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Modern migration policy bill passed by the senate

07-08-2010 om 13:22 by Maastricht Region Branding Foundation

Recently the Upper House passed the Modern Migration Policy bill submitted by Minister of Justice Hirsch Ballin. Thanks to this Act, the Netherlands will become more attractive to those migrants who are urgently needed to help strengthen the Dutch economy, as well as the cultural and academic/scientific communities throughout the Netherlands. The starting point of the modern migration policy is selectiveness. This entails that the policy has an inviting effect on migrants for whom there is an economic need, and a restrictive effect on others. This makes the Netherlands more attractive as a place of establishment for international companies and highly skilled migrants, which may contribute to a strengthening of the Dutch economy.

The new Act, which is expected to take effect on 1 January 2011, will introduce, inter alia, a simplification of the system of regular residence permits. In addition, the procedures will be made more efficient. The simplification of the permit system and the implementation of more efficient residence procedures will lead to a more effective enforcement of the regulations, for instance in combating fraud in cases of family migration. Furthermore the bill provides for a substantial reduction in the administrative burden for companies and citizens.

Independent position of the sponsor
The bill provides for an independent position of the sponsor in the regular policy on foreign nationals. The sponsor may be a citizen, institution or business that has an interest in promoting the admission of a migrant. During their stay, migrants will in general have to have a sponsor at their disposal. Sponsors may submit applications for residence permits to the IND for migrants. After undergoing a reliability test, an institution or business that acts as a sponsor may be acknowledged as an approved sponsor by the IND. The approved sponsor may use the accelerated decision procedure with a two-week target period.

More efficient Admission and Residence Procedure
The admission procedures will be arranged more efficiently. The procedure for the entry visa and the procedure for a regular residence permit will be combined in a single Admission and Residence Procedure (TEV procedure). At the present time, a foreign national must often apply for a Regular Provisional Residence Permit (MVV) at the Dutch embassy in the country of origin first, in order to be able to travel to the Netherlands. Upon submission of this application, an assessment is made as to whether the conditions for residence in the Netherlands are met. After entry into the Netherlands, a regular residence permit must subsequently be applied for, on which occasion another assessment is made, on the same conditions. Practical experience has shown, however, that the actual situation during the procedure of applying for a regular residence permit is nearly always the same as the one during the MVV procedure. In the future it will therefore be sufficient to have one application and a single assessment moment, on which occasion the granting of an MVV will also result in the granting of a regular residence permit. This is an important improvement in the application process, which will benefit all sponsors and foreign nationals.

Reduction of administrative burdens
The bill will also result in a simplification and acceleration of admission procedures, and a reduction of administrative burdens for citizens, businesses and institutions. This can be achieved because approved sponsors need not send along documentary evidence with the application. All sponsors and foreign nationals will benefit from the combined TEV application. In other fields the procedures have also been simplified as much as possible, and the number of visits to a government desk is being limited as much as possible. In the event of abuse, the status of approved sponsor may be withdrawn if it turns out, for instance, that the approved sponsor has not supplied the correct information. It will also be possible, if such is necessary within the framework of supervision and enforcement, to obtain as much information as possible (digitally) from other government agencies. In that way the burdens remain as low as possible for the sponsor and the foreign national.

More effective enforcement
All sponsors will be subject to statutory obligations, for which they are accountable to the government. The sponsor must, for example, report any instances of changes in the situation of the foreign national. In certain cases some sponsors will have a duty of care with respect to the foreign national. That is the case for sponsors of for instance highly skilled migrants, students and au pairs. In the event of infringement of the obligation, administrative fines may be imposed, and in serious cases criminal prosecution is possible. As a consequence, instances of fraud and abuse, also in the case of family migration, may be combated more effectively. In the event of abuse the status of approved sponsor may be withdrawn, when it is evident, for instance, that a sponsor has not supplied the correct information. The residence permit of the foreign national may also be withdrawn, and the costs for removal of a foreign national may be recovered from the (former) sponsor.

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