The Dutch Immigration Authorities (IND) introduced a simplified immigration procedure to attract Highly educated or talented foreign employees to the Netherlands: The knowledge migrant regulation ("KMR"). Not only is the KMR procedure the fastest immigration procedure, with the residence permit as knowledge migrant in place it will not be necessary to obtain a separate work permit in the Netherlands. Furthermore, the spouse or partner of the knowledge migrant will have work authorization (“arbeid vrij toegestaan”) as well.

Conditions for the Knowledge Migrant Regulation

1. The foreign employee intends to remain and reside in the Netherlands for a period exceeding three months.

2. The remuneration of the employee exceeds the income criteria of the KMR. 
The gross remuneration as mentioned in the employment contract or offer letter is taken into account. Only guaranteed gross income clearly agreed upon and for example vacation allowance will be considered remuneration by the IND. 

Four monthly income criteria:

1. Applicant over 30 years - 2018: Eur 4.404 excluding 8% holiday allowance; 
2. Applicant under 30 years - 2018: Eur 3.229 excluding 8% holiday allowance; 
3. For graduates that are employed by a KMR employer within one year after graduation in the Netherlands (search year) - 2018: Eur 2.314,02 excluding 8% holiday allowance; 
4. For a European Bluecard - 2018: Eur 5.160 excluding 8% holiday allowance.

These income criteria do not apply to employees that will perform scientific research activities, or to medical doctors training to be specialists. The income for these employees must equal minimum wages.  

Documentation required for the Knowledge Migrant Permit

First step: Company Registration with the IND

In order to initiate the knowledge migrant process the employer in the Netherlands needs to be registered as a recognized sponsor with the IND. If the company is not registered as a recognized sponsor yet, an application for recognized sponsorship can be filed with the IND for which the following company information is required:  

  • a declaration of good payment of wage tax and social security from the tax authorities;
  • an extract (not older than 30 days) from the Dutch chamber of commerce;
  • the company tax number and bank account number in the Netherlands;
  • the name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of the contact person/representative authorized to sign on behalf of the company;
  • a governmental fee of EUR 5.345 ("leges 2018") or Eur 2.672 for smaller companies.

Second step: Gathering Documents  

For the application for a residence permit as a knowledge migrant the following documents need to be submitted to the IND:

  • A copy of the passport of the employee concerned;
  • The employee´s current home address in the home country;
  • A copy of the signed employment contract or offer letter in which the annual gross salary and the exact period of employment are clearly mentioned;
  • The employee´s e-mail address and telephone number;
  • A signed antecedent´s certificate;
  • A signed TBC form (if applicable);

Third step: Application Residence permit

Once the required documents are collected, the application for the residence permit can be filed.

Visa Requirement

In order to travel to the Netherlands for a stay of longer than 3 months, the employee may require a visa, a so-called Provisional Residence Permit (MVV). If an MVV is required, the application for the MVV and the residence permit are filed in one single procedure. The application can be filed while the employee is still living abroad. If the MVV is granted by the IND, the employee can collect the MVV from the Dutch embassy/consulate in their country of residence and is required to travel to the Netherlands within 3 months. Once the employee has arrived in the Netherlands, the IND will issue an invitation within approximately 2 weeks with details on when and where to pick up the residence permit.

No Visa Requirement

If the employee does not require an MVV, the application can either be filed while the employee is still abroad or when already in the Netherlands. It is however recommended to file the application while the employee is still abroad, as the outcome of the application is uncertain and it can at times prove difficult to obtain required documents while in the Netherlands. 

Fourth step: Registration  

Foreign nationals who intend to stay in the Netherlands for a period exceeding three months, should register in the personal database at the Municipality of the place where they will be residing. For the registration process foreign nationals will be required to submit amongst others their relevant legalized certificates such as birth certificates, marriage certificates or unmarried status declarations.

If the Netherlands and the foreign country concerned have signed an apostille treaty an apostille will be sufficient. An apostille is an international certification comparable to a notarization in domestic law.