The Dutch Highly Skilled Migrants Scheme 2018 - Image

The Dutch Highly Skilled Migrants Scheme 2018

The Dutch labour market is becoming more and more international. The number of international employees within Dutch organisations and businesses grows. For people from outside the European Union it is possible to come to the Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant. But what is a highly skilled migrant? A highly skilled migrant is a highly educated foreigner with the nationality of a country from outside the EU and Switzerland who wants to enter the Netherlands in order to contribute to our knowledge-based economy.

What are the conditions for hiring a highly skilled migrant?

If an employer wants to bring a highly skilled migrant to the Netherlands, the employer will need to be a recognised referent. In order to become a recognized referent, the employer will need to submit a request to the Immigration- and Naturalisation Service (IND). Thereafter the IND will decide whether or not the employer will be qualified as a recognised referent. The recognition as a referent means that the business is considered a reliable partner by the IND. Recognition has different advantages:

  • The employer can make use of an accelerated admission procedure for the highly skilled migrant. Instead of three to five months the IND aims to make a decision on the request within two weeks. If a permit is needed for residence and employment this will be seven weeks.
  • The employer will need to send less documents of evidence to the IND. In many cases an individual statement will be sufficient. Therein the employer states that the foreign employee fulfils all conditions for the admission and residence in the Netherlands.
  • The employer has a fixed point of contact at the IND.
  • In addition to the condition that the employer needs to be recognised as a referent by the IND, there also is a minimum wage condition for the employer. This concerns a minimum amount of wage which will need to be paid by the Dutch employer to the non-European employee.

Annually these minimum wages are modified with an effective date of 1 January by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment based on the most recent index figures of the pay under the collective labour agreement, published by the Central Statistical Agency. The legal base of this annual modification is article 1d paragraph 4 of the Aliens Employment Act Implementation Decree.

As of 1 January 2018, there are new minimum wage conditions employers must fulfil in order to be able to use the Highly Skilled Migrants Scheme. Based on the information of the Central Statistical Agency, the amounts are increased by 1.85% in comparison with the year 2017.

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