New salary criterion in 2016 for highly skilled migrants

New salary criterion in 2016 for highly skilled migrants

Paid partnership

Dutch Umbrella Company is an IND-certified sponsor with a specialist team offering extensive knowledge and experience to help skilled professionals migrate to and work in the Netherlands.

A European Union regulation makes it possible to attract highly skilled migrant workers from outside the EU: the highly skilled migrant programme.

The most important criterion with which employers must comply is the salary requirement.

Moreover, the employer must be recognised by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) as a sponsor. Only then may an employer submit an application for a residence permit for the highly skilled migrant.

Applying for a residence permit

If the employer is recognised by the IND as a sponsor, the application is processed quickly. The IND aims for a deadline of two weeks for sponsors that are already known. In practice, it can take longer; the legal deadline for a decision is 90 days.

If the application is successful then the highly skilled migrant can collect a temporary residence permit (mvv) from the Dutch embassy in his/her current country. This enables the migrant to travel to the Netherlands and collect a residence permit from the IND.

Income requirements from January 1, 2016

As stated, the most important condition of residence is the salary of the highly skilled migrant. The government applies an age limit of 30 years in respect to the salary criterion, dividing applicants into the following categories:

Highly skilled migrants aged 30 years and older must earn a minimum of 4.240 euros gross per month, excluding 8 percent holiday pay.

Highly skilled migrants under the age of 30 must earn a minimum salary of 3.108 euros gross per month, excluding 8 percent holiday pay.

There is a separate arrangement for highly skilled foreigners who start work in the Netherlands within a year of graduating. The year following graduation may be used to seek employment.

For such migrants a minimum salary requirement of 2.228 euros gross per month, excluding holiday pay, applies.

30th birthday

There is another important exclusion to the salary criterion: if a highly skilled migrant is employed before his/her 30th birthday, then the employer does not need to increase his/her salary after the migrant turns 30.

Thus, as long as the employee remains with the same company, the employer may continue to pay them the minimum salary for highly skilled migrants under the age of 30 years: 3.108 euros gross per month, even when the employee becomes older than 30.

Salary adjustment scenarios

In the case of continuous employment, the salary only needs to be adjusted in the following scenarios:

If the residence permit is extended

For example, if an extension is requested after two years, then IND’s new salary criterion must be applied.

If there is a change of sponsor (employer)

The age limit of 30 years then needs to be considered again.

For example, someone who turns 30 in May and changes sponsor in August of the same year, will receive the minimum salary for highly skilled migrants under the age of 30 years until July inclusive.

From August 1 onwards however, they must receive the salary that applies to highly skilled migrants aged 30 and over.

Want to know more?

Dutch Umbrella Company assists highly skilled migrants and businesses with permit applications and contracts so that they can work legally within a number of weeks.

To find out more please contact them via:
› telephone: +3120 820 15 60
› email:

Dutch Umbrella Company logo

Daniël Wehnes


Daniël Wehnes

I always try to see how I can help any employee or employer with their needs, especially during times where a lot of job vacancies can't be filled locally. A...

Read more



Leave a comment