Skilled Migrant Program

The Skilled Migrant program allows employers enrolled in the program to hire employees from abroad to work in the Netherlands. Employment must be for longer than 3 months and meet minimum salary requirements.

The employer first needs to be enrolled in the Skilled Migrant Program of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). After enrollment for the company, the application for individual employees can be submitted to the IND. The position offered to the skilled migrant must also meet or exceed the minimum annual gross salary requirements. As of January 1st, 2020 the minimum monthly salary requirements are:

  • € 3.381 for employees younger than 30 (excluding 8% holiday allowance)
  • € 4.612 for employees 30 years or older (excluding 8% holiday allowance)

An advantage of the skilled migrant program is that the employer does not need to apply for a separate work permit (TWV). Partners of skilled migrants are also allowed to work without a work permit.

The application procedure requires the employer to provide a labor contract showing the job title, salary and duration of the contract. The contract will determine the period for which the residence permit will be issued to the employee. Maximum duration of the residence permit is 5 years. After entry to the Netherlands the skilled migrant will have to register in the city or town s/he will live in.

The skilled migrant program can also be used in situations where employees are transferred from a foreign office of an international company to the Dutch office. Recent graduates from Dutch universities can also apply for the skilled migrant category. Under this ‘job search’ category the minimum salary requirements are also lower than for regular applicants (€ 2.423 per month, excluding 8% holiday allowance).

The employer and employee can also file a request with the Tax Authorities (Belastingdienst) to fall under the 30% ruling, which provides tax benefits to employer and employee.