Business.gov.nl
Logo of the Dutch government

Employing highly skilled migrants

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you want to employ a highly skilled migrant from outside the EEA and Switzerland? Find out what to do.

Do you run a business in the Netherlands and do you want to employ a highly skilled migrant from outside the EU/European Economic Area and Switzerland? They probably need a visa or a residence permit. Your organisation also needs to be a recognised sponsor.

If they stay for longer than 90 days, they and their dependents need to apply for a residence permit. For shorter stays they may need a visa. You can check this with the Schengen Visa Advisor.

What is a highly skilled migrant?

A highly skilled migrant (or knowledge migrant) is a highly trained professional who comes to work and live in the Netherlands. For highly skilled migrants a wage requirement applies.

Employing a highly skilled migrant from the EU/EEA or Switzerland

Highly skilled migrants from the EU/EEA or Switzerland do not need a visa, residence permit, or work permit to work in the Netherlands. They do need a valid passport or ID.

Hiring a highly skilled migrant from outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland

If you wish to employ a highly skilled migrant from a country outside the EU, the EEA, or Switzerland for longer than 90 days, you do not need to apply for a work permit on his or her behalf. They do need a residence permit.

If your employee is due to live in the Netherlands for less than 90 days, or is a cross-border worker, then they do need to have a work permit. These employees are not considered to be so-called knowledge migrants.

Residence permit for highly skilled migrants

Highly skilled migrants (and their spouses and/or dependents) from countries outside the EU, the EEA, or Switzerland, who remain for longer than 90 days in the Netherlands, do need a residence permit. You apply for one on their behalf.

To employ a highly skilled migrant, you must:

Under the Association Treaty, you do not need to be a recognised sponsor to take on Turkish employees as knowledge migrants.

Criteria for highly skilled migrants

In addition to these conditions for employers, the highly skilled migrant must meet a number of criteria for obtaining a residence permit. For doctors in training and researchers, for instance, the salary requirement differs from that of other highly skilled migants. And for doctors in training, researchers, and for intra-corporate transferees (ICT), and other intra-company transferees, additional conditions apply. Doctors in training also have to register as a healthcare professional in the BIG register.

Conditions for recognised sponsors

To become a recognised sponsor your organisation must meet a number of conditions, among others:

  • It must be listed in the Business Register in the Netherlands;
  • Its continuity and solvency must be sufficiently guaranteed;
  • The organisation, its directors, and other natural persons/legal entities are not bankrupt or under suspension of payment;
  • The organisation has not been tax negligent in the past 4 years;
  • It meets the sector’s Code of Conduct.

30% facility (tax-free payment) for moving to the Netherlands

If the IND has decided the employee is a highly skilled migrant, you may be able to use the 30% facility (also known as 30% ruling) of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst). Using this scheme you can offer the skilled migrant a tax-free payment of at most 30% of their salary (including the payment). This payment is intended for what is commonly referred to as extraterritorial costs, such as double accommodation expenses and additional expenses for living in the Netherlands. You and your employee must apply for a ruling from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration together to be able to use the scheme.

Specialised employees

If you employ migrants in certain sectors, which are not highly skilled, but are specialised and sought after, there are other residence permits available.

Residence permit for essential personnel for start-ups

The residence arrangement for essential personnel for start-ups makes it easier for young innovative companies (start-ups) to hire essential foreign personnel. But please note that this is not part of the scheme for highly skilled migrants. Do you have an innovative start-up? And would you like to hire essential staff from abroad? Then you should apply for a residence permit for essential start-up personnel. Please read what the conditions are and how to apply for the residence permit.

EU Blue Card

You can also apply for a residence permit for your highly skilled employee under the EU Blue Card scheme. The EU Blue Card is similar to the residence permit for highly skilled migrants, but there are a few differences:

  • the employer does not have to be a recognised sponsor
  • the employee's monthly salary must meet the higher income requirement
  • you must offer the employee an employment contract or job for at least 1 year
  • in case of regulated professions, the employee has to prove that they fulfil the legal requirements to do the work
  • the employee must have at least a university bachelor's degree

If you want to know more about applying for an EU Blue Card for your employee, read the information on the EU Blue Card website and the IND website.

This article is related to:

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
FAQPartnersContactAbout usDisclaimerPrivacy and cookiesAccessibilityOndernemersplein (Dutch)Business.gov.nl is an initiative of:Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKNetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVOImmigration and Naturalisation Service, INDTax and Customs Administration, BelastingdienstGovernment.nlStatistics Netherlands, CBSNetherlands Vehicle Authority, RDWDigital Trust CenterEuropean Commission Point of Single ContactBusiness.gov.nl is the Dutch Point of Single Contact for entrepreneurs.Accessibility level: W3C WAI-AA WCAG 2.1