Science - June 9, 2005

IND knowledge desk works

The immigration office IND is satisfied with the quicker procedures that have been introduced for knowledge workers.

More than four hundred people have already made use of the arrangement that makes it possible for highly skilled people from outside the EU to enter the Dutch labour market without becoming entangled in unwieldy bureaucratic procedures. These knowledge migrants must earn at least 45,000 euros a year, or 33,000 if they are under thirty. They receive a five-year work and residence permit. PhD researchers are exempted from the salary requirement.

This procedure does not apply to foreign students. This group now has its own ‘fast desk’ at IND, which has been set up so that students can arrange the papers they require within three weeks at the start of a new academic year. Although there were problems at first – IND did not have residence permits ready on time – the service has now improved.

A spokesperson for the Dutch organisation for higher education, NUFFIC, confirmed this: ‘The lines of communication between the different parties have been made shorter, and the IND people are now better trained. Sometimes the communication is not as easy as we would like, but nearly all students at least have clarity about their case within a few weeks.’ / HOP, SVO

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