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Hiring a highly skilled migrant

You want to employ a foreign employee (from outside the EU) as a highly skilled migrant in the Netherlands? Then there are special rules for the work permit. This is a complicated and time-consuming process for employers.  Therefore, a secondment construction for highly skilled migrants is often chosen. 


Specialist in highly skilled migrants

One is specialist in highly skilled migrants. One is a recognized sponsor at the IND and we will handle all administrative and legal matters for you. The highly skilled migrant comes into employment of One and is lent to you as a hirer.


Your benefits

  • Since One is a recognized sponsor at the IND already, the procedure is faster *).
  • If a highly skilled migrant still resides abroad, One can also apply for the MVV (the visa with which the foreign national may come to the Netherlands).
  • You don’t need to offer the knowledge migrant a fixed contract before 5,5 years have past.
  • You benefit from the knowledge and expertise of One.
  • One is fully certified: SNA, NEN 4400

More information?

Request a non-commiting quotation!
*) The sponsorship with the IND can of course be obtained for your own entity and you can also organise the employment yourself.

Should you plan to hire the employee yourself within a relatively short period of time, please remember that the IND states that the period for which a permit is issued must be the same as the agreed working time in the contract.

As a result, you do not make optimal use of the flexibility that payrolling offers and there is a chance that you will have to let go of to the highly skilled migrant after 2 years or 3 contracts.

All in all, an employment contract for an indefinite period does not coincide with a residence permit for a definite period.

Highly Skilled Migrants

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a highly skilled migrant?
A highly skilled migrant is a highly educated foreign national with the nationality of a country outside the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, who comes to the Netherlands to contribute to our knowledge economy.

If an employer brings a highly skilled migrant to the Netherlands, the employer must be a recognized sponsor. As sponsor residence applications can be submitted for the highly skilled migrant.

The employer must pay the highly skilled migrant an income that meets the salary criterion.

What are the requirements for hiring a knowledge migrant or knowledge worker?
The three most important requirements for hiring a highly skilled migrant are as follows:

  1. The employer must have been designated as a recognised sponsor by the IND.
  2. The employee must come from outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland.
  3. There is a salary criterion or minimum wage requirement.

In addition, additional conditions apply to academic researchers, students in training and transfers in a group context.

How can you become a recognized sponsor at the IND?
In order to be recognized as an employer by the IND, you can submit an application to the IND. Recognition is mandatory if you want to apply for residence permits for knowledge migrants.

Each sponsor has a so-called information, administration and and retention.

Information and duty of care

As a recognized sponsor, you must also inform the IND about changes in your situation that are related to your accreditation. You can think of deregistration from the trade register or postponement of payment. In addition,

recognised sponsors have a duty of care. This means that you must carefully recruit and select highly skilled migrants. You must also inform them of the admission and residence conditions.


The IND can check whether your organization complies with the rules at any time, for example by requesting data from your organization. If you do not comply with the rules,

the IND can take various measures such like suspension as sponsor, withdrawal of residence permits, administrative fines or even reporting a criminal offense.

Cost of the procedure

Applying for recognition as a sponsor costs money. These are so-called ‘fees’. You must pay a fee when you submit the application for recognition.

You have to pay fees for each category for which you want to be recognized. If you do not pay any fees, the IND will not deal with your application.

You will not receive a refund if your application is rejected. An overview of the fees is available at

Duration of the procedure

The procedure lasts a maximum of 3 months. If your application is not complete, or if the IND will need more information to make a decision, the term can be extended by 6 months.

You will receive a written notice of the decision. Is your application rejected and you should disagree with it? Then you can submit an objection.

What are the advantages of hiring highly skilled migrants via One?

The procedure to become recognized as an employer as a sponsor is time-consuming, complex and costs a lot of money. You can therefore also choose to employ knowledge migrants via a payroll company.

One is a recognized sponsor at the IND and handles all administrative and legal matters for you. The highly skilled migrant comes into service of One and is loaned to you as a hirer.

You can also offer the highly skilled migrant a tax-free allowance for the extra costs for working in the Netherlands, the so-called 30% regulation. If a highly skilled migrant still resides abroad,

One will also apply for the MVV (the visa with which the foreign national may come to the Netherlands).

You do not have to be registered as an authorized sponsor yourself as an employer and you can use the accelerated procedure of about 2 weeks.

Which countries are covered by the EU / EEA?
In order to make use of the highly skilled migrant scheme, the employee must have the nationality of a country from outside the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.

A highly skilled migrant must therefore have a different nationality than one of the following countries:

Overview EU and EEA countries

Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus (the Greek part), Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland (EEA), Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Liechtenstein (EEA), Lithuania, Luxembourg,

Malta, the Netherlands, Norway (EEA), Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, SSlovakia, Spain, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland (not EU or EEA country, but EU rules do apply)

What is the salary criterion 2019 or the minimum wage requirement for highly skilled migrants?

There is a minimum wage requirement for highly skilled migrants. You can find this on the website of the IND. The standard amounts are indexed every year. The standard amounts are valid from January 1, 2019 to January 1, 2020.

Employers who want to employ foreign employees as highly skilled migrants must pay them at least a certain wage per month on the basis of the Foreign Nationals Employment Act (WAV) moreover this must comply with market conditions.

How high that gross salary excluding holiday allowance should be per 1 January 2019 differs per situation:

  • for highly skilled migrants under the age of 30: € 3,299
  • for highly skilled migrants aged 30 or older: € 4,500
  • for highly skilled migrants that have a search year or are eligible for a search year: € 2,364.
What is a search year?
The search year is the period to find a suitable job in the Netherlands based on the residence permit ‘senior researcher year’. A separate work permit is then not required. A search year lasts for a maximum of 12 months and is intended for:

  • All students who have graduated in the Netherlands;
  • Students who have graduated from a top university abroad;
  • Scientific researchers.

You can take up to 3 years after having obtained the diploma or completing the academic research to apply for a residence permit for ‘highly-skilled search year’. As soon as the permit has been issued, the highly skilled employee can get to work.

When the search year has ended and a suitable job has been found, a residence permit can be applied for, based on the highly skilled migrant scheme.

What if the employee has the nationality of an EU / EEA member state or Switzerland?
Employees with the nationality of an EU / The EEA member state or Switzerland do not need a residence permit or work permit (TWV) to live and work in the Netherlands.

They also don’t need to report to the IND and there is no salary criterion. With a valid passport, the employee shows that he or she is legally resident and allowed to work.

If an employee with the nationality of an EU / EEA member state or Switzerland stays in the Netherlands for more than 4 months, the employee must register with the municipality.

Everyone living in the Netherlands must also take out health insurance within 4 months of arrival. More information about employees with the nationality of an EU / EEA member state or Switzerland.