For expats, being made redundant can cost you your right to continue living in the Netherlands. Employment and immigration law expert Renée Sauer shares key considerations and tips for highly skilled migrants, European Blue Card holders and Intra Company Transfer directive workers.
The link between work and residence
As an international, your right of residence in the Netherlands is often based on your employment. This right of residence determines your rights and the potential impact of losing your job.
Highly skilled migrants (HSM), European Blue Card (EBC) holders and employees under the Intra Company Transfer (ICT) directive are exempt from the combined work and residence permit; their status as HSM, EBC holder or ICT provides both.
For all three groups, termination of employment for any reason, including redundancy or termination by mutual consent (voluntary departure or settlement offer), can result in having to leave the Netherlands.
For highly skilled migrants
When a HSM loses their job, their work and residence permits can continue unchanged – but they must find a new job that fulfils the HSM criteria. They must do so before expiry of the search period, if any. If the HSM cannot find such a new job in time, their right to residence will end and they will have to leave the Netherlands.
TIP: Garden leave does not count toward your search period.
If you discover that your employer is no longer a recognised sponsor or if a change to your employment conditions no longer fulfils the HSM criteria, get legal advice.
Further reading: Top 7 tips for highly skilled migrants changing jobs
For European Blue Card holders
When an EBC holder loses their job, their work and residence permits can also continue unchanged – but they must find a new job that meets the requirements of the EBC scheme within the search period. The new employer does not need to be a recognised sponsor. Should they be unable to find a new job that fulfils all the strict EBC criteria, they will have to leave the Netherlands when the search period expires.
TIP: EBC holders have the option of moving to a new job within the EU while accruing residence rights.
Contact an immigration law expert for specialist advice on your work and residence options.
For ICT directive workers
When an employee working under the ICT directive loses their job, they have no search period. Their residence permit ends when the employment ends.
The ICT directive is designed for employees who will leave the Netherlands at the end of their employment. Therefore, ICT directive workers wishing to remain in the Netherlands may need to apply for a different residence status, such as becoming a HSM.
TIP: If you wish to remain here after your contract ends, plan ahead and investigate your future residence options.
Call an immigration lawyer if you have lost your job and you want to stay in the Netherlands.
Get advice you can trust
If you suspect that you may be made redundant due to reorganisation, or you are offered a voluntary departure scheme or settlement agreement, or if you lose your job, consider the risk to your residence.
If you suspect that your residence rights are at risk, get legal advice as soon as possible so that you can understand your options and take action.
We have English-speaking immigration law experts who can help you prevent problems, or solve existing migration issues. For legal advice and assistance, please contact us by phone on 070 361 5048 or submit your question via our easy online form.