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Immigration Law Updates

SMALL FAMILY BUSINESSES BENEFIT FROM THE INTRA CORPORATE TRANSFEREES PROGRAM

November 3, 2019

The Intra Corporate Transferees Program, a preferential work permit program, may appear to be beneficial only to large multinational companies. However, the IND practice demonstrates that a small family run business, such as an Indian trade company specializing in chemicals and petro-chemical products, can also rely on this program to obtain work permits without job validation tests. By means of e.g. purchase orders, the business must demonstrate substantial economic activities in The Netherlands.

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DUTCH WORKING HOLIDAY VISA - NO MORE RESTRICTIONS

October 1, 2019

The Working Holiday Exchange Program states that young Canadians, Australians, South Koreans, New Zealanders and Argentines are allowed to remain legally in The Netherlands for one full year. During this time, they have unlimited access to the Dutch labor market. In 2018, the Dutch government determined that applicants for the Dutch Working Holiday Visa could not work for the same employer for more than 12 weeks. However, this restriction was eliminated on October 1, 2019. Nevertheless, full time work is still not allowed throughout the year.

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ONCE FULL ACCESS, ALWAYS FULL ACCESS IS NOT ALWAYS APPLICABLE

August 30, 2019

For many years, there was a Dutch law allowing one to keep one’s full access to the Dutch labor market, when this right was attached to one’s previous residency permit and a different residency permit was granted. In 2018, the IND determined that this rule no longer applied to those who had unlimited access to the Dutch labor market on the basis of international agreements, such as the EC-Treaty, the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between Japan and The Netherlands and the Working Holiday Programs with e.g. Australia, New-Zealand and Canada.

In March 2019, the Dutch Immigration Courts ruled that this interpretation of IND was incorrect. However, by amending the Immigration Act on October 1, 2019, those who previously were allowed full access to the Dutch labor market on the basis of international agreements are now explicitly excluded from the “once full access, always full access” principle.

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ENTREPRENEUR’S FAMILY MEMBERS RECEIVE FULL ACCESS TO THE DUTCH LABOR MARKET

June 3, 2019

To encourage business startups to The Netherlands, an immigrant’s spouse and other family members will be allowed full access to the Dutch labor market. Although it has not been determined when this measure to stimulate the Dutch economy will become effective, it is expected to begin sometime in 2020. By then, partners of startups, but also partners of freelancers and entrepreneurs under the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty or the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between Japan and The Netherlands, will be allowed to accept employment in The Netherlands without restrictions.

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WORK PERMIT IS REQUIRED ONCE AGAIN FOR JAPANESE CITIZENS AS OF JANUARY 1, 2017

November 15, 2016

Background:
The Treaty of Amity and Commerce between Japan and The Netherlands offers Japanese nationals preferential treatment for those who wish to become a resident, reunite a family, take up employment or establish a business in The Netherlands. The Dutch court ruling of December 24, 2014, regarding “Shofukan,” determined that Japanese citizens are allowed full access to the Dutch labor market. In that case, the Dutch courts ruled that Japanese citizens must be treated legally the same as Swiss nationals, according to a treaty with Switzerland of 1875.

Since Swiss nationals have full access to the Dutch labor market, Japanese citizens also qualified for full access to the Dutch labor market. In other words, a work permit is not required and they need not comply with the Highly Skilled Migrant Worker salary thresholds to be able to work as an employee in The Netherlands.

Court Case of November 11, 2016
The Dutch courts determined that Japanese citizens must no longer be governed like Swiss nationals since the 1875 treaty with Switzerland has been invalidated by a later agreement between the EU and Switzerland making it no longer relevant. Therefore, Dutch law returns the status before the “Shofukan ruling,” which determines that Japanese citizens be governed like American nationals, according to the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty. Therefore, it can be relatively easy to obtain a self-employed residency permit, but Japanese citizens are no longer exempted from the work permit requirement as of January 1, 2017.

7. Consequences as from January 1, 2017
Employment: If you are a Japanese citizen, taking up employment in The Netherlands, your employer must apply for a work permit on your behalf, or your employer must pay the minimum salary threshold for Highly Skilled Migrant Workers.
Self-employment: If you are a Japanese citizen wishing to establish a business in The Netherlands, you will be allowed to work only as a freelancer or entrepreneur.
Family member employment: If you are a Japanese citizen, taking up employment or establishing a business in The Netherlands, and your family accompanies you, your family will no longer be allowed full access to the Dutch labor market.
Existing employment permits: If you currently hold a residence permit for employment or self-employment in The Netherlands with full access to the Dutch labor market, when your residency permit is extended, the IND will limit your access to the Dutch labor market.

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FAMILY MEMBERS OF ENTREPRENEURS HAVE THE RIGHT TO WORK IN A SELF-EMPLOYED CAPACITY

September 10, 2016

Family members of entrepreneurs or freelancers, with a residence permit under the Dutch immigration program for independents and business proprietors, or the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty, have an equal right to conduct business or provide services in The Netherlands. This was recently confirmed by the IND in a court case pending with the District Court of Amsterdam. In addition, the District Court of Amsterdam ruled that one’s residency card should indicate this right explicitly.

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