The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid, hereinafter SZW) has decided not to perform the labour market survey yet in case of extension of a work permit on Bonaire but to postpone this until February 1st, 2015.
A labour market survey should be performed for each application for extension of a work permit under the BES Labour Law Foreigners. Until August 31st, 2014 the SWZ has tolerated the fact that no labour market survey was performed in case of extension of a work permit.
In response to the great turmoil which has arisen among employers and foreign employees, particularly from the viewpoint that they were not sufficiently prepared for this change, it has been decided not to perform a labour market survey for extensions up to and including 31 January 2015. As of February 1st, 2015 the policy of tolerance regarding the extension of work permits will end permanently and the labour market survey in case of applications for work permits or the extension thereof will be enforced strictly. This means that the same procedure needs to be followed for both an initial application and for an extension of a work permit.
During the intervening period from September 1st, 2014 up to and including January 31st, 2015 the applicant is obligated to notify the Department of Community and Care of the Public Body on Bonaire of the job vacancy and to present it to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Immigratie en Naturalisatiedienst, hereinafter IND) when filing an application. During this period a labour market survey will not yet be performed for extension applications.
As of February 1st, 2015 the applicant will be obligated to notify the Department of Community and Care of the Public Body on Bonaire of the job vacancy both in case of the initial application and in case of the extension of the work permit.
The Department of Community and Care of the Public Body performs the labour market survey by checking whether there are suitable local candidates who could fulfil the vacancy. After the notification procedure for the job vacancy has been completed correctly, the Public Body Bonaire has 5 weeks to nominate a suitable candidate for the position, under the BES Labour Law Foreigners.
If suitable candidates are available, the local worker will qualify for the position in question. In those cases the work permit will not be granted. In case no suitable candidates have reacted to the position after 5 weeks, the applicant may collect the job-vacancy notification form from the Public Body Bonaire. This form should be submitted when filing an application with the IND, both in case of an initial application and an application for extension of a work permit.
If the applicant wants the extension of the work permit to dovetail with the current work permit, the applicant should submit the application for an extension not more than 4 months yet at least 6 weeks prior to the expiration of the current work permit.
With this legal procedure the SWZ aims to offer local workers more opportunities in the labour market.