Be prepared

The highly skilled migrant’s residence permit is issued for the duration of the employee’s employment contract. If the work contract is temporary, the permit is issued for a maximum of five years; however, many factors can affect the status of the residence permit, including:

  • When the employee’s temporary employment contract is not extended the residence permit is issued for the duration of the employment contract only; the right to reside expires when the employment contract ends.
  • When the employee changes jobs – the employee in question is allowed to switch jobs, but the new employer must be a participant of the IND’s highly skilled migrant scheme, and the job must comply with the salary conditions that apply to the hiring of highly skilled workers. More information can be found on the IND’s website.
  • When the employer wishes to prematurely terminate the contact – formerly, the Aliens Act ensured that if a foreign national lost their job culpably (they were to blame), then they would also lose their right to reside. However, as of 1 July 2016, highly skilled migrates are entitled to a three-month job search period when a contract is prematurely terminated – regardless of the reason for termination. Even foreign nationals who resigned voluntarily or face summary dismissal are entitled to this three-month search period.

However, this three-month job search period is only valid for people who already have a residence permit at the time of terminating the contract. Should the residence permit expire one month prior to contract termination, the three-month job search period is shortened by one month, etc. In certain cases, the foreign national may even be eligible to request unemployment benefits during the search period.

What to do when you face the risk of dismissal

Be proactive by seeking advice from a labour and immigration law specialist before signing any settlement agreements, because it is likely that your dismissal will affect your residence permit or your eligibility to claim unemployment benefits.