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IND Highly Skilled Migrant Program - Knowledge migrants in the Netherlands (Holland)

The Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit "knowledge migrant” is intended for those who wish to stay in the Netherlands (Holland) for more than 3 months. The attractiveness of such a Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit is expressed in a facilitated and convenient procedure, which saves a lot of procedural time. If a person wants to come to the Netherlands (Holland) as a knowledge migrant (highly skilled migrant), the first what he must do is to get a permission by the Dutch Immigration Authority (IND).

The Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit "knowledge migrant” is intended for those who wish to stay in the Netherlands (Holland) for more than 3 months. The attractiveness of such a Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit is expressed in a facilitated and convenient procedure, which saves a lot of procedural time. If a person wants to come to the Netherlands (Holland) as a knowledge migrant (highly skilled migrant), the first what he must do is to get a permission by the Dutch Immigration Authority (IND).              

There are several different regimes for knowledge migrants in the Netherlands (Holland): for high-level employees with qualification in the specific area, for students, who graduated a recognized Dutch (Netherlands) high education institution with bachelor or master degree and for those, who received a high qualification in the Netherlands (Holland) or in one of the foreign universities listed in the top 150 universities of the 2007 Worlds University Rankings. In each of the situations an applicant has to satisfy particular salary criteria and must apply only for those enterprises which have a contract with the IND ( Holland).  At the present moment approximately 6600 enterprises have a contract with the IND.

The first regime is intended for the high level professionals. First of all a  highly qualified worker needs to get a Dutch (Netherlands) MVV visa. After receiving MVV he may begin to work, while waiting for the outcome of the Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit application. It must be pointed out that such a Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit allows to work without a work permit. The holder is not limited by particular terms and can apply for a job at any time while being within or outside the Netherlands (Holland). 

There are some requirements for the applicant:

  • He must have a  high level of knowledge in the area for which he has applied;
  • He must satisfy a salary requirement: employees under the age of 30 must earn €3,170 per month, employees above or of the age of 30 must earn €4,324 per month (per 1st January 2017). The amount is adjusted annually;
  • Employer has a contract with the  IND and applied for a residence permit for employee.  

The second situation is intended for the undergraduate who applies for a new residence permit after graduation. His old study Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit will be cancelled. He may search for a suitable job position during a period of one year (so called "zoek jaar”) and does not need a work permit. Within this period a job-seeking undergraduate does not have a right to apply for the state benefits and has to pay the living costs himself. He may search for a job exclusively in the Netherlands (Holland). Graduates with a Dutch (Netherlands) diploma have to satisfy a minimum monthly salary requirement of €2,272 (per 1st January 2017). The amount is adjusted annually.

After the end of one year there are two possible outcomes: a job-seeker has to leave the country or has to change the purpose of stay. A search year work permit is granted only once and cannot be extended. This means that if an undergraduate once in his life has already used this possibility, he may never use it again. 

In the third case a Dutch (Netherlands) highly skilled migrant residence permit may be acquired via a procedure, which must be initiated within 3 years after the graduation from a Dutch (Netherlands) institution. However, to be eligible for this residence permit, a candidate  has to gain enough points in a special points system:           

Master Degree-25 points; PhD Degree- 30 points; aged between 21 and 40- 5 points.          

Additional points may be gained for: if candidate received a degree in the country, which is a party to the Bologna declaration; candidate speaks Dutch/English or has previously stayed in the Netherlands (Holland) for study or work purposes.  

The candidate has to score at least 35 points to be eligible for a residence permit. Such residence permit is granted for 1 year and cannot be extended. After 1 year the applicant must change the purpose of stay or leave the country.       

Since 2004 foreign non-EU nationals are not required to have a work permit provided that:

The following categories are exempted from the minimum salary requirement: PhD researchers, post-doctorate, doctors during traineeships, university teachers under 30 years old, foreign researchers with scholarship, footballers and participants of exchange programs of the European Union.

The other additional requirements are: valid passport, health insurance and absence of criminal record.

If these requirements are satisfied, the employee can start working from the moment when he applied for the Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit as a knowledge migrant. 

The length of the Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit for a knowledge migrant is limited by the contract and can be up to five years. A residence permit will be withdrawn by the IND if a knowledge migrant stops working voluntarily as a knowledge migrant. If a knowledge migrant becomes unemployed involuntary (due to reorganization or bankruptcy), he may stay for 3 month more to search for a job.           

Since March 2005 partners of knowledge migrants may work without a work permit. However, they still have to apply for a Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit, which will be granted for 1 year. They may do this simultaneously with a knowledge migrant, thus arriving to the Netherlands with him or may apply at a later stage, while arriving over a certain time after the knowledge migrant. The partner of knowledge migrant loses the possibility of staying and working in the Netherlands (Holland) if cohabitation will be stopped within 3 years.          

The partners of this website assist Dutch (Netherlands) employers and employees in the above-mentioned knowledge migrants application procedure. Please contact the partners of this websites for an initial free advice in order to jointly evaluate and determine the available options.

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