17 March 2020 – PIRGROUP Corona Updates
New measures to stop spread of coronavirus in the Netherlands
For PIRGROUP, the health and safety of employees, assignees, customers and partners is of predominant importance. As such, we are closely monitoring developments regarding the coronavirus, taking precautionary measures as needed, in accordance with general guidelines and instructions from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and other authorities. Last weekend the Dutch authorities announced the closing of all day cares (with exceptions for two parents in crucial professions), schools, universities and restaurants (besides those with the take away option). The latest update today is the statement of the the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs advising anyone in the Netherlands not to travel to other countries unless it is absolutely essential. To avoid any more spreading of the coronavirus a travel ban applies to the Netherlands due to which people from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) cannot gain access into the Netherlands.
International travel changes:
- A travel ban applies to anyone from outside the EEA planning on travelling to the Netherlands as well as to the other 25 Schengen countries. The travel ban applies for the upcoming 30 days. It does not apply to essential travels. The people that are not affected by this measure are long-term residents, family members of EU nationals and diplomats, cross-border and healthcare workers, and people transporting goods. Although those with an IND approval letter, an MVV entry visa, valid residence permit card are exempted from the travel ban and they are not always allowed access to the Netherlands and the other Schengen countries in case that their travel plan is not absolutely necessary.
- The Dutch consulate in Istanbul has closed its doors for until further notice. All appointments including those for the biometrics and MVV are cancelled as of today.
- The Dutch embassy in Brazil has closed its doors for until further notice. All appointments including those for the biometrics and MVV are cancelled as of today.
- India bans all entry for people coming from EEA countries, Turkey and the UK until the 31st of March. This includes Indian passport holders coming from these countries. Earlier last week, many international flights to India were already cancelled.
As of today, it is expected many more Dutch embassies will also be closed during the upcoming weeks.
Important relocation changes in the Netherlands:
- IND APPOINTMENTS – The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has cancelled all appointments that were booked until the 6th of April. All formerly scheduled appointments will need to be rescheduled to a moment after that date.
- APPOINTMENTS IN AMSTERDAM – If you have a previously scheduled an appointment, the offices are still open with limited staff who will assist you as planned. Unfortunately, it is currently not possible to schedule new appointments or offer walk-in services. This means that no new residence permits will be issued. The issuing of Citizen Service Numbers (BSN) will continue as planned this week for previously scheduled appointments. The IND service at IN Amsterdam will be closed to walk-in visitors. Please note: As of Tuesday, 17 March, no longer services from the IND will be provided. Issuing residence permits or taking biometrics will no longer be possible. For replacement of residence permits please contact IND directly, they will assess urgent requests on a case-by-case basis. New appointments in combination with IND services will no longer be accepted. For non-EU staff, please bring the confirmation letter from IND to your appointment as proof of legal residence in the Netherlands.
- ABN AMRO BANK FOR EXPATS – The ABN AMRO Bank international client desk first introduced conference calls in a separate room for opening bank accounts. All the upcoming appointments have been cancelled; however, the appointment can still take remotely. Today, the bank introduces the option to open a bank account from home via an online video-call. Assignees therefore do not have to visit the ABN AMRO Bank, but they do need a working computer or laptop and Wi-Fi.
- HOME FINDINGS & PROPERTY VIEWINGS – The larger percentage of the realtors schedule home findings with a different corona-proof approach: video home viewings, limiting the number of possible tenants viewing a home to one person, not driving the assignees around from property to property and more. All these changes are in the light of limiting social contact where possible. PIRGROUP will adapt its home finding strategy to meet this new approach.
- LEASE TERMINATIONS – Landlords are not accepting early lease terminations and there is a strong possibility of losing security deposits. Please consult with us regarding your specific case. Right now, we are facing a pandemic COVID-19 situation, and the coronavirus will have a major impact on our daily lives.
- SCHOOLING AND SCHOOL SEARCHES – According to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), schools and universities will remain closed until April 6th. This will affect international schools. Locally based reports show that some schools in the Netherlands have implemented online learning, video conferencing to continue lessons and to counsel students.
What has happened at PIRGROUP today?
At PIRGROUP we have people working from home with crying babies, challenging toddlers, teenagers, home-working partners and we have those with pets. We are very proud that we are managing both our homes, as well as fully supporting our clients. For all our clients with families, we would like to share this article as well: The family lockdown guide: how to emotionally prepare for coronavirus quarantine.
Please note that our team remains at your disposal, we are working from home, but we are available during office hours for any questions you may have or for ongoing cases. You can reach us about all the current changes at +31 (0) 345 580 381.