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Permits for highly skilled migrants

This information is provided by:Immigration and Naturalisation Service, INDImmigration and Naturalisation Service, IND

If you wish to stay in the Netherlands and work as a highly skilled migrant, you will require a residence permit. Depending on your country of residence, you may also need a provisional residence permit (machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf, mvv).

You need a recognised sponsor

Only a recognised employer can submit an Netherlands visa application on behalf of a highly skilled migrant. Your employer is your recognised sponsor.

Are you the employer of a foreign national who wishes to obtain a residence permit as a highly skilled migrant? Please check the IND Work section of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) for information on conditions and procedures.

An mvv is a Netherlands visa that is issued for a stay longer than 90 days. Your sponsor submits an application both for an mvv and a residence permit at the same time. Not everyone needs an mvv to enter the Netherlands. Your sponsor then applies for a residence permit directly. Your sponsor can submit the application while you are not yet in the Netherlands.

Guest lecturers, researchers and medical trainee specialists are also regarded as highly skilled migrants.


When you wish to stay in the Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant, you have to meet the following conditions.

  • Your (future) employer is a recognised sponsor. For a list of recognised companies please check the public register recognised sponsors.
  • You have a valid travel document (for example a passport).
  • You are not a risk to public order or national security.
  • You are willing to undergo a tuberculosis test upon arrival in the Netherlands. Certain nationalities are exempt from this obligation.
  • You will earn a competitive income.
  • You have a monthly gross income that meets the highly skilled migrant criteria. For employees from the age of 30 upwards a higher income requirement applies than for employees under the age of 30, as well as for those who have graduated in the Netherlands. The amounts are index-linked on a yearly basis. Your income is sufficient when your gross monthly wage at least equals the statutory minimum wage.
  • You either have an employment contract, an appointment decision, or, being a guest lecturer, a guest agreement. For an intra-company transfer you need to have an employer's declaration from the foreign employer. This declaration should include the duration of the transfer, the type of employment as well as your income.
  • To work in the Dutch healthcare services you have to be included in the so-called BIG-register. The provision of healthcare services by individual practitioners is regulated by the Individual Healthcare Professions Act (BIG). When admitted to the BIG-register you are then able to use your legally protected professional title.
  • For scientific researchers: The decision of appointment or the employment contract is signed on behalf of the institution. This decision or contract states the job description and the job code as set out in the University Job Classification system (UFO).
  • For doctors in training to become a specialist: The training institute has been assigned by the Medical Specialists Registration Committee (MSRC), Social Medicine Physicians Registration Committee (SGRC) or General practitioner and Nursing home Physicians Registration Committee (HVRC).


Your recognised sponsor (employer) needs certain documents to apply for the Entry and Residence Procedure (procedure voor toelating en verblijf, TEV) or the residence permit. Please check with your employer which documents are needed.


The application fee for the procedure must be paid upon submitting the Netherlands visa application and will not be refunded if your application is refused. The costs for legalising documents differ for each country. For a specification of the costs, please contact the authorities in your country of origin. The Dutch Embassy or Consulate in your country of origin may charge you additional costs (for instance, costs for faxing).

Application procedure

Recognised companies qualify for the fast-track procedure. This means that the IND aims to decide within two weeks after having received an application for the procedure or for a residence permit.

For more information on how to enter the Netherlands, please check the procedure, or contact your (future) employer as to the procedures to be followed.

Right to work

On the residence document you will find your employment status (arbeidsmarktaantekening). This status tells you whether and under which conditions you are allowed to work. Your employer does not need a separate work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning, TWV) to hire you if you have a residence permit as a highly skilled migrant.

Validity residence permit

The residence permit is granted for the same duration as your employment contract, with a maximum of 5 years.

On the residence document itself you will find your personal data, along with other information such as your v-number, the purpose of your stay as well as the start and end date of your permit. The document also states your employment status. This status tells you whether and under which conditions you are allowed to work.

Upon collecting your residence document, make sure to check all (personal) data on the document. If they are, in any way, not correct, please do not take the document home with you, but notify the IND employee attending you at the IND desk.

Illegal stay

Is your residence permit no longer valid and have you not applied for an extension or change of purpose of stay? You are then staying in the Netherlands illegally. You have to leave the Netherlands as soon as possible.

If you are unable to leave the country due to the corona travel restrictions, check the IND FAQ page to see if your question is answered there, or contact the IND for information and advice.

Entry ban

If you are staying in the Netherlands illegally, you face the risk of being issued an entry ban for the Schengen area.

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