Hiring expats in times of crisis in the Netherlands

Hiring expats in times of crisis in the Netherlands

According to a recent study by the ICT monitor, the shortage of ICT specialists in the Netherlands in 2009 was close to 10.000. Currently, there are also shortages of skilled professionals in other fields such as the financial and medical sectors.

However, and despite these trends, it seems that more and more expats are losing their jobs and for some expats, this means losing their right to stay in the Netherlands.

Nevertheless, opportunities have risen from the credit crisis which can be beneficial for both expat employees and employers.

Take control over your situation

If you have worked as a highly skilled migrant in the Netherlands, then you will likely be aware that you were granted a Dutch residence permit because you had a sponsoring employer.

But are you aware of your rights should you lose your job and wish to seek work with another employer? And what if your new employer is not familiar with the Knowledge Migrant Programme?

Know the procedure

Depending on your individual situation, you have some time to find a new employer after you have lost your job. Use this period to find a (better) job and extend your stay in the Netherlands.

You can work as a highly skilled migrant for another company as long as you meet all basic requirements such as being in possession of a valid passport, having a signed contract from your new employer, no criminal record and Dutch health insurance.

However, before you start working for a new employer, there are two things you have to be certain of to avoid being expelled from the Netherlands:
Your employer is enrolled in the IND’s Highly Skilled Migrant programme.
You have to earn a minimum yearly gross salary of 36.801 euros if you are up to 30 years old or 50.183 euros if you are 30 or older.

Be proactive

It is up to your new employer to notify the IND about your transfer. However, not all employers are familiar with the Knowledge Migrant Programme.

This means that you have to be knowledgeable about your legal situation and be able to sell it to your new employer.

If your new employer doubts about your legal situation, do not hesitate to contact an immigration firm to help you to convince them of the merits of your case.

Employers: Invest in the future

ICT Education is decreasing in popularity in the Netherlands. According to Computable, there was an 8% decrease in students who chose an ICT education last year. This, together with the aging of the Dutch population, will cause an unparalleled shortage of specialists in the long term.

In the short-term, the economic recovery will expose the shortages that have been "overshadowed" due to the current global economic crisis.

Companies should employ expats

With so many expats looking for new opportunities in the Netherlands, it seems like the perfect time for companies to employ expats if they have the opportunity.

There are many advantages attached to employing expats that are already in the Netherlands and who have worked in the country for some time.

To begin with, companies do not have to go through all the complications involved in recruiting a candidate from abroad. The candidates can attend the interview in person and conduct any tests at the location of their choice.

Another advantage is that the expats are already settled in the Netherlands. So, there will be no need to go through the relocation procedure.

Also the immigration procedures will not involve much more than informing the IND that you are hiring a Highly Skilled Migrant.

Established expats are also familiar with the Dutch culture and work environment and therefore will be less likely to quit their new job than somebody who has never worked in the Netherlands before.

Last but not least, hiring an expat can be very cost effective as in most cases they will be able to take advantage of the 30% ruling.

Seizing the moment

Although the economic situation may have looked bleak last year, we cannot neglect the future. This is true for both expats and companies willing to employ them.

For expats, this is an opportunity to find an even better job by being proactive. For companies, this is the perfect time to prepare for future shortages by looking for talents that are already established in the Netherlands.

Roman Adjmal Amir


Roman Adjmal Amir



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