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Employer: recognition as sponsor

You are an employer and would like to employ staff from abroad. It is sometimes necessary (mandatory) for you to be a recognised sponsor. What are the conditions for recognition? What are the rights and obligations of a recognised sponsor? And how do you apply for recognition for labour or research under Directive (EU) 2016/801? 

Would you like to know which residence permit your employee needs? See an overview of residence permits for work as an employee.

Sponsor or recognised sponsor

A sponsor is a person or organisation that has an interest in a foreign national coming to stay in the Netherlands. The sponsor can submit an application for a residence permit from the Netherlands. When you employ a foreign national, you become this employee's sponsor. You can be a sponsor for several employees at the same time.

There is a difference between a sponsor and a recognised sponsor. Only organisations can become recognised sponsors, persons cannot. To become a recognised sponsor, your organisation must be a reliable partner for the IND. After recognition, your organisation will be registered in the Public Register for Recognised Sponsors

Recognition for the categories Labour and Research

Recognition as sponsor is divided into categories. As an employer, you can apply for recognition for the categories:

  • Labour
    These are employees for work in paid employment, seasonal work, work experience, work as a highly skilled migrant, transfer within a company, or holder of a European blue card.
  • Research
    These are employees for research within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2016/801.
Would you like to be recognised for more than one categorie? You must apply for recognition for each category separately. Each recognition is linked to a business entity that has a Chamber of Commerce number (KvK-nummer). Does your company consist of multiple branches, each business entity having its own Chamber of Commerce number? All company branches must be recognised as sponsors separately. Below you can find out how to apply for recognition. 

Recognition as a sponsor mandatory

To hire highly skilled migrants and researchers, your company has to be recognised by the IND. There is an exception for highly skilled migrants and researchers with Turkish nationality.

As a recognised sponsor, you can of course also submit applications for the residence purposes for which recognition is not mandatory. Then you also follow the application procedure that applies to recognised sponsors.

Watch the animation video 'How do I apply for recognition as a sponsor' for an explanation in 5 steps. Or read the written text.

 


Recognition as a sponsor not mandatory

Recognition is not required to employ employees from abroad for the purpose of:

Voluntary recognition

You can have yourself recognized voluntarily, if you wish. Then the same rights and obligations apply to you as for mandatory recognition. Do you want to be a sponsor, but not a recognised sponsor? In that case, a number of obligations still apply. Read more under Rights and obligations of a (recognized) sponsor.

Advantages of recognition

Recognition as a sponsor has a number of advantages:

  • The IND handles your applications more quickly: a complete application is usually decided on within 2 weeks.
  • You need to provide fewer supporting documents with an application. A declaration from you that the employee meets the conditions is usually sufficient.
  • You can use the online Business Portal to submit digital applications and notify changes. Read more about the IND's Business Portal.

Conditions for recognition

Would you like to apply for recognition as a sponsor for Labour? Then you will be subject to the general conditions that apply to all recognised sponsors. Would you like to apply for recognition for Research? In addition to the general conditions, you must meet one of the following additional conditions:

  • Your institution is a public research institution as referred to in Article 1d, first paragraph, under b, of the Implementation Decree of the Foreign Nationals Employment Act and uses job profiles under the job family 'research and education' for researchers in employment.
  • Your institution is a public research institution and has been included in the Annex to the Higher Education and Research Act.
  • Your institution is a private research institution that has been included in the National Academic Research and Collaboration System (Narcis).
  • Your institution is a private research institution that has been issued with an R&D (Research and Development) statement under the Salaries Tax and National Insurance Contributions (Reduced Remittances) Act.

Rights and obligations of a (recognised) sponsor

As a sponsor, you have a number of rights: 

  • You have an independent position under the Aliens Act.
  • You can submit residence applications and have the option to apply for review and appeal.

As a sponsor, you also have a number of obligations: 

  • obligation to provide information
  • duty to keep and retain records
  • duty of care

For more information about these obligations, please visit the web page Legal obligations (recognised) sponsor labour-related purposes. Or the web page Legal obligations recognised sponsor researcher (Directive (EU) 2016/801).

