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Recognized Sponsor: Do You Know Your Duties?

16-04-2021

Are you fully aware of your legal obligations as a recognized sponsor? And, more importantly, are you sure that your company is fully compliant with these obligations? Luckily, many recognized sponsors are fully compliant. However, on occasion the obligations are not understood or misinterpreted, or mistakes are simply made. Following an inspection, the IND may issue a warning or impose a fine or – in the worst case scenario – withdraw a sponsor’s recognition.

In order to help you avoid such hassle, we’ve made a clear overview of the obligations here.

Obligation to provide information: notify the IND in a timely manner

All changes that are relevant to the employee’s right of residence or the position of the recognized sponsor must be reported to the IND in a timely manner. Generally, a notification needs to be made within 4 weeks after the change occurred. However, changes in the address of the organization need to be reported within 2 weeks.

Examples of changes that need to be notified

Curious as to what changes need to be notified to the IND? You will find a list of possible changes below.

Examples of changes concerning the employee:

  • The employee no longer wishes to relocate to the Netherlands;
  • The employee no longer resides in the Netherlands (main residence has been moved);
  • The employee no longer works for the recognized sponsor;
  • The employee no longer meets the applicable salary threshold (e.g. due to unpaid leave, parttime work, etc.).

Examples of changes regarding the recognized sponsor:

  • A change in legal status;
  • Termination of the company;
  • Suspension of payment or bankruptcy.

Duty to keep records: save records for 5 years

A recognized sponsor must keep all relevant documents/information in its records for up to 5 years after the sponsorship has ended. This means that all relevant information in respect to the right of residence and employment of the employee needs to be kept in the administration either physically or digitally. The administration needs to be kept on the address that is known as such to the IND.

Examples of documents that need to be kept in the administration

Among others, you will need to keep the following documents in your administration:

  • Copy of the valid residence document(s) (front and back);
  • Copy of the valid passport;
  • Copy of the signed employment contract(s) with addenda (and letters in which other/ new arrangements in respect to the terms of employment, salary, etc. have been made) or the assignment letter specifying the duration and nature of the employment and the salary;
  • Documents regarding to the duty of care (see below).

 Duty of care: save everything

A recognized sponsor has the duty to ensure a careful recruitment and selection of its employees. Furthermore, the employee needs to be informed of their rights and obligations in respect to their residence in the Netherlands.

There is no legal definition as to what constitutes careful recruitment and selection, and it is thus also not clear what would be considered uncareful recruitment and selection. It is therefore advisable to keep track of the recruitment process as closely as possible. In addition, the employee needs to be informed of their rights and responsibilities with regard to their residence in the Netherlands prior to the start of their employment.

Examples of documents that need to be kept in the administration

What documents you need to keep is not specified either. In practice, however, it is advisable to keep the following documents (among others) in your records:

  • Resume;
  • Diplomas/ certificates/ attestations;
  • If applicable: assessments.

Foreign national’s return

You are responsible for the foreign national’s return up to one year after the sponsorship has ended. Does the foreign national not return to their country of origin and is there a compulsory departure enforced by the Dutch government? The IND can then recover the related costs from you as the last known sponsor.

Want to know whether you comply with the legal obligations of your recognized sponsorship? Do our Compliance Check! Read more here.

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