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NETHERLANDS: New Modern Migration Policy Act Amounts to Revamp of the Dutch Aliens Act

The new Modern Migration Policy Act amounts to a complete revamp of the Dutch Aliens Act with respect to employment, study, and family reunification.

The Modern Migration Policy Act (MOMI) will take effect on June 1, 2013. MOMI amounts to a complete revamp of the Dutch Aliens Act with respect to employment, study, and family reunification. The Immigration Service (IND) promises that employers will see shorter processing times and simplified filing procedures. On the other hand, companies will face more compliance responsibilities and financial penalties.

MOMI introduces a system in which the sponsor is the most relevant actor. Sponsors may apply on behalf of the foreigner for a long-stay visa (MVV) and residence permit.

Under MOMI, only companies that are recognized by the IND as "recognized" sponsors will be able to employ highly skilled migrants. Recognized sponsors will have access to a facilitated application procedure. The processing time by the IND will be two weeks.

The formal filing procedure will also change. Under MOMI, only a single application for the MVV and the residence permit is required. The residence card will be ready for the foreigner to pick up at an IND office immediately after arriving in the Netherlands.

According to the new legislation, all sponsors have essentially three obligations: a duty to inform; an administration duty; and a duty of care. Sanctions for noncompliance with these obligations will range from a warning to EUR 4,500, or even withdrawal of recognized sponsorship. In addition to these sanctions, the IND will be able to recover repatriation costs from sponsoring employers if, within a year after the sponsorship has ended, the foreign worker remains in the Netherlands illegally.

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