"In 2016 13,900 permit applications for highly skilled migrants were filed. The top three nationalities of work permits granted are: India, USA and China."

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Dutch Highly Skilled Migrant Program

The Dutch immigration policies allow companies to, quickly and in a straightforward manner, recruit highly skilled personnel from outside the European Union: the Highly Skilled Migrant Program. In order to allow this, there is a specific ruling for highly skilled labour. Within the EU this ruling is among the most favourable for allowing skilled labour in.

The first step for a company to be able to employ highly skilled migrants is to become a 'recognised sponsor'. The Dutch Immigration Service makes the assessment whether a company can be a trusted partner for the Immigration Service and be accepted as recognised sponsor. This takes approximately 5 weeks. The government fee to apply to be become a recognised sponsor is €5,276 and €2,638 for companies with less than 50 employees. Once the company is approved to become a recognised sponsor, this is for indefinite period. Only once approved can the company file applications for highly skilled migrant visa and work permits. Click here to find out which companies are already recognised sponsor.

The terms regarding granting residence permits to highly skilled employees are simple and straightforward. Foreigners, 30 years of age of older, need to earn a gross monthly salary of at least €4,324 (exclusive 8% holiday allowance), amounting to an annual salary of at least €56,039.04 (including 8% holiday allowance). For foreigners younger than 30 years of age, the gross monthly salary threshold is €3,170 (exclusive 8% holiday allowance), amounting to an annual salary of €41,083.20 (including 8% holiday allowance). For foreigners who have studied and graduated in the Netherlands the gross monthly salary threshold is €2,272 (exclusive 8% holiday allowance), amounting to an annual salary of €29,445.12 (including 8% holiday allowance).

An application for a higly skilled migrant residence permit will also be assessed on the basis of the market conformity of the salary. If the agreed salary is not according market level, the application can be rejected. The Ministry of Social Affairs will assess the market conformity.
 
The procedure itself is fairly quick. According to the policy of the IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service) a decision on the application is made within two weeks after the date of the submission. 

Family reunification is allowed for spouses, same sex partners, unmarried partners, and minor children. Family members are allowed to work for any employer. A work permit is not required.

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