Do you strive for growth and innovation as a company? In a globalized world, attracting talent from other countries has become essential. The Netherlands is no exception and has a specific scheme for highly skilled workers, better known as “highly skilled migrants.”

But what is a highly skilled migrant? And what are the key steps and requirements for an employer to bring a knowledge migrant to the Netherlands? In this article, you will learn more about it.

What is a highly skilled migrant?
A knowledge migrant is a highly skilled employee from outside the European Union who wishes to work in the Netherlands. The term “highly skilled migrant” refers to individuals with specific knowledge and expertise that are valuable to the Dutch labor market. The goal of the highly skilled migrant policy is to enable companies to attract qualified talent and keep the Netherlands competitive in an international context.

What are the benefits?
Hiring highly skilled migrants offers several advantages for employers:

  • Access to specialized talent
    Highly skilled migrants bring valuable expertise and skills to the Netherlands that are often not locally available.
  • Competitive advantage
    Companies can differentiate themselves by attracting highly skilled employees and strengthening their competitive position.
  • International diversity
    Attracting highly skilled migrants contributes to international diversity within companies and promotes an intercultural work environment.


What are the requirements?

  • Salary level
    To qualify as a highly skilled migrant, the salary must meet the established wage criteria. The exact salary level is adjusted annually and depends on the employee’s age. For highly skilled migrants under 30 years old in 2023, the gross monthly salary is € 3,672 excluding vacation allowance. For employees aged 30 and older, the minimum salary requirement is significantly higher at €5,008 excluding vacation allowance. Additionally, there are exceptions and other types of residence permits, such as the European Blue Card, with different salary criteria.
  • Employment contract
    A highly skilled migrant must have a valid employment contract with an employer in the Netherlands. This contract must comply with Dutch labor conditions and norms.
  • Recognized sponsor
    An employer wishing to hire a highly skilled migrant must be recognized as a sponsor by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). This means that the employer must meet specific criteria and have responsibilities regarding the immigration procedure. In other words, as an employer, you become a trusted partner of the IND.
  • Education level
    Highly skilled migrants must have at least a bachelor’s or master’s degree or demonstrate relevant work experience.

What does the process look like?
The first step is to become a recognized sponsor by the IND, so that a highly skilled migrant can be hired. During the application as a recognized sponsor, the IND assesses the financial stability and reliability of the organization.
For the highly skilled migrant application, various documents are required to demonstrate that the individual meets all the requirements. The IND then evaluates the application within three months, often faster, depending on the complexity and workload.
Upon approval, the knowledge migrant can start working and receive their residence permit. The validity period of the permit depends on the employment contract, with a maximum duration of five years.

Need assistance?
Are you interested in hiring highly skilled migrants? Do you need assistance with the immigration and relocation process?
We are here to help. Contact us at +31 6 823 80 801 or via