Oversight by the IND

As a recognised sponsor, you have a responsible role. You review all residence applications for the employee and submit the application. The IND has little to no contact with your individual employees. Everything runs through you or your authorised sponsor if you have appointed one. You are also responsible for organisations (e.g. relocation agencies) that you have authorised to submit applications for you.

After the residence permit has been issued, the IND will check whether:  

  • the employee (still) complies with the conditions for residence;
  • you continue to meet the conditions for recognition; and
  • you fulfil the obligations of a recognised sponsor.

If you do not  meet your legal obligations, this can have consequences. Read more about enforcement by the IND and possible sanctions.

Watch the animation video 'How does the IND check the recognised sponsor?' for a short explanation. Or read the written text.

 

Costs

This application costs € 4017.

  • Are you submitting an application for recognition as a sponsor for Labour? And is your company a small business with a maximum of 50 employees and can you prove this? Then the application for recognition as a sponsor costs € 2008.
  • Your application for recognition as a sponsor also costs € 2008 if:
    - Your company has already been recognised as a sponsor and is merging with another recognised sponsor; or

    - Your company has already been recognised as a sponsor and has been taken over fully by another recognised sponsor; or
    - Your company has already been recognised as a sponsor and your company's legal form is changing. The nature of your company's activities has not expanded and control of the new company remains the same. This must be evident from the deeds or articles of association.

Document checklist

The application form explains which documents you need for your application.

You have to have official foreign documents legalised and translated into Dutch, English, French or German.

Online services for recognised sponsors

As a recognised sponsor, you can easily and quickly submit applications online in the Business Portal. Read more about the IND's Business Portal.

Steps in the application process

1. Read the conditions

Above on this page you will find the conditions you must meet to become a recognised sponsor. And the rights and obligations of a recognised sponsor.

2. Complete the application form

You apply for recognition with the application form. You can find the form below, under 'Application forms and costs'. Please enclose all requested documents and send the complete application to the IND.

After your application has been received, the IND sends a confirmation letter. The confirmation letter states the date the IND has received your application. It also states the period within which the IND makes a decision.

3. Pay for the application

After the application has been received, the IND sends a letter stating how the fees are to be paid. The IND tries to send this within 2 weeks after receipt of the application. The IND will not process the application until you have paid the fees.

Reduced fee

If you are an enterprise with a maximum of 50 employees that wants to bring employees to the Netherlands for labour, a reduced fee applies. Is the enterprise part of a group of enterprises with more than 50 employees, the reduced fee rate does not apply.

When the legal form of your enterprise has changed the reduced fee also applies. Your enterprise was recognised as a sponsor before that change and a notarial deed shows that:

  • the nature of the business activities has not expanded; and
  • the control of the new enterprise or legal entity remains the same. 

More information can be found in the application form.

4. Wait for the decision

Have you paid for the application? Then the IND checks whether your organization meets all conditions for recognition. The IND tries to take a decision within a period of 4 weeks after receiving the fee. The 4-week period does not apply if the application has not been submitted in full or if additional research is required. This is the case, for example, when an advice is requested from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). In these situations the statutory decision period of 90 days applies.

The IND will then check to see if your application is complete. Are documents missing or not correct? In that case, the IND will send a letter: a request to rectify the omission. This letter lists what you still need to sent. Send the requested documents before the mentioned date to the IND.

5. The decision

Negative decision

If your organisation does not meet all the conditions, the IND will reject the application for recognition. You can apply for review if you disagree with this decision.

Positive decision

If your organisation meets all the conditions, your organisation will be a recognised sponsor. You will be informed of this.

Your organisation is then entered in the Public Register of Recognised Sponsors. Foreign employees can check here to see if the company they wish to work for is recognised.

You will remain a recognised sponsor until you cancel the recognition or if you no longer meet the conditions.

Application forms and costs
Application form for 'Recognition as Sponsor'7501

Use this form if you want to apply for recognition for your organisation.

Checklist documents

The application form lists the documents that you need for your application.

Costs application

This application costs € 4017.

  • Is your company a start up or a small business with no more than 50 persons? The application for recognition as sponsor costs € 2008.
  • The application recognition as sponsor due to change in business entity costs € 2008.

