Immigration Updates – 3rd of November

Contributor(s): Daniel King
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    Extension of Residence for Refugees from Ukraine

    The government has decided that residence permits issued for people displaced from Ukraine can be extended until 17 March 2025.

    The Immigration Service will automatically assess whether a residence permit under the Special Act can be extended. If the holder still complies with the requirements laid down in their current residence permit, the residence permit will be automatically extended.

    When the Immigration Service has processed a case, and the residence permit has been extended, the holder will receive a new residence card by mail and does not have to have their biometric features recorded for the new residence card.

    The Immigration Service will process the case before a current residence permit under the Special Act expires and expects to complete the processing of all cases before 17 March 2024.


    Further restriction of the 30% ruling

    On 27 October 2023, the Dutch House of Representatives passed two amendments to the 2024 Tax Plan which, if approved by the Senate, will further scale back the so-called “30% ruling”.

    Currently, eligible highly skilled foreign workers are not required to pay tax on up to 30% of their income for five years (reduced from eight years in 2019). This is justified as a reimbursement for costs incurred in moving to the Netherlands form abroad. From 1 January 2024, this reimbursement can only be up to a maximum of EUR 233,000.

    It is also permitted for employers to reimburse the actual moving costs of the employee, instead of using the 30% facility.

    The first amendment requires that, effective 1 January 2024, the 30% ruling for new applications can only be applied to a maximum of 30% of the taxable salary for the first 20 months. In the following 20 months, the rule can be applied up to a maximum of 20% of the taxable wage. The following 20 months only up to a maximum of 10% of taxable wages. After 60 months, the maximum duration of the 30% ruling has expired.

    Transitionally, foreign employees already using the 30% ruling before 1 January 2024 will not be subject to the reduction.

    The second amendment regulates the abolition of partial foreigner taxpayer status by 2025. Currently, foreign workers who are resident in the Netherlands and use the 30%-ruling can select partial foreign taxpayer status in their income tax return so that, for the purposes of Box 2 and Box 3, they are considered foreign taxpayers despite being resident in the Netherlands.

    Transitionally, foreign national residents who already use this facility before 1 January 2024 can continue to use the partial foreign tax liability until 2026 at the latest.


    New maintenance requirement takes effect

    As previously announced, effective 1 November 2023, the maintenance requirement for foreign national workers has increased from SEK 13,000 to SEK 27,360, which is 80% of the current median salary in Sweden. The monthly salary must also be in line with collective agreements or practices in the relevant profession or industry.

    • If someone has been granted a work permit before 1 November 2023, the previous maintenance requirement still applies for the remainder of the permit’s validity. If the holder applies for an extension, however they will need to meet the new maintenance requirement.
    • The new requirement does not apply to permits granted on the basis of protection, close family ties, or studies, nor to those covered by the Temporary Protection Directive or the Upper Secondary School Act. EU/EEA citizens, permanent residents and long-term residents who exercise their freedom of movement are also unaffected.
    • Professional coaches and athletes, au pairs, trainees within the framework of international exchange or trainees with traineeships related to higher education, and researchers will not be subject to the new requirement.
    • People who possess or are applying for an EU Blue Card or ICT permit, as well as seasonal workers, are also unaffected.
    • The occupational areas that will be most affected by the higher maintenance requirement are service, care, sales, agriculture, gardening, forestry, berry picking, fishing, and occupations that demand a shorter education or introduction. As a rule, the salary earned by employees in these groups falls below the new maintenance requirement.


    Special status for Ukrainian refugees to continue

    On 1 November 2023, the Federal Council decided not to lift the protection status S for Ukrainian refugees before 4 March 2025, unless the situation changes fundamentally before then. For the first time, it has also defined a target for labour market integration: By the end of 2024, 40 per cent of persons capable of employment with protection status S should be in work. The currently level is about 20%.

    Protection status S has been granted to Ukrainian refugees since 12 March 2022. The specific support measures for people with protection status S (Programme S), which were first adopted on 13 April 2022 and extended on 9 November 2022, will also be extended until 4 March 2025. The Swiss federal government contributes CHF 3000 per person per year to these measures, in particular for language courses, which is paid to the cantons in stages.

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