Highly Skilled Migrant Procedure
To acquire a work and residence permit for foreign employees in The Netherlands, employers must submit an application based on the so called highly skilled migrant regulation.
Requirements for a highly skilled migrants procedure
One of the most important requirements for the employer is that they must be registered as recognized sponsor with the Dutch Immigration Services (IND).
If the employer is registered as a recognized sponsor then certain minimum salary requirements must be met:
- If the employee is over 30 the minimum salary in order to qualify in 2020 is € 4.612 gross per month excluding 8% holiday allowance.
- If the employee is not over 30, the minimum salary is € 3.381 gross per month excluding 8% holiday allowance.
- For foreign students who graduated in the Netherlands and under certain requirements in EU-countries, there is a lower salary requirements of € 2.423 gross per month excluding 8%.
In principle, the minimum salary should always be paid to the employee (also during the sickness). There are a few exemptions (such as parental leave), but the main rule is that the aforementioned minimum should always be paid to the employee. In this respect an employment agreement should be drawn up, which meets the required salary minimum. The salary requirements are indexed on an annual basis.
Another requirement is that the employee should not have any criminal record. A tuberculosis check may be required as well.
When is the highly skilled migrants procedure not applicable?
The highly skilled migrants procedure is applicable to highly skilled employees and not to the company owners. If a person holds 25% or more of the shares (directly or indirectly) of a company, then this procedure is not relevant.
If the employee already works for a group company and the company decides to assign the employee to another (Dutch) group company, the employer will be obligated to follow another procedure, an Intra Corporate Transfer. Only if the Intra Corporate Transfer procedure is not applicable, an application based on the highly skilled migrants procedure can be filed.
High skilled migrants application
There are two possible applications: an application with an MVV (authorisation for temporary stay) request and an application without an MVV request. The application with an MVV request is applicable to everyone who normally would need a visa to enter a European Country (such as Egyptians, Filipinos, Russians etc). The MVV is actually an entry visa. With this visa the employee is able to access the Netherlands and to pick up his residence permit card. With the MVV visa the employee is allowed to start working immediately.
Everyone who is allowed to visit the Netherlands without a visa (Canadians, U.S. citizens, Australians etc) is not required to follow the MVV-procedure and can apply for a residence permit directly. However, to be able to work, those employees will have to wait for a residence permit card or they have to make an appointment at the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) for a sticker.
Application processing time
Normally the IND will come to a decision within 2 weeks. However, if the IND has any additional questions then they can follow the legal decision term of 3 months. After the decision, the nationals who are obliged to follow the MVV-procedure have to make an appointment with the Dutch embassy for the MVV-visa.
High skilled migrants application costs
The current IND fee is € 285. The costs for the Highly Skilled Migrants application should be paid by direct debit. If it is not possible to pay by direct debit the IND will send a collection form, but it will take a couple of weeks before the IND will process the payment by the collection form.
Residence permit card
The residence permit card of the employee will contain the notice: “Employment as a highly skilled migrant. Allowed to work as highly skilled migrant and as self-employee, for other work, work permit is required”. This means that the employee is only allowed to work as a highly skilled migrant, and that the employer should always be registered as a recognized sponsor. In addition to this the employee can also work as a self-employed entrepreneur.
Family members of a highly skilled migrant
The family members of the highly skilled migrant can also apply for a residence permit. The family members will receive a residence permit without any restrictions but their residence permit will be linked to the residence permit of the highly skilled migrant. As long as the employee has a valid residence permit, the residence permits of the family members will be valid as well and the family members will be allowed to work in the Netherlands.
In case of any questions about the highly skilled migrant procedure, please feel free to contact Tanja Yakimovich LL.M Manager Legal & HR services.