Download  

Notification form for labour-related residence purposes (recognised sponsor)7593

Use this form to inform the IND of changes in the situation of the employee.

In the portal recognised sponsors you can inform the IND online that you are no longer the sponsor of the employee. You need to log in with e-Herkenning. You do not have e-Herkenning yet? You can apply for e-Herkenning in the portal.​

Report termination sponsorship  Download  

Notification form for scientific research within the meaning of Directive 2005/71/EC7595

Use this form to inform the IND of changes in the situation of the scientific researcher.

In the portal recognised sponsors you can inform the IND online that you are no longer the sponsor of the scientific researcher. You need to log in with e-Herkenning. You do not have e-Herkenning yet? You can apply for e-Herkenning in the portal.​

Report termination sponsorship  Download  

Notification form for labour-related residence purposes (sponsor)7594

Use this form to inform the IND of changes in the situation of the employee.

In the portal recognised sponsors you can inform the IND online that you are no longer the sponsor of the employee. You need to log in with e-Herkenning. You do not have e-Herkenning yet? You can apply for e-Herkenning in the portal.​

Download  

Notification form for changes concerning the recognised sponsor 7588

Use this form for notifications concerning changes in the situation of the recognised sponsor.

The changes can be of a general nature, but also specific changes in relation to the purpose of stay for which you are a recognised sponsor.

Download  

After the recognition

Recognition only serves the purpose for which the recognition was given

You are recognised sponsor for the purpose of stay 'employment' or 'research within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2016/801'. This recognition only applies to this purpose of stay. Employment includes the following purposes of stay: 

  • Work in paid employment;
  • Seasonal work;
  • Work experience:
  • Highly skilled migrant (including researchers according to the Highly Skilled Migrants Scheme);
  • European Blue Card holders;
  • Intra Corporate Transferees (ICT, Directive 2014/66/EU).

Submit applications for foreign employees and researchers

After your recognition has been approved, you can submit applications for your foreign employees and scientific researchers. Your organisation declares in the application form that your employee meets the conditions. You do not have to send the documents given by your employee to show this, to the IND.

You can find the conditions, procedure and the application forms on the page of the target group in question.

Do you wish to hire highly skilled migrants or are highly skilled migrants working for your organisation? And would you like to learn more about the applications for highly skilled migrants? Team Business organises information meetings and workshops for companies both with little or no experience with applications for highly skilled migrants as for companies that have already gained experience with applications for highly skilled migrants.

Having applications submitted by an authorised representative

You can authorise an organisation or institution to submit the applications on your behalf. You send a one-time authorisation to the IND. This authorisation states who you authorise to submit the applications on your behalf. You sign the authorisation.

The authorised representative enters the name of your organisation and his own data on the application form when submitting the application. The application form has a separate field for this.

Change in business entity

​When the business entity of your institution or company changes, you will again need to apply for recognition as sponsor for the new business entity. This application for recognition costs € 2008.

Rights and obligations

Rights

As a sponsor, you have a number of rights: 

  • You have an independent position under the Aliens Act.
  • You can submit residence applications and have the option to apply for review and appeal.

Obligations

As a sponsor, you also have a number of obligations: 

  • obligation to provide information
  • duty to keep and retain records
  • duty of care

For more information about these obligations, please visit the web page Legal obligations (recognised) sponsor labour-related purposes. Or the web page Legal obligations recognised sponsor researcher (Directive (EU) 2016/801).

Oversight by the IND

As a recognised sponsor, you have a responsible role. You review all residence applications for the employee and submit the application. The IND has little to no contact with your individual employees. Everything runs through you or your authorised sponsor if you have appointed one. You are also responsible for organisations (e.g. relocation agencies) that you have authorised to submit applications for you.

After the residence permit has been issued, the IND will check whether:  

  • the employee (still) complies with the conditions for residence;
  • you continue to meet the conditions for recognition; and
  • you fulfil the obligations of a recognised sponsor.

If you do not  meet your legal obligations, this can have consequences. Read more about enforcement by the IND and possible sanctions.