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07 januari 2010

The Netherlands: Working in the Netherlands as a highly skilled worker.

Working in the Netherlands as a highly skilled worker.
The Dutch government welcomes highly skilled workers in the Netherlands. A highly skilled worker in the Netherlands is defined as: being employed for a company which has been admitted by the Dutch immigration services and earning a certain amount of salary. The company must fulfill certain requirements in order to be admitted. The sole requirement for the employee is the brut salary per year. At this moment the requirement for 2009 is 49087,- Euro and 35997 Euro if you are below 30 years of age.

Also PhD-students and scientific researchers can be admitted to this special procedure for highly skilled workers without fulfilling the income requirement.

If you are eligible as a knowledge worker you don’t have to apply for a work permit anymore. The special procedure takes care of a very quick response upon your application (within 2-4 weeks) and your employer will take care of this.

In certain cases, your employer may grant you a tax-free expense allowance including compensation for any reasonable additional expenses that you incur as a result of your stay abroad (extraterritorial expenses). For more information about the 30% expense allowance facility, see website of the Dutch Tax authorities (

To be admitted as exceptional foreign talent
The new admissions scheme entered into force on 1 January 2009 makes it possible for exceptional foreign talent, who have attained a Master's degree or a PhD at a Dutch university or foreign top university, to be able – on the basis of a points system – to freely look for a job on the Dutch labour market as a highly-skilled migrant during the period of one year (maximum), or to start an innovative company. The foreign nationals who qualify for this scheme are those who are entering the country from abroad, and who have completed a course at a university listed in the top 150 of two internationally recognised rankings. This concerns top 150 universities in rankings as published in the Times Higher Education Supplement (

To work on self employed bases
Americans can apply for admittance based upon the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty (1956) which enables to promote trade between USA and the Netherlands. It requires a certain investment in your company (4500 euro), registration in the Dutch Chamber of Commerce and showing a business plan. Of course you also must be able to support yourself, make a living from your profit as an entrepreneur. Working as a professional is not included.

More general information about immigration to the Netherlands see the website of the Dutch immigration and Naturalisation Service:

This article is writen by an experienced Dutch immigration lawyer, Mrs P.W.M. Franssen: or send her an email: She assists companies and individuals with their immigration procedure to the Netherlands.


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