Erkend referenten (recognised sponsors) fines and warnings in 2022

15 May 2023

Your organisation must be an erkend referent (recognised sponsor) before you can submit an application for a residence permit on behalf of a highly skilled migrant, or act as intermediary for an au pair, cultural exchange, or student. To become a recognised sponsor, you must apply to the IND.

The Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst – IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service)  issues around 580 warnings and 240 fines to recognised sponsors in the year 2022. Most sponsors comply with the rules. Nevertheless, more fines were issued to authorised sponsors in 2022 than in 2021. This is due to stricter enforcement by the IND.

Obligations not met

Recognised sponsors have rights and duties: zorgplicht (duty of care), administratieplicht (duty of administration) and informatieplicht (duty of information). The IND checks whether these duties are met and in some cases issues fines if they are not. The fines imposed are usually about the duty of information. For example, if the recognised sponsor does not report that the wage criterion (sufficient income) has not been met, or does not report (in time) that the highly skilled migrant is out of employment.

According to the duty of care, the recognised sponsor is obliged to inform the person they are sponsoring correctly about their rights and obligations. A recognised sponsor must also recruit and select their candidates in a careful manner. Evidence of this must be reflected in the records according to the duty of administration. There, too, the IND sees that things do not always go well. The duty to report in time that the administration address has changed is also regularly breached.

Warnings and fines

The IND checks recognised sponsors, and looks at the outcome of the inspection and policy to determine whether a warning or fine is appropriate. For example, it assesses in each case whether the violation qualifies as serious and to what extent there is culpability. Fines and warnings are imposed, for example, after company inspections by the Handhaving, Toezicht en Onderzoek – HTO (enforcement, supervision and investigation department), whether or not together with the Nederlands Arbeidsinspectie – NLA (Netherlands Labour Authority), and after dealing with signals or reports received by the IND.

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