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NETHERLANDS: New Information Released About Highly Skilled Migrants

Salary thresholds for 2012. The salary thresholds for highly skilled migrants (knowledge migrants) as of January 1, 2012, have been published. Foreigners aged 30 or older must earn a gross annual salary of €51,239 to be eligible for a residence permit to work as a highly skilled migrant. For foreigners under the age of 30, the highly skilled migrant salary threshold is €37,575. For graduates in the Netherlands, the threshold is €26,931.

Pilot short stay. Short stays for highly skilled migrants will become possible after January 1, 2012. A pilot program will run for two years. "Short stay" is defined as a stay for less than three months. Only employers already accepted in the Highly Skilled Migrant Scheme may participate in this pilot. The highly skilled migrant salary threshold for foreigners 30 years and older (in 2011 €50,619) will also be the threshold for a short stay as a highly skilled migrant, prorated for the period that is worked.

The employer must apply for a work permit. The Labor Directorate strives to issue this within two weeks. The Labor Directorate will also assess the job function of the highly skilled migrant.

Salary. The Dutch Parliament has raised questions about the requirement that as of June 19, 2011, the salary of a highly skilled migrant must be at market level. Does it make the Netherlands less attractive to such migrants? The Minister of Social Affairs thinks not. The assessment of whether the salary of the highly skilled migrant is at market level will only be performed in cases where the Immigration Service suspects fraud. So far, the Immigration Service has not rejected any application based on this new ground. The Minister reiterated that highly skilled migrants must only fulfill one criterion: the salary threshold.

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