reduction of their salaries.
  • The duty of administration. Employers must retain key documents for current and former foreign employees, including copies of work permit approvals, residence permits, passports and payslips.
  • The duty of care. Employers must act responsibly in their recruitment of foreign employees.

Authorities have said that IND will provide advance notice of inspections, but it is not clear at this point how much notice will be given or how the notice will be provided.

BAL Analysis: The Netherlands is taking steps to ensure that recognized sponsors are meeting their core obligations. BAL is working with clients in the Netherlands to prepare for inspections and can assist with questions employers have about the increased compliance activity.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in the Netherlands. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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