In this GMS Flash Alert, we discuss the annual indexation effective 1 January of the salary requirement that applies to many immigration programs for skilled labor migrants in the Netherlands. Satisfying the salary requirement, which is set for various categories of highly-skilled migrants, may lead to the employer and its foreign employee benefitting from expedited immigration procedures. The new criteria apply to every application filed after 1 January 2020.
In this GMS Flash Alert, we discuss the annual indexation effective 1 January of the salary requirement that applies to many immigration programs for skilled labor migrants in the Netherlands.
Satisfying the salary requirement which is set for various categories of highly-skilled migrants may lead to the employer and its foreign employee benefitting from expedited immigration procedures.
Meeting the salary criterion requirement can make it easier for certain employers to determine beforehand if an employee will qualify for an expedited immigration procedure. Employers that are “Recognized Sponsors” can enjoy expedited immigration procedures for their highly-skilled migrants provided, principally, they satisfy the salary criterion.
An additional upshot of this expedited procedure is that it can allow for more effective international assignment planning, since the average processing time is just two to four weeks from the filing date to arrival date, as long as the required supporting documents are provided. Normally the processing time can take between eight weeks and three months.
Companies that make use of the procedure need to be aware of the new criteria to determine if their employees satisfy the conditions. The new criteria apply to every application filed after 1 January 2020. There is no requirement to adjust the salary if the employee still holds a valid residence permit; but your employee should meet the new requirement if his/her permit is up for renewal.
Dutch-based companies that have acquired official status as “Recognized Sponsor”1 from the Dutch immigration authorities may benefit from expedited immigration procedures with respect to their so-called qualifying highly-skilled migrants. Because of the expedited processing times and transparent criteria, the highly-skilled migrant procedure is a very popular immigration channel for companies in the Netherlands.
The main requirement is that the employee satisfies the salary requirement which is set for his/her category as noted below.
The salary criterion for these highly-skilled migrants is contained in the Foreign Nationals Employment Act Implementation Decree (Besluit uitvoering Wet arbeid vreemdelingen).2 This also stipulates that the indicated salaries are to be adjusted annually by ministerial regulation with effect from 1 January on the basis of recent index figures for negotiated wages, as published by Statistics Netherlands.3
The following gross monthly salaries (excluding vacation allowance) apply as of 1 January 2020:
||€4,612 (€4,500 for 2019)|
||€3,381 (€3,299 for 2019);|
||€2,423 (€2,364 for 2019);|
||€5,403 (€5,272 for 2019).|
Following changes in subordinate legislation in March 2015, these amounts now exclude the (mandatory) 8-percent vacation allowance.4
The salary criterion is assessed solely in light of the salary received in cash, i.e., the fixed contractual gross salary in cash. Non-cash salary payments and uncertain salary components such as over-time, tips, and benefit payments are therefore excluded. However, expense allowances may be included provided they are guaranteed and regularly paid each month.
It is also important that the salary be paid at least monthly into a bank account held by the employee. The pay-slips must be made available for inspection upon first request by the IND or Labor Inspectorate (“Inspectie SZW”).
Fixed allowances such a 13th month payment or fixed year-end bonus may only be included in the gross salary if these are laid down in the contract and if these are paid to the highly-skilled migrant on a monthly basis. Although it is uncommon that the 13th month’s salary payment or year-end bonus is paid on a monthly basis, in practice this is the only way it may contribute to the salary calculation.
Applications that have been filed before 1 January 2020, are subject to the 2019 salary criterion. (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2019-002, 7 January 2019.) The 2019 criterion also applies in situations where the Entry and Residence (Toegang en Verblijf; TEV) application was filed before 1 January 2020, but the highly-skilled migrant only arrives in the Netherlands in 2019.
The salary criterion also applies to applications for a residence permit that are filed for “intra corporate transfer” applications under the ICT Directive5.
In addition to these residence permit applications, the salary criterion also applies to the following types of applications for a work permit:
Besides the changes in the salary criterion, it’s usual that the applicable legal fees are also subject to changes with effect from the new calendar year. The new 2020 amounts, however, have not yet been announced.
1 See Flash International Executive Alert 2013-073, 3 May 2013, a publication of KPMG’s GMS practice. For a copy, please see your usual KPMG GMS or People Services contact.
2 To see (in Dutch) Besluit uitvoering Wet arbeid vreemdelingen, Geldend van 01-10-2019 t/m heden, click here.
3 See (in Dutch) Staatscourant 2019 Nr. 56680, “Mededeling van de Minister van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid van 23 november 2018, 2018-0000186071, over per 1 januari 2019 gewijzigde bedragen in enkele wetten, besluiten en regelinge”under section: I Besluit uitvoering Wet arbeid vreemdelingen by clicking here.
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in the Netherlands.
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