19 MARCH 2020 – As you may know, due to the coronavirus spread India closed its borders until the 31st of March to anyone coming from an EU country, the UK or Turkey. Unfortunately, this entry ban applies to Indian passport holders as well and many international flights to India are cancelled as of the 18th of March. Secondly, The Netherlands and many other Schengen countries have advised that no one should travel abroad for the upcoming 30 days unless it is absolutely essential. Adding to this, many Dutch embassies are also closing its doors as of this week until the beginning of April at least. As this is a dire situation, we understand that you would like to know how this impacts the assignee’s departure from the Netherlands or travelling to the Netherlands and what the next steps are.
Departing from the Netherlands
Does the employment contract and residence permit have an end date in the month of March or the upcoming month of April? In case that the assignee had plans to leave the Netherlands to return to India, please let us know. In that case, we can assist you by applying for an extension of the residence permit. An extension of the employment contract is the most important document we need for this assistance. It is important for us to avoid that an employer has assignees who are unlawfully staying in the Netherlands, as the consequences are strict yet avoidable. In the meantime, it is recommended to keep track of the international flight situation for the assignee once the situation improves.
Immigration procedure to come to the Netherlands
Do you have assignees for whom the immigration procedure has already been started e.g. the application has been submitted and perhaps the MVV appointment at the Dutch embassy is or was scheduled? We expect a slight delay in the decision making period: normally the immigration authorities have a decision period of two weeks. This could now be a bit longer. The MVV appointment that was perhaps initially planned for March or first week of April will be cancelled by the Dutch embassy and needs to be rescheduled to a date after the 6th of April, as most embassies plan to open their doors again. This is how we can take care of the situation:
- If the assignee already has an approval of residence, but did not yet collect the MVV entry visa, this must still take place within 3 months after the date of approval. We can however contact the authorities to extend this period with another 3 months. This may impact the employment start date, so we will also contact the immigration authorities to adjust this in the system. In that way there will not be any unwanted troubles regarding the immigration requirements you must meet as an employer that is a recognized sponsor.
- If the assignee already collected the MVV entry visa, travelling to the Netherlands will be difficult due to the current travel ban to Schengen Countries, even if flights go to The Netherlands. Given the uncertainty about whether travel ban will be extended, keep in mind that the MVV entry visa is valid up to 3 months so normally the assignee must enter the Netherlands before the end of this period. We would like to receive a copy of the MVV sticker once collected in order to advise accordingly. In case that the entry visa cannot be used in time, we will contact the authorities for a suitable solution to obtain a new entry visa sticker. All of this may also impact the start date of employment contract. In that case we will inform the authorities of this new start date.
If any of the above situations applies to an assignee, we understand that as an employer or relocation management company you may wonder how this impacts an ongoing or started immigration process. Please let us know so we can assist you accordingly and timely. Contact us at: +31 (0) 345 580 381.