procedures highly skilled migrants

What are the different procedures for hiring highly skilled migrants?

M. (Miriam) Berendes-Curreymr. D.O. (David) Wernsingon

When your organisation has been recognised by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) as a sponsor for the purpose of stay 'Regular employment and highly skilled migration', you can hire a highly skilled migrant. But which steps should you take to do this successfully? The first step is to determine which procedure you need to follow to apply for or extend your residence permit. In this blog we will explain the different procedures and the corresponding points of attention.

Broadly speaking, there are 5 different procedures:

  • Procedure for Entry and residence (TEV);

  • Procedure for Regular Residence Permit (VVR);

  • Change the purpose of residence permit to highly skilled migrant;

  • Registering a highly skilled migrant;

  • Extension of residence permit highly skilled migrant;

The first two procedures are, in principle, applicable to - future - highly skilled migrants who are still residing abroad. The last three procedures involve a residence permit that has already been granted in the Netherlands.

Which situation and procedure apply to the - future – highly skilled migrant is partly decisive for the wage criterion to be applied. We will elaborate on this part in a new blog next week.

Procedure for Entry and residence (TEV)

This procedure applies to third-country nationals who have a nationality that requires an MVV and who do not have a right of residence in the Netherlands. For these persons, you must submit an application via the Business Portal of the IND, after which a decision will, in principle, follow within 2 weeks. The IND will then send a message to the Dutch representation (embassy or consulate) in the country of origin or permanent residence - you can indicate the preferred location for collecting the MVV in the online portal.

The future employee then schedules an appointment at the Dutch representation to apply for an MVV and to hand over his biometric data with which the residence document can be produced in the Netherlands. This appointment must take place within 3 months after notification from the IND. Issuing the MVV takes about 2 weeks on average, after which the highly skilled migrant can travel to The Netherlands. The MVV is valid for 3 months and has the labour market endorsement 'Work as a Highly Skilled Migrant'. This means that upon arrival the highly skilled migrant can in principle start working immediately, even if the residence document is not yet available. However, the highly skilled migrant must obtain his residence document from the IND desk before the MVV expires, and the recognised sponsor must include a copy of both documents in his administration.

If there are no special circumstances, the highly skilled migrant can start working on average 5-7 weeks after submitting the application.

Procedure for Regular Residence Permit (VVR)

This procedure also applies to third country nationals who do not yet have a right of residence in the Netherlands. However, this concerns third-country nationals who are exempt from the MVV requirement. This may be on the basis of nationality, a residence permit in another Schengen country or previous residence in the Netherlands. Please feel free to contact us for a detailed explanation.

You can submit an application for residence as a highly skilled migrant via the Business Portal of the IND and, in principle, a decision will be made within 2 weeks. These employees do not need an MVV and can travel to the Netherlands immediately. They will have to make an appointment with an IND desk to submit their biometric data, which are necessary for the residence document. After issuing the biometric data, the IND needs about 2 weeks to create the residence document. The highly skilled migrant can only start working with a valid residence document. This means that he or she will have to wait for his residence document or schedule an appointment - possibly at the same time as the issue of biometric data - to obtain a residence endorsement sticker in his passport. In both cases, a copy of the valid residence document must be included in the administration of the recognised sponsor.

If there are no special circumstances, the highly skilled migrant can start working on average 2-4 weeks after the application has been submitted.

Change the purpose of residence permit to highly skilled migrant

When a third country national already has a residence permit in the Netherlands, he can choose to change his residence permit to a different purpose of stay. There can be various reasons for this. In practice, we often see that those who reach the end of their search year for highly educated persons change their residence to highly skilled migrant. After all, this search year serves the purpose of finding a job as a highly skilled migrant and the change is therefore a logical consequence of this. In other cases, it is advisable to carefully examine the motives of the person in question to change his purpose of stay.

For example, does it concern a person who derives his right of residence from living with a partner and has this relationship come to an end? In such a case, it is important to check whether the possibility to change still applies or whether a new application must be submitted - whether or not with exemption from the MVV requirement. The duty of care on the part of the recognised sponsor plays an important role here and is assessed strictly by the IND.

If it indeed concerns a change of restriction, it is important to submit the change in time, so that no residence gap occurs. It must also be carefully examined whether the person in question can obtain a residence endorsement sticker allowing him to work while awaiting the decision or whether a decision is required first.

In principle, this procedure will take about 2 weeks, after the application has been submitted via the Business Portal of the IND.

Registering a highly skilled migrant

If a third country national is already working in the Netherlands and he wants to change employers, in most cases this can be realised quite easily. However, the new employer will have to be alert to a number of things.

A highly skilled migrant can only change employers during the search period. The search period is maximum 3 months and may not exceed the validity of the residence permit. Recognised sponsors are responsible for checking whether the change of employer actually takes place within the search period. This can be checked by requesting evidence that the employment contract with the previous recognised sponsor was terminated no more than 3 months before the start of the new employment contract. If the search period has already expired, in most cases a new application will have to be submitted - with or without exemption from the MVV requirement. This can have consequences in the form of a residence gap and thus for the applicable wage criterion when the highly skilled migrant is eligible for the reduced wage criterion.

Does the change fall within the search period and are there no other particulars? The change must be reported within 28 days. This can be done via the Business Portal of the IND.

Extension of residence permit highly skilled migrant

If the residence permit of the highly skilled migrant is shorter than the agreed employment contract, an application for extension of the residence permit will also have to be submitted. This can be done up to 3 months before the residence permit expires. The IND will use the statutory period for making a decision of 90 days for this purpose.

Has the residence permit expired and has the IND not yet taken a decision on the application for extension? The highly skilled migrant can continue to carry out his work. However, it is recommended to apply for a residence endorsement sticker and to include a copy of this in the administration.

When it concerns an extension for a highly skilled migrant who already works for the recognised sponsor, the indexation of the wage must be taken into account. Which points of attention there are for the wage criterion will be discussed in our blog next week.

Do you have any questions about this topic? Please do not hesitate to contact Miriam Berendes-Currey or David Wernsing.  They are happy to assist you!

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