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OBTAINING RECOGNIZED SPONSOR STATUS: Checking that box with Dutch Immigrations


Richard Bierlaagh


April 21, 2022


08:38 AM

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If you are reading this, you are probably looking into hiring staff from abroad for your Dutch operations. With good reason: your business needs talent, and talent can come from all over the world.

As a small nation, the Netherlands has historically realized that talent knows no borders, and Dutch policy therefore has a track record on open borders: opening ‘access to and for talent’. However, as a welfare state, some checks and balances must be built in to sustain public resource levels and prevent overburdening. So, Dutch policy is open for Talent Migration and Humanitarian Migration.

As a business, you are looking into the former category. One of the ‘checks’ that Dutch Immigrations performs prior to granting access, is an analysis of the incoming individuals’ Dutch ‘economic self-sufficiency’. For prospective employees, this self-sufficiency is largely a given as their immigration path is sparked on a concrete job offering. Dutch access is therefore linked to said employment and its continuation warranties the immigrant’s continued self-sufficiency and, therefore, their Dutch permits. Termination [without a new job in quick succession] on the other hand, would ultimately lead to revocation of said permit status; the immigrant is no longer self-sufficient and has not acted on humanitarian considerations. Therefore, their Dutch angle would end.

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In order to certify whether the employing entity will indeed be able to support the employee for the permit time [financial check] and in order to keep track of the immigrant’s employment status after hiring [compliance check], Immigrations need to analyze and ‘align’ the involved employers with a certain framework. This is laid-out and committed to in the ‘Recognized Sponsor’ procedure. By obtaining said status, businesses are then licensed to act as the ‘Recognized Sponsor’ for the immigrating employee’s Visa application procedure; a box that needs to be ticked for access to be obtained.

Needless to say, this procedure is not so much complex, but generally obscure. And as always: there is paperwork involved. Archipel People Services is your partner in navigating these paths, and making sure your talent gets where it needs to be; at your place of business. Smoothly.

Why would you want to become a Recognized Sponsor?

  • Becoming a ‘recognized sponsor’ (Dutch: ‘erkend referent’) is a major first step in creating an opening to access the world-wide talent pool;
  • As a Recognized Sponsor, you will be able to sponsor so called ‘knowledge migrants’ from abroad to acquire a work visa in the Netherlands for up to 5 years or earlier if the employment is ended before that.

Sounds good. But how?

In order to become a Recognized Sponsor, you’ll have to:

  • File an application (form) with the Dutch migration authorities, providing details on the employer
  • aiming to be the recognized sponsor;
  • Pay the processing fees of € 4.212 (or € 2,105 if the organization is not more than 50 people);
  • The decision of the migration authorities will be communicated within 90 days after the request is made.

The requirements

Please note that if the business is younger than 3 years, a more extensive test for its profitability may be required.

  • The employer is registered with the Dutch chamber of commerce;
  • The employer does not have any backlogs of unpaid taxes or social premiums;
  • The employer did not incur any offense fines with respect to tax, migration, or minimum wage legislation in the past four years;
  • The directors are reliable, a statement of conduct might be required;
  • The employer may not have declared bankruptcy in the past three years.

Learn More About Living, Working and Paying Taxes in the Netherlands

Archipel is a Dutch tax firm in The Hague, they are Tax Tech on the front end, a quality boutique at the back. Archipel Tax Advisors translate between real life and taxation to provide tailor made solutions and a personal approach.

Connect with Richard for tax and financial advice as an expatriate/immigrant in the Netherlands.


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