Discover Amsterdam
Meetings and Conventions
Live, Work and Study
Live, work and study
Discover Amsterdam
Meetings and Conventions
Live, Work and Study
Women with suitcase in front of NS station Amsterdam Zuid
Image from Martin de Bouter

Highly skilled migrants

You need a residence permit to work as a highly skilled migrant in the Netherlands. Learn more about the conditions and application procedure.

Information for international employees

The highly skilled migrant procedure is a means to apply for a residence permit prior to arriving in the Netherlands. There are a number of conditions that are relevant to your application:

  • Your nationality
  • Your salary
  • Recruitment from abroad
  • If you're in possession of specific, in-demand skills for the job
  • If your employer or business is a recognised sponsor.

You can read the full conditions for the highly skilled migrant procedure on the IND's website. If you meet the requirements, your employer is responsible for the highly skilled migrant application. If your application is made via IN Amsterdam, the procedure can be combined with municipal registration and receiving your citizen service number, easing your administration burden upon arrival. Refer to our handy infographic for an overview of the highly skilled migrant permit.

Additional benefits for highly skilled migrants:

  • Exempt from language-learning requirements for immigrants, known in the Netherlands as Civic Integration
  • May be eligible for the 30% ruling. This reimbursement is a compensation for the extra costs that international employees can incur when moving to a new country for work
  • Your employer will also apply for a residence permit for your family members.

What if I change employers or lose my job?

  • Your residence permit is connected to your employment contract.
  • You can change jobs and move to a new employer. However, the employee and employer must continue to meet all requirements for the highly skilled migrant procedure.
  • If your employment contract is terminated, you may lose the right to your residence permit. If you lose your job and you hold a valid residence permit, you will typically have a grace period of 3 months in which to find a new job. As mentioned above, the new role and employer must also meet the requirements of the highly skilled procedure.

Highly skilled migrant applications for employers

Companies must be a recognised sponsor (or affiliated with a recognised sponsor, such as a payroll company) to make use of the highly skilled migrant procedure. Learn more about hiring highly skilled migrants. If your company and your employee meet the required criteria, you can apply directly via the IND. Alternatively, if your business is established in one of the partner municipalities in the Amsterdam Area, you can apply via IN Amsterdam (additional service fees apply).

Why choose IN Amsterdam?

Via the IN Amsterdam procedure, employers are able to initiate the registration for a residence permit prior to their new employee’s arrival in the country. Upon arrival, the highly skilled migrant (and their family members) can complete several important formalities in a single visit to the IN Amsterdam office. For example, the highly skilled migrant can collect their residence permit and complete municipal registration at the same time. As a result, they will receive their citizen service number (burgerservicenummer, BSN), allowing them to open a Dutch bank account, arrange health insurance, etc. By reducing their administrative burden, the employee can quickly focus on work and on settling into the Amsterdam Area. IN Amsterdam also provides support and advice for international newcomers.

For more detailed information about applying via IN Amsterdam, please see: IN Amsterdam's services and how to apply.

Intra-corporate transfer

In November 2016, a new EU directive, the Intra Corporate Transferee (ICT) directive, was implemented in the Netherlands. These rules make it easier for multinational companies to transfer skilled workers from non-EU countries. They override other schemes such as the highly skilled migrant scheme. Any applications for highly skilled migrant status will be checked against the conditions of the ICT directive, and in the case of an overlap, only an ICT permit will be granted.

Intra Corporate Transferees are also eligible for the policy regarding submitting documents for highly skilled migrants and scientific researchers. This means that a single person coming to the Netherlands under the ICT scheme is not required to produce certain documents, such as a birth certificate, during registration.