Immigration Updates – 29th of September

Contributor(s): Daniel King
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    European Union

    Extension of temporary protection

    The Council of the European Union has agreed to extend the temporary protection for people fleeing Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine from 4 March 2024 to 4 March 2025.

    The temporary protection mechanism was activated on 4 March 2022 – only a few days after Russian armed forces launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine – and it was automatically extended by one year.

    What is temporary protection?

    The system provides immediate and collective (i.e. without the need for the examination of individual applications) protection to displaced persons who are not in a position to return to their country of origin.

    The objective is to alleviate pressure on national asylum systems and to allow displaced persons to enjoy harmonised rights across the EU. These rights include:

    • residence
    • access to the labour market and housing
    • medical assistance
    • social welfare assistance
    • access to education for children

    Background and next steps

    Following today’s political agreement, the Council will have to formally adopt the decision to extend the temporary protection. This will happen once the legal scrubbing and translation in all EU languages has taken place.

    Temporary protection is an EU emergency mechanism which is activated in exceptional circumstances of mass influx. The EU directive on temporary protection was adopted in 2001, in the aftermath of the large-scale displacement experienced in Europe due to the armed conflicts in the Western Balkans, in particular from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.

    Finland

    Automatic post-decision monitoring of student residence permits

    Effective 28 September 2023, the Finnish Immigration Service will carry out post-decision monitoring of the residence permits of degree-level students to check whether the holder still meets the requirements for the permit.

    Holders of residence permits granted since 1 June 2022 will be monitored to check whether they have started their studies, are making progress in their studies and have a valid right to study, among other criteria.

    The automatic post-decision monitoring is based on automatic register checks. The Finnish Immigration Service can run register checks on different national registers, such Kela’s register, the Finnish National Agency for Education’s Koski register, and the Population Information System registers. Based on the results of the register checks, officials of the Finnish Immigration Service will assess whether the requirements for a residence permit are still met and decide whether to withdraw the permit, on a case-by-case basis.

    If a permit holder’s residence permit is withdrawn, the holder has 30 days from the date they receive the decision to request a review of the decision. Usually, the holder’s right to work remains, and they can reside in Finland until their request for review is processed.

    The legislation covering students’ residence permits was amended in 2022, so that a residence permit for studies is granted for the entire duration of the studies and students do not necessarily need to apply for an extended permit at any point. Before the legislative amendments, the requirements for the permit were checked when students applied for an extended permit.

    Netherlands

    Residence permit for foreign investors to close

    Effective 1 January, the residence permit for foreign investors will close.

    The residence permit is valid for a maximum of three years, and the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) can extend this period by up to five years. Holders of the residence permit for foreign investors may work in the Netherlands without a work permit (TWV).

    While the investor permit is still available, applicants must invest a minimum of EUR1,250,000 in an innovative company based in the Netherlands; or in a fund that, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, falls within the SEED regulation; or in a participation fund or contractual partnership that invests in a company in the Netherlands. Investing in real estate for private occupation is excluded.

    The investment must be deposited into a bank account of a Dutch or EU Member State bank supervised by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB); and have added value for the Dutch economy, as assessed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).

    The added value is there if the investment meets 2 of the following 3 criteria:

    • Within 5 years at least 10 jobs will be created.
    • A contribution is made to increasing the innovativeness of the Dutch company. This may be proven through, among other things, the introduction of a patent, investing in both technological and non-technological innovation or investing in a company that belongs to a top sector.
    • There is another, non-financial added value, such as specific knowledge, networks, clients and active involvement of the investor.
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