Income requirements and permanent residence

When applying for a permanent residence permit, one needs to meet a variety of requirements. One of these requirements is the so-called income requirement, requesting the applicant to demonstrate that he/she has sufficient and sustainable income. Normally, the requirement of having sufficient income is not problematic. However, some applicants may struggle with the requirement of sustainable income. Pursuant to the Dutch Immigration Decree (“Vreemdelingenbesluit”), as from the application date, the remaining length of the employment agreement should be equivalent to or exceed one calendar year. Alternatively, one can provide the IND with both a valid employment agreement and salary slips of the last 36 months. For example, a South African national holds a highly skilled migrant permit. When he started working for his current employer, the employer gave him a one year contract, valid from 1 October 2023 to 1 October 2024. On the basis of this employment relationship, this South African person received a highly skilled migrant permit on 20 November 2023, and his current permit is valid until 1 October 2024. As the remaining length of his employment agreement is shorter than 12 months, he does not appear to qualify for the status of permanent residence. Are there any other ways in which he can possibly qualify for permanent residence?

Of course, this South African person can try to negotiate with his employer, asking for an early extension of his current contract. Nevertheless, as the employment contract is still valid for more than 10 months, his employer may refuse to extend it now. Is there another solution?

Case laws

In accordance with European Court of Justice (ECJ) case laws, when assessing an application for an EU long term permit, the Immigration Department should take all the relevant factors into account (such as, savings). In a recent case, the Court of the Hague holds that the IND erred in failing to consider the substantial amount of savings shown by the applicant. In this case, the IND contended that the foreigner did not have sustainable income to provide for himself. However, as a part of the application and administrative review procedures, the applicant also provided the IND with bank statements with a total balance of 126,000 euros. The IND mistakenly ignored the importance of this substantial amount of savings. The Court of the Hague quashed the IND decision.

Thanks to this opinion, Mynta Law has successfully helped various clients obtain permanent residence. For example, in a recent case, a client’s employment agreement is only valid until 1 May 2024. To support her application, the client also presented a bank saving of around 89000 euros. The IND approved the client’s application for permanent residence.

If the remaining length of your employment agreement is shorter than 12 months and your employer is not willing to extend its validity prematurely, you can contact Mynta Law. We will examine the merits of each case. Based on your factual and financial circumstances, we will evaluate the issue as to how we can present your case to the Immigration Department. As a part of your application, we can invoke the relevant ECJ & Dutch court case laws and the successful cases of our previous clients, asking the IND to give a full consideration to all your financial, economic, educational and social aspects.

According to various ECJ judgments, the main purpose of such an income requirement is to prevent an applicant from becoming a financial burden on the Member State.  When examining the income requirements, the ECJ holds that the Immigration Department may not go beyond what is necessary to attain the purpose of the income requirement.

Should you have any questions about the income requirements or the status of permanent residence, please feel free to contact Mytna Law through filling out the contact form