Our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by the Coronavirus. In particular to the people in China where 97% of all cases have been reported.
At the moment of writing, there’s approx 80,000 reported cases globally across 32 countries. So far none have been recorded in The Netherlands. Click here for the latest updates interactive world map created by the WHO (World Health Organisation)
Hiring and relocation from China?
With 100.000 residents in The Netherlands, the Chinese population represents one of the largest communities. Are you currently bringing talent (and/or accompanying family) from China here or anticipating doing so? These are the things to consider.
Let’s start with the most important part; the IND will not reject a visa application solely due to the fact that someone comes from China as they do not have this authority. There is however a possibility that the relocation process is affected as a whole for an individual coming from China or someone who has been traveling within China recently.
It is important to know that at the time of writing, all Dutch diplomatic posts in China are closed and that the issuing of Schengen visas or long term entry has ceased. The end date is currently February 28, but this period can be extended again. There is no clarity about this, which makes it difficult to predict how long hiring someone from China will take. The relocation process generally takes 6-8 weeks from China but with the current situation, this time-frame does not apply and delays should be taken into account.
Furthermore, any individual can be hindered when leaving China or entering the Schengen area if there is a suspicion of contagion. This is heavily influenced by which region your candidate or employee is coming from.
Additionally employees with household goods shipments can expect delays (and extra costs) All shipments are effectively on hold at the moment.
Due to the uncertainty as to when the situation will be resolved, it is very difficult to predict the true extent of how the Corona epidemic will affect the relocation process for candidates.
However, should you wish to have a candidate start very quickly, our advice would be to adjust these expectations.
Employees who recently visited China or another impacted area?
It could be that some of your new hires or current employees recently visited (or enjoyed a holiday) in one of the impacted areas. If they show any symptoms such as: coughing, fever, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, the Dutch National Institute for Health (RIVM) strongly advises that they work from home and contact their doctor via phone immediately. If they don’t show any symptoms, it’s fine for them to come to work.
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
Our Dutch national institute of public health created a detailed Q&A which is updated daily, so please always have a look here for the latest advice. Heads-up that it’s in Dutch, so Google Chrome will come in handy :)
Plans on traveling to China?
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised that no one should travel to the Hubei Province and to only travel to mainland China if absolutely necessary. The Chinese Government has implemented many strategies for containing the virus and access to the province is limited if not impossible. Consequently, this is having an effect on the country as a whole as the Chinese Government continues to implement restrictions on travel throughout the country. Until the situation is resolved it would be best to reevaluate any of your employees’ plans for travel to China at this time. Please contact your travel operator to get the latest information if you are concerned about travel to China at this time.
The WHO has stated that those traveling internationally should check the websites of the airline they are using and the government of their final destinations for the most up-to-date travel advice.
This article was created in collaboration with our visa & tax partner (Hillbrook), using the latest updates from WHO, IND, RIVM and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is not intended to replace your legal advice. It has been created as a service for your information only.
Please also note that due to the rapid developments this information can be outdated and always do check for the latest information on the respective websites.
Resources to stay up to date
- World Health Organisation
- Interactive global map (WHO)
- National Institute for Public Health
- IND (Immigration & Naturalisation)
- European Commission