Various residence permits for working in the Netherlands exist, which one depends on the kind of expat your employee is.

If your employee is a national from a EU or EEA country, or Switzerland, he or she does not need a residence permit to live in the Netherlands. 

There are general conditions that apply to everyone who wishes to obtain a residence permit. These are: 

Below, you will find an overview of the different types of expats, the applicaton procedure for the residence permit and the conditions to obtain one. 

Filling out forms.

Highly Skilled Migrant

A highly skilled migrant or knowledge worker comes to the Netherlands on a labour contract and meets a certain income requirement: if a person is 30 years or older, their minimum salary is € 5,331 (2024) gross per month. For those younger than 30, the minimum gross salary is € 3,909 per month (2024). The minimum salary requirments for highly skilled migrants who are eligble for the reduced salary requirement is € 2,801 per month (2024). These are the minimum required gross monthly salaries excluding holiday allowance.

To hire an employee from outside the EU for a stay for longer than 3 months, the highly skilled migrant procedure is the easiest way to bring over the employee successfully. Only IND recognised sponsors can employ knowledge workers using the highly skilled migrant procedure.  The employer has to submit the application, the employee cannot do so. This can be done online, via the IND website.

More information on highly skilled migrants

Scientific Researcher

A scientfic researcher is someone who works under Directive 2016/801/COD as a paid scientific researcher, PhD student, or an unpaid scientific researcher with a grant. 

The scientific researcher:

  • Has an appropriate higher education degree which gives access to a doctorate programme. If the researcher does not have the appropriate degree, the research institution must declare that it has been demonstrated that the researcher has the correct level of education. 
  • Has a research project that has been approved by the institution. 
  • Has an employment contract or hosting agreement with a research institution. 
  • Will earn sufficient income, which is independent and long-term. 

Intra Corporate Transferees (ICT)

This permit, which has a maximum validity of three years, is only for those who are nationals of countries outside the EU, EEA, or Switzerland and apply to one of the following situations: 

  • Employees who work for a company outside the EU and are transferred to an establishment of that company in the Netherlands. 
  • Employees who work at a company within the EU on the basis of an intra-corporate transferee residence permit and are transferred to an establishment in the Netherlands for a period longer than 90 days. In such cases, the employee makes use of a long-term mobile ICT. 
  • The Netherlands establishment of the company (employer). This is the establishment that hosts the transferred employee. 
Information about application ICT

European Blue Card

A European blue card residence permit allows a highly skilled employee to live and work in the Netherlands. The following conditions apply. 

  • The employee has a contract in the Netherlands for highly qualified work. 
  • The minimum wage is €6,245 gross per month. (2024)
  • The contract is for a period of at least 12 months. 
  • The employee has a higher education degree for which the degree course lasted at least 3 years. 
  • If the employee has a protected profession, you must prove that he or she meets the statutory requirements for being allowed to practise that profession in the Netherlands. 
  • In the 5 years prior to the application, the employer must not have been fined for violating Article 2 of the Foreign Nationals Employment Act, or for failing to pay the necessary income tax, employee insurance premiums or national insurance contributions. 

The salaries for Blue Card holders must also be at market level at all times and should be paid on a monthly basis.

woman working at laptop

Orientation Year Residence Permit for Highly Education Persons

Highly educated foreign nationals who have graduated can obtain a Orientation Year residence permit for highly educated persons. There is a maximum term of one year in order to find a job as a highly skilled migrant or to start an innovative company. 

The foreign national should meet the following conditions: 

  • They have not previously had a residence permit to look for work. 
  • They completed a study in the Netherlands, doctoral programme or scientific research in the past 3 years. 
  • They have achieved a minimum score of 6.0 for the International English Language Testing System or have achieved a comparable minimum score in an English language test; or 
  • They possess a diploma, certificate or document as meant in Article 2.3, first paragraph of the Civic Integration Decree (only in Dutch); or 
  • They have completed a Master or postdoctoral programme in the English or Dutch language 
More information on the Orientation Year
Students graduating and throwing their caps

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