As a Dutch employer, how can I hire a highly skilled migrant?

You can only bring a highly skilled migrant to the Netherlands if you are a recognised sponsor.

Rights and obligations of sponsors

As a recognised sponsor, you have rights and obligations. For instance, you can make use of the fast-track procedure and declaration forms. You must select highly skilled foreign nationals who meet specific conditions for admission to and residence in the Netherlands. You also provide potential candidates with information about these conditions.

Applying for recognition as a sponsor

To apply to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) for recognition as a sponsor, use the application form for recognition as a sponsor (pdf, 306 kB).

Procedures for highly skilled migrants

As a sponsor, you start the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV) with the IND. The IND investigates whether there are any objections to admission on account of public policy or security. This investigation takes approximately two weeks. If the investigation has a positive outcome and the highly skilled migrant meets the other conditions that apply to foreign nationals, the migrant will be able to obtain an authorisation for temporary stay (MVV) from the Dutch embassy. They can use the MVV to come to the Netherlands and collect their residence permit from the IND.
If the highly skilled migrant does not require an MVV, you can start the application procedure for the residence permit once the migrant has arrived in the Netherlands.

Accelerated application procedure for residence permit

If your organisation regularly brings students, scientific researchers and/or highly skilled migrants to the Netherlands from abroad, then it can become a recognised sponsor. Recognised sponsors can make use of an accelerated application procedure for residence permits for students, scientific researchers and highly skilled migrants.

The accelerated application procedure can only be used by recognised sponsor organisations, institutions and companies. Individuals cannot make use of this procedure. For more information on the application procedure for recognised sponsors, please consult the IND website.

Employment permit

Highly skilled migrants do not require an employment permit.

Income requirement for highly skilled migrants

Highly skilled migrants must be paid an income which is above a set threshold.

Exceptions to the income threshold

The income threshold does not apply in cases in which the highly skilled migrant is:

  • going to work as a PhD researcher at a university or research institute;
  • a doctor training to become a specialist;
  • a guest lecturer.

In these cases, however, the migrant’s income may not be below the minimum wage.
Different rules apply to students from outside the EU who graduate from a Dutch institution of higher education. They have a year to find a job as a highly skilled migrant. An income threshold also applies to them.

EU highly skilled migrant scheme

In addition to the national highly skilled migrant scheme, there is also a European highly skilled migrant scheme, the EU Blue Card. A higher income requirement and an educational requirement apply to EU Blue Card holders. They must hold a higher education degree from a programme that lasted at least three years.