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Highly skilled migrants

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency

If you run a business in the Netherlands and you want to employ a highly skilled migrant from abroad, special rules apply with regard to their work permit. You may also offer the person a tax-free payment to cover additional expenses incurred through working in the Netherlands.

No work permit necessary

You do not have to apply for a work permit for skilled migrants (and their spouses) from abroad if one of the following conditions applies. The skilled migrant:

  • comes from Switzerland or the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • has a monthly income that meets the income requirementsExternal link
  • is a scientist with a grant, a visiting lecturer or a participant in an exchange programme of the European Union
  • is a university lecturer, doctoral candidate, a post doctoral candidate or doctor training to become a specialist
  • studies in the Netherlands or has graduated from a Dutch university or university for applied sciences less than a year ago. Their monthly starting salary must meet the income requirementsExternal link

Short-stay skilled migrants

For skilled migrants who stay up to three months in the Netherlands, the work permit application procedure has been simplified.

Residence permit necessary

If the skilled migrant is from a country outside the EU, the EEA or Switzerland and they remain for longer than 3 months in the Netherlands, they will need a residence permit. In order to submit an application for this permit, your company must have been recognised as a sponsorExternal link by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). Please check IND's website to find out exactly which residence permit highly skilled migrantsExternal link require.

Application 30% facility (tax-free payment)

You may be able to use the 30% facilityExternal link of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. 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 costsExternal link, such as double accommodation expenses and additional expenses for living in the Netherlands. You and your employee must apply for a rulingExternal link from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration together to be able to use the scheme.

As of 1 January 2019, the duration of the 30% facility has been reduced from 8 to 5 yearsExternal link. This applies to new migrants as well as those who already make use of this facility. A transition measure is in place for foreign workers whose 30%-facility is due to end in 2019 or 2020 as a result of this reduction.

In the Prinsjesdag 2018 (Budget Day) proposals, the government expressed its intention to make it easier for knowledge migrants to come to the Netherlands to live and work. Any measures to this effect are, of course, subject to them being passed through the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament.

This article is related to:

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency