Logo of the Dutch governmentGo to homepage

Government support for entrepreneurs

Permits for highly skilled migrants

This information is provided by

Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service

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 employerExternal link can submit an 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 sectionExternal link of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst, IND) for information on conditions and procedures.

An MVV is a 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 testExternal link upon arrival in the Netherlands. Certain nationalities are exempt from this obligationExternal link.
  • You have not previously stayed in the Netherlands illegally.
  • You have not given false information or have withheld important information to support any previous applications.
  • 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. This income requirement does not apply if you perform research or if you are a physician in training to become specialist. In that case, the income must at least meet the provisions listed in the Dutch Minimum Wage Act (Wml).
  • 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.


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


The application feeExternal link for the TEV procedure must be paid upon submitting the 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 procedureExternal link, 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.

Entry ban

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

Any further questions?

Please contact the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service

+31 (0)88 043 0430

This information is provided by

Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service