Scientific Researcher

A scientific researcher can come to the Netherlands to conduct research at a research institution recognized as a sponsor by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). Scientific researchers can be admitted as highly skilled migrants or under Directive 2016/801.


According to Directive 2016/801, a researcher can work as a:

  • Paid researcher;
  • Doctoral candidate, or
  • Unpaid researcher with a grant.


  • Research institutions wishing to employ a scientific researcher from outside the EU must be rcognized as a sponsor by the IND.
  • A hosting agreement with the research institution exists which shows, among other things, that the research project has been approved.
  • The foreign national has an appropriate diploma that gives access to the doctoral program.
  • The foreign national has sufficient means of support.

Mobility researchers

The Directive allows for two forms of mobility for researchers:

  • Short term mobility: any stay in a second member state for a maximum period, per member state, of 180 days in any 360 day period.
  • Long term mobility: any stay in one or more second member states for a period of more than 180 days per member state.

Residence permit

The residence permit will be issued for the duration of the research, with a maximum of 5 years.