Long-term exchange (2 years) during PhD as a non-EU national

Hi everyone,

I am an Indian citizen accepted into a paid PhD program at the UM starting 1st September that is jointly organized between Maastricht University and Massachusetts General Hospital (USA). In talks with my supervisor, I decided to do my first 2 years in the USA and the last 2 years back at UM.

I have been granted a dutch residence permit for the PhD and will be starting work from UM until I can have my US VISA and formalities ready, which should take 3-5 months from now.

My two options are,
1. To continue maintaining residence conditions, come back 8 months every year for the first two years and retain my residency; or
2. To hand-over my residence permit and de-register when I go for exchange and re-apply for the residence permit when I'm back without a hassle (hopefully).

While option 1 seems to be the best considering all the legal hassles, it will cost me significantly more as I have to keep renting a house   travel costs. It is also definitely inconvenient to break my work there and return for 4 months.

For option 2, I'm not sure about a lot of legal details. I can't seem to find much online either.

Firstly, is it an issue to be paid from a dutch employer (the university in my case), while I live abroad as a non-EU national ( I have a BSN, bank account etc. as I've been living here for the past 2 years for my MSc)?
Second, I'm not sure if re-applying is going to be easy either. I've written to my university's international department about this and thought I'd drop a question here as well for some additional insights, until they answer!

Thank you in advance for helping me out with this tricky situation.

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