KRALENDIJK – On the 1st of July 2023, the RCN units IND, SZW and Plenchi di Trabou joined forces with Centraal Dialoog Bonaire on a pilot aimed at shortening the application process for employment and residence permits for employers if there is a low risk of misuse. The pilot will start on a small scale, with 12 companies from the education, care and tourism sectors.
In order to protect the local labour market and to prevent labour-related exploitation, employers that want to recruit employees from abroad need an ‘employment permit’ (TWV). The application and issuing process for such a permit is intensive and must be completed carefully. For instance, employers must be able to demonstrate that no local candidates are available and that a foreign candidate meets all the qualifications. They must also comply with all legal obligations when it comes to foreign nationals, employment conditions and housing. Once all supporting documents have been fully completed and submitted, they are carefully checked by the RCN units IND and SZW.
Permit process too long
The processing time for a permit application is too long for many employers, and this is stopping them from meeting the needs of their customers. That is why the involved parties want to shorten the processing time when requesting and issuing employment and residence permits. This appears to be possible if there is low risk of misuse by employers and if applications are complete when submitted. This will now be tested in the coming six months in a high trust pilot.
High trust pilot
Risk factors and selection criteria were identified for the high trust pilot. Based on these criteria, 12 companies were selected that present a low risk of abuse, and were willing to participate in the pilot. This pilot involves testing whether it is possible to reduce the processing time for a complete permit application to two weeks. It will also be examined whether applications are submitted correctly and fully, and whether the criteria are suitable for broader use on the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands. A joint evaluation together with all participants will take place in October 2023 and January 2024. In the spring of 2024, a decision will be made about the next step and how companies on Saba and St. Eustatius can also take part as soon as possible.