Recognized Sponsorship or Payrolling Services?


You’ve found the right candidate for a position and are excited to let them come to the Netherlands for their job. In most situations, your company will need to be a recognized sponsor (‘erkend referent’) in order to acquire the right work and residence permit for knowledge migrants. However, you can also decide to work with a payrolling company as the recognized sponsor. This blog tells you more about both options.

Advantages of Recognised Sponsorship
If you’d like to become a recognised sponsor, you will enjoy the following advantages:
• The IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service) will give you a VIP treatment: your applications will be handled faster.
• The IND will ask for fewer pieces of evidence when processing your applications.
• The IND will give you access to the Business Portal, a quick way to submit your digital applications.
How Do You Become a Recognised Sponsor?
Of course, your company needs to meet certain conditions. These regard registration in the Dutch Commercial Register (‘Handelsregister’) as well as your company’s financial situation, whether it can be deemed trustworthy and stable according to certain criteria, and whether it follows the code of conduct. These criteria can be a bit finicky and are subject to constant change. If you’d really like to make this process hassle-free, an immigration expert can help you with these. If you’d like to go ahead with your application, their help may also come in handy gathering all necessary information.

Your Duties
Once you’re a recognised sponsor, you’ll enjoy the perks but also get new responsibilities. You have the duty to inform the IND; to administrate all necessary documents and keep them on file for 5 years after ending the sponsorship for your employee; and to practice due diligence when recruiting and selecting employees as well as inform them about the conditions they need to meet in order to enter and stay in the country. Last but not least, the sponsor can be held liable for any illegal stay of the former employee upon the end of his employment. We often see that companies lack the specialist knowledge to keep up with administrating all relevant changes, or simply forget to report them to the IND.

Penalties and Blacklisting
The consequence often is that the IND is bound to find, at the least, inconsistencies – and at worst, a failure to fulfil administrative duties. A company that this happens to may get off with a warning, but penalties of €3000 – €8000 are certainly not unheard of. The worst-case scenario is having the recognised sponsorship taken away – which would mean that all the company’s expats’ permits for which you are a sponsor are no longer valid. Companies can even get blacklisted.

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Audit and Report
If you happen to come across a detail or change that wasn’t registered properly at the time, it is always best to report it to the IND yourself. Even though it may be an offense, your company will be less to likely receive a heavy penalty. This is why it’s worthwhile to get an audit done; either by your own specialized staff (if present) or by immigration experts. If you’d like to avoid the hassle and responsibilities of acquiring and keeping a recognised sponsorship, a good option might be to work with a payrolling company.

Does your company need an audit? Or are you not sure whether you might be at risk of getting IND fines? Contact us at [email protected]

Advantages of Using a Payrolling Company
Working with a payrolling company allows you to let your foreign employees work in the Netherlands straight away, without the hassle or costs of becoming a recognised sponsor – or to keep up with the obligations. The payrolling company is the sponsor, which takes the added responsibilities off your company’s hands – like the administrative and financial obligations. You can also decide to use a payrolling company temporarily, until your company’s application for recognised Sponsorship has been approved.

Using a payrolling company gives you the following advantages:
• A faster handling of your applications as the payrolling company is a recognised Sponsor;
• Less evidence is needed to handle your applications as the payrolling company is a trusted source for the IND;
• No extra costs to become a recognised sponsor;
• Less hassle about solving questions about payroll, 30%-ruling, work- and residence permits for employees from abroad as the payrolling company can help you out with its experience and knowledge;


Want to read more about conditions and costs of becoming a recognised sponsor? Or about the possibilities of using a payrolling company? Download our E-book ‘‘Professional Immigration: Where to Start and What to Do” to read more.

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