Battle for Brains relocation and immigration for expats to the Netherlands


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The new salary requirements applicable for the Dutch Highly Skilled Migrant procedure as of January 1, 2017 are made available.

The gross monthly salary can be calculated on the basis of guaranteed salary components agreed upon in advance and paid out in money. Salary components paid “in kind” and any profit related bonuses cannot be taken into account. The salary must be paid electronically into the bank account of the Highly Skilled Migrant on a monthly basis.

The monthly amounts (exclusive of allowances) are as follows:

  • Highly Skilled Migrants under the age of 30, €3.170,= (excl. holiday pay);
  • Highly Skilled Migrants of 30 years or older, €4.324,= (excl. holiday pay);
  • Highly educated / recently graduated, € 2.272,= (excl. holiday pay);
  • Blue card holders, €5.066,= (excl. holiday pay).

The Dutch government decided to postpone the free movement of employees with the Croatian nationality for the Netherlands with three years. A work permit remains necessary for Croatian nationals to be able to work in the Netherlands. This is the result of the current high unemployment rates in the Netherlands and the competitive pressure from lower paid new EU employees.


On July 2, 2015 the Senate (Eerste Kamer) of the Dutch Parliament, unanimously adopted the new law with respect to the prevention of unfair competition and falsified (salary) payments (Wet Aanpak Schijnconstructies).

As from July 1, 2015, all employers in the chain of employment will be equally responsible to pay wages according to the collective employment agreement applicable for the branch. The employment inspection will publish the names of the inspected companies.

As from early 2016, it is no longer allowed to deduct costs from the legally applicable minimum wages. Moreover, payment of at least the minimum salary must be done electronically and the reimbursement of expenses must be specified on the salary slip.


The Dutch Immigration Authorities report a small but important change in the procedure to issue MVV labels at the foreign representations. The MVV label will now mention the notification with respect to legal employment. In this way Highly Skilled Migrants and researchers can start employment directly after arrival in the Netherlands when a positive decision is taken on the application for a residence permit but the residence permit card is not ready yet.


A new exemption on the Dutch Foreign Employment Act is expected to be implemented on January 1, 2014. Currently, for foreign employees followinging an in-company training in the Netherlands a work permit is required. Under the new requirements international organisations transferring employees to the Netherlands for training purposes no longer need a work permit.


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