Carolien Gehrels and Jan Rensen, Alderpersons for Economic Affairs in Amsterdam and Hilversum respectively, will today sign the collaborative agreement between the Expatcenter Amsterdam Area and the City of Hilversum. This agreement represents a significant new step towards extending the regional provision of Expatcenter services to international companies and in doing so, further strengthening the business climate. Several major Expatcenter clients have offices in Hilversum, such as MediaMonks, but up until now knowledge migrants living in the city were not able to register through the Expatcenter. The agreement being signed today makes this possible, as Hilversum joins the ranks of Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Haarlemmermeer and Almere.
Five years of growth
The Expatcenter was brought to life as a pilot project in June 2008. This was in response to indications that many international companies and their employees were experiencing difficulties when it came to the procedures linked to entering employment in the Netherlands. Collaborative efforts between the Amsterdam and Amstelveen municipalities and the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) have resulted in the creation of a new, simpler and more effective procedure. Employers are now able to submit a residence permit application four weeks before the international knowledge migrant arrives in the country. After arriving in the Netherlands, the knowledge migrant is able to collect their residence permit and register with the participating municipality in question during a single visit to the Expatcenter. In 2010, the collaboration was extended to include the municipalities of Haarlemmermeer and Amstelveen. The Dutch Inland Revenue joined in 2011, making it possible for applications for the ‘30% ruling’ to be processed via the Expatcenter.
Appreciation of Expatcenter services
Over the past five years, the number of registrations processed by the Expatcenter has increased by 10% annually. In 2012, the Expatcenter helped an average of 500 expats per month get settled in the region. More than 800 companies currently use services offered by the Expatcenter. The English-language Expatcenter website (www.iamsterdam.com/living) is an important tool for expats settling in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, providing information on a range of matters that need to be taken care of shortly after arriving in the country. The website currently attracts approximately 60,000 unique visitors per month, clearly helping to fulfil the information requirements of expats in the region.