The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has announced very recently that the Enforcement department of the IND will perform inspection visits to employers acting as recognised sponsors in 2018. The inspection will focus on whether your company as recognized sponsor is compliant with the duties under the Dutch Immigration Act. These duties are: a duty to inform, a duty to administrate and a duty of care.
Violation of these duties can lead to sanctions: to a warning, a financial penalty of EUR 1,500 to EUR 3,000 per violation, or the suspension or even revokement of the status of being a recognized sponsor.
The Immigration Authorities will not visit your company unexpectedly. Companies will be selected by the IND on a random basis. In case your company is selected for an Inspection Visit, the Enforcement department of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service will schedule an appointment with the IND contact person in your company. Before the Enforcement department officers will visit your company, your company may be requested to provide relevant documents to the officers. In that way the Enforcement department officers already gains insight in the way your company is compliant with the duties under the Immigration Act.
The inspection visits of the IND will be done on a random basis. Has your organisation been selected for an inspection visit? In that case the Enforcement department will make an appointment with you. For this inspection visit the IND may ask you to provide documents from your administration. In that way the Enforcement department gains insight in the way your organisation implements the existing requirements. In applications from recognised sponsors the IND takes ‘own statements’ as basis. To be able to continue doing this, it is of vital importance that recognised sponsors correctly and accurately meet these requirements.
Below we will describe the duty to inform, the duty to administrate and the duty of care.
Under the duty to inform, the company as a recognized sponsor is obliged to report to IND within 28 days, any change that may be relevant to the residence status of the foreigner that is employed by the company. These are termination of the employment contract, change in job title, reduction in salary so that the applicable salary threshold is no longer met, address change in the Netherlands, repatriation, or leave of the Netherlands. In case the company moves address this has to be reported within 14 days.
Under the duty to administrate the company has to keep in its records all relevant information regarding the foreign worker, like copy of passport, CV, diploma, residence permit card, employment contract, payslips and address details of the foreigner. The company must have this information in its records for 5 years after ending of the employment agreement.
Under the duty of care the company must be able to show to the Enforcement department officers that the foreign worker is carefully recruited and selected and that the foreign worker is informed before starting to work about the Immigration rules in the Netherlands.
The Immigration and Naturalisation Service is going to perform Inspections in 2018 because of an investigation report by the Inspection for Justice and Security in 2017. The Inspection for Justice and Security reached to the conclusion that the supervision of companies acting as recognized sponsor by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service is not sufficiently effective. Therefore the IND takes measures to intensify the enforcement of the compliance duties.
Would you like to know if your company as recognized sponsor is being compliant with the duties under the Dutch Immigration Act? Kroes Advocaten Immigration Lawyers is your sparring partner. Mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sander Groen has written several articles on the compliance duties for companies being a recognized sponsor. Read more (articles are in Dutch):