The Latest News on Service Fees, Health Insurance and Expat Renters
IN Amsterdam to increase service fees per January 2020
From 1 January 2020, all the rates will be increased by 20%
IN Amsterdam is a service point where highly skilled migrants can organize all their official affairs in one place upon arrival in the Netherlands. The services provided by IN Amsterdam lead to a significant reduction in the administrative burden for employers and highly skilled migrants entering the Netherlands.
What services will be charged for?
IN Amsterdam charges a fee for services that complement the services provided by IND and the Personal Records Database (note that cash is not possible.) The fee for applying for a standard IND permit will remain unchanged, and registration for the Personal Database at the City Hall of Amsterdam will still be free.
Changes to service fees in 2020
- From 1 January 2020, all the rates will be increased by 20%.
- From 2021 the fees will be annually indexed.
- New businesses are no longer excluded from paying service fees during their first year in the Amsterdam Area, or for their first 10 employee applications (whichever occurred first). This decision has already been communicated to the partners and started on 1 July 2019.
- Fees will apply for all children, as opposed to the current situation where IN Amsterdam only charges a fee for the first two children.
- No payment of service fees will be required from those in the position of scientific researchers/employees of scientific institutions, organisations and companies admitted to Directive 2005/71/EG.
- Bachelors’ and masters’ graduates are exempt from paying fees for their Orientation Year Permit granted by the IND.
- Recipients of the Startup Visa, granted by the IND, are exempt from paying fees.
- If your company (or their intermediary) has a contract with IN Amsterdam, the invoice will be sent directly to them.
Bahrain to impose compulsory health insurance plan on expats
All expats will be covered by insurance according to the law
Bahrain wants to introduce compulsory health insurance for its expatriates and has already turned to private consultants to develop a strategy.
The firms will recommend procedures for the National Health Insurance Scheme (Sehati), which will be submitted to the government in mid-2020.
Expats are currently required to pay medical and surgical bills immediately. Compulsory health insurance will also hit temporary visitors.
The main reason for the introduction of private health insurance, apparently, is the burden on employers as well as for the country’s economy of the costs of maintaining the health of expatriates.
Expat renters pushed out of central Prague by Airbnb
Of all 27,000 apartments in the five most popular Prague districts, only three percent were offered to long-term tenants
Incoming expatriates are being squeezed out of central Prague accommodation by Airbnb short term bookings.
Life is getting tricky for newly-arrived expat professionals in Prague, as 25 per cent of rental apartments in the Old Town are being rented out to tourists using Airbnb. The reason is obvious – renting via the flat-sharing service can net landlords 100 per cent more than in traditional long term rentals. It’s not only the Old Town location which is becoming out of bounds for longer stay arrivals, as 16 per cent of New Town rentals, 14 per cent in Mla Strana district and 12 per cent in Josefov are also now almost unavailable to expats.
Of all 27,000 apartments in the five most popular Prague districts, only three percent were offered to long-term tenants, with 17.6 percent currently limited to short-term rentals. The reason of the change is that Airbnb and similar sites are currently used exclusively by professional landlords who have bought several apartments to provide a short trip for more than nine million tourists arriving annually. It is expected that the total volume of tourist activity by 2025 will reach 11.45 million, which means that housing for long-term rents will exist only in the suburbs, far enough from the city center.
In an attempt to resolve the problem before it gets even worse, the local government is considering increasing taxes on rental income. Another option is to charge short-term visitors upon arrival, but given the geographical location of Prague, the only tourists who will be forced to pay are those arriving by air. In the meantime, expatriates seeking housing for extended stays will be forced to settle for a long journey to their workplaces.
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