More inspections by immigration authorities

February 2, 2024

The vast majority of work-based residence permits issued in the Netherlands every year are for the purpose of employment as a highly skilled migrant or intra-company transferee. To employ these highly skilled workers, the employer must apply to become an authorized sponsor. As authorized sponsor, the employer enjoys access to the most fast-tracked immigration procedure the Netherlands has to offer, with significantly shorter processing times. However, authorized sponsors are obliged to comply with a strict set of sponsor duties and requirements, including careful recruitment, recordkeeping and proactively providing updates on changes deemed important by the IND. Since the introduction of the authorized sponsor status, there has been very little focus on monitoring compliance with these obligations. Due to staff shortages at the IND, the focus has largely been on specific business lines such as payrolling. However recently we’ve seen a sharp increase in IND inspections across all sectors; all the more reason for any company that acts as the authorized sponsor of the foreign workers it employs to ensure that it is compliant.

Why this matters?

Failure to comply with the sponsor obligations can lead to increasingly heavy sanctions. The first official sanction is a warning, but further violations may lead to administrative fines. Although the fines are usually not very high, the real impact lies in the other, sometimes indirect, consequences. Multiple fines can lead to the heaviest sanction being imposed, i.e. the withdrawal of the authorized sponsor status.

What to expect?

If a company is selected for an inspection by the IND, the inspection officer will usually first demand to see the entire payroll and administrative records kept for a selected group of employees, such as proof of salary payment over a specific period of time, be it months or years. This can be especially complex in cases where the salary is not paid by the local entity but in the home country. The IND can also request insight into the employee recruitment procedure or into how the employer ensures that its employees are sufficiently informed of their rights as residence permit holders, so that the IND can establish whether the employer has complied with its duty of care. After the data gathering, an on‑site inspection and formal interview may take place at the company premises.

In our immigration practice we have noticed that an IND inspection is often the trigger for companies to re-evaluate internal processes, such as recordkeeping, hiring processes, or even employee benefit programs. KPMG Meijburg & Co can provide assistance with every aspect of an IND inspection as well as help you carry out an integral audit of your current internal processes to identify possible compliance risks. We can also help structure your immigration compliance framework to ensure full compliance with immigration laws.

Feel free to contact one of our professionals if you would like to learn more about the services we can offer your company in this respect.


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