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?
A highly skilled migrant is a highly trained professional who comes to work and live in the Netherlands. For example a:
- physician in training
- (guest) lecturer
- (scientific) researcher
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:
- 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
- apply for a provisional residence permit (mvv) (for a number of nationalities and situations an mvv is not needed)
- 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.
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 is not bankrupt or under suspension of payment
- your organisation, directors and officers, and other natural persons and legal entities involved in your organisation are reliable
- it meets the sector’s Code of Conduct
30% facility (tax-free payment) for moving to the Netherlands
If the IND granted the application for a residence permit for your employee, 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.
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
- 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 diploma of a programme in higher education
- the employee's monthly salary must meet the higher income requirement
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.
Other work-related residence permits
Besides the highly skilled migrants’ scheme, other work-related residence permits are available. For example, if you employ migrants in certain sectors, which are not highly skilled, but are specialised and sought after. Read more on work-related residence permits with IND.