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.
What is a highly skilled migrant?
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:
- apply for a provisional residence permit (mvv), depending on their nationality
- have your company recognised as a sponsor by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). The IND keeps a list of recognised sponsors.
- apply for a residence permit to the IND
- conclude an employment contract with the highly skilled migrant
- make sure the employee's monthly salary meets the income requirements
- ensure that this salary is in accordance with market conditions
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
- 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.
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