The Dutch Ministry of Safety and Justice (Ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie) improves current policies for highly skilled migrants and announced a number of direct and indirect measures:

  • The Highly Educated Migrant program (regeling hoogopgeleiden) will be more flexible as of 1 January 2016 and will be fused with the ‘graduate search year status’, so that, following implementation of the changes, there is a clear policy for international students who have graduated/ promoted in the Netherlands or come from one of the ‘Top 200 Universities’ abroad. The highly educated migrant can stay in the Netherlands with this status and search employment as a highly skilled migrant.
  • The government is working on a proposal for a differentiated fee rate for Recognized Sponsors, with the aim of reducing the government fee rate for SME’s.  More SME’s could therefore obtain such a Recognized Sponsor license and attract more highly skilled migrants.
  • The government is currently examining the possibility and implications for self-employed individuals to work as highly skilled migrants and, vice versa, reviewing possibilities for highly skilled migrants to start their own businesses alongside their employment.
  • The government currently also reviews whether the knowledge migrant scheme can be made more efficient so that it better meets the needs of companies recruiting highly skilled migrants on project basis for several short periods in the Netherlands.

2016 Salary Thresholds:  Highly Skilled Migrants The Dutch authorities published the salary requirements for highly skilled migrant applications filed on or after 1 Jan 2016:

  • For a Highly Skilled migrant of 30 years and older:         4240 EUR
  • For a Highly Skilled migrant younger than 30 years:      3108 EUR
  • Graduate with ‘search year’ status:                                       2228 EUR
  • Dutch Blue Card holders:                                                          4968 EUR

The amounts need to be based on a monthly gross basis, excluding 8% holiday allowance.

START UPS:  The Secretary of State announced amendments for start-up permits. Currently, start-up permits are issued for one year, whereby the entrepreneur would need to file for a ‘normal’ self-employed permit in one year, assessed on a point based system. In practice, many foreign nationals with such a start-up permit do not qualify for the self-employed category in one year. Effective on 1 January 2016, the Ministry of Economic Affairs will, after the facilitator has declared that the foreign national with a start-up permit has performed satisfactorily in one year, request the Immigration Authorities (IND) to issue a self-employed permit to enable the entrepreneur more time to grow his/ her business.

ENTRY VISA FREE: Nationals from Columbia, Tonga and Palau no longer need an entry visa to enter The Netherlands/ Schengen Area for a stay up to 90 days in a 180 day period.

Please feel free to contact the EMG team in case of questions or comments in this respect via  or via one of your EMG contact persons directly.