Individuals who want to come to the Netherlands and work as a highly skilled migrant, or young persons who want to work as an au pair, take part in a cultural exchange programme, or study in the Netherlands, need to contact a recognised sponsor. The recognised sponsor acts as the intermediary between these persons and the Dutch government. The recognised sponsor checks if all the conditions for coming to the Netherlands are in order, and (if applicable) files the application for a residence permit.
Become a recognised sponsor
To be recognised as a sponsor, your organisation must be a reliable partner for the Immigration and Naturalisation Service, IND. To apply, you need to follow an IND procedure. After your organisation has been recognised as a sponsor, it will be listed in a public register, enabling highly skilled migrants to check if you are a recognised sponsor. Additionally, recognition has the following advantages:
- IND aims to decide within 2 weeks on applications from recognised sponsors.
- Recognised sponsors may enclose less documentary evidence with an application. In many cases, your own statement for admission, in which you state that the highly skilled migrant (and their family members) meets all the conditions for admission and stay in the Netherlands, is sufficient.
- You can use the Business Portal to submit digital applications.
Recognition for organisations for au pairs, cultural exchange, and study
You must also apply for recognition in these situations:
- You run an au pair agency and you want to bring young people to the Netherlands as an au pair. You need to apply for recognition as a sponsor for an au pair agency to the IND.
- Your exchange organisation wants to bring young people to the Netherlands for a cultural exchange. You need to apply for recognition as a sponsor for an exchange organisation to the IND.
- You have an educational institute and you want to apply for residence permits for students. You must apply for recognition as a sponsor for study to the IND.
General conditions and how to apply
The following conditions apply to all organisations that want to become a recognised sponsor:
- The organisation must be listed in the Business Register, unless this is not required under the Business Registers Act 2007.
- The organisation may not be insolvent, nor may there be a suspension of payment.
- The organisation, the managing directors and other persons involved in the organisation must be reliable.
On the IND website, you can find the all the information you need: conditions, explanations, and the application form you need to fill in.
After applying, the IND will assess whether your organisation meets the conditions for recognition. If applicable, the IND will check with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK) if the organisation is listed in the Business Register. The judicial information about the managing directors and the organisation will also be checked. If necessary, the IND will request that you submit a Certificate of Good Conduct. You can apply for this certificate to the Central Agency for Certificates of Good Conduct (COVOG) of the Ministry of Justice Agency for Scrutiny, Integrity and Screening. If you have a sole proprietorship, you can apply for a Certificate of Good Conduct to the Civil or Population Affairs department of the municipality where you are registered in the Municipal Personal Records Database.
Costs of the procedure
A fee is charged for an application for recognition as sponsor, payable upon submission of the application. Your organisation must pay a fee for each category for which the organisation wants to be recognised. If the organisation does not pay the fee, the IND will not process the application. The organisation will not receive a refund if the application is rejected.
Duration of the procedure
If the application for recognition is complete, the IND will often reach a decision within 4 weeks. The procedure will take no longer than 3 months. If your application is incomplete, or if the IND requires more data in order to make a decision, the period may be extended by 6 months. Your organisation will be informed of the decision in writing.
Public Register for Recognised Sponsors
If your application to become a recognised sponsor was granted, your organisation will be included in the Public Register for Recognised Sponsors. Highly skilled migrants can consult this register to find out if you are recognised as a sponsor.
File an objection
Is your application to become a recognised sponsor denied? If you do not agree with the decision, you can file an objection.