Highly skilled migrant

You wish to work in the Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant. You need a residence permit for this. What are the conditions for this residence permit? And how does the application procedure work?

​Other conditions apply to persons with the nationality of an EU/EEA country  or Switzerland and their family members.

Please note: Other conditions also apply if all of the following situations apply to you:

  • You do not have the nationality of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland.
  • You live outside the Netherlands.
  • You have an employment contract with a company located outside the EU.
  • You are going to be transferred as a manager, specialist or trainee to a branch in the Netherlands.


There are certain conditions that apply to everyone. In addition, you and your employer have to meet the following conditions:

Additional conditions for scientific researchers

  • Your income is sufficient when your gross monthly wage at least equals the standard amount for singles or spouses / unmarried couples living together. This depends on your family situation.
  • The appointment decision or the employment contract is signed on behalf of the institution. This decision or contract states the job description and the job code as set out in the University Job Classification system (UFO).

Additional conditions for doctors in training to become a specialist

  • Your income is sufficient when your gross monthly wage at least equals the standard amount for singles or spouses / unmarried couples living together. This depends on your family situation.
  • The training institute has been assigned by the Medical Specialists Registration Committee (MSRC), Social Medicine Physicians Registration Committee (SGRC) or General practitioner and Nursing home Physicians Registration Committee (HVRC).
  • You are registered in the BIG-register. BIG stands for 'Individual Healthcare Professions'. A registration allows the employer to have a care provider practise independently in the Netherlands on the basis of a diploma awarded in another country. Your employer must keep proof of this registration in his records.

Additional conditions for intra-company transfers

  • You have an employment contract, an appointment decision, a guest agreement or an employer's declaration from the foreign employer. This states the duration of the transfer, the type of employment as well as your income.

Other conditions may apply for Turkish nationals and their family members.

Online application

Your employer can also submit this application online. He can do this in the Business Portal.

Online application


This application costs € 290.  

Checklist documents

Your employer has a list of documents that you need.
Are you an employer and do you want to apply online? The checklist will show which documents to upload in the online application.

You have to have official foreign documents legalised and translated into Dutch, English, French or German.


After the application

Collect your residence permit

The IND aims to have your residence permit ready within 2 weeks following your arrival in the Netherlands. The IND will send you a letter indicating when you can collect your residence permit. For this, you have to make an appointment online at the IND desk stated in the letter. Keep in mind that it is not always possible to visit an IND desk at short notice. Therefore, please schedule an appointment in time.

Check to see if the information on your residence permit is correct while you are still at the IND desk. If something is incorrect, please inform the IND staff member at once.

Registration with the municipality

Upon arrival in the Netherlands, you must register in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP)  in the municipality you are going to live.

To register with the municipality you need a legalised and translated  birth certificate. Take this therefore with you when you travel to the Netherlands.

Please contact your municipality in advance to check which (legalised and translated) documents/ certificates you need to take with you.

TB test

You have indicated your intent to undergo a tuberculosis test (TB test) when you applied. You have to make an appointment for this with the Area Health Authority (GGD). You do this within 3 months after having received your residence permit. Please take the 'TB test referral form' with you to the appointment.

In some cases you are exempt from taking a TB test.

Take out health insurance

Anyone living in the Netherlands must take out health insurance. You do this within 4 months following your arrival in the Netherlands.

Validity residence permit / search period during unemployment

The period of validity of your residence permit is the same as the length of your employment contract or assignment. With a maximum of 5 years. 

If you become unemployed during this period, you are eligible for a search period of up to three months to find a new job as a highly skilled migrant. The search term can not exceed the validity of your residence permit   and is less than three months if your residence permit expires earlier.

The search period begins on the day the contract is terminated.

If your residence permit is valid throughout the search period (and there is no notification of a new employer), you will receive an intention to withdraw the residence permit. The granted search period is mentioned in the intention to withdraw (or in the final withdrawal decision).

Right to work

The back of your residence permit shows if you are allowed to work. Your residence permit states 'arbeid als kennismigrant en als zelfstandige toegestaan, andere arbeid toegestaan met TWV'. Having this residence permit means that you are allowed to work as a highly skilled migrant. In addition you are allowed to work as a self employed person. For all other work, your employer needs a TWV.

Labour market notification 'work freely permitted'

Have you worked in the Netherlands for 5 years? Then you are free to work in the Netherlands. You do not need an TWV anymore.

Is your residence permit still valid for a least 4 months? You can replace your residence permit for a document with the labour market notification 'arbeid vrij toegestaan' (work freely permitted).

Does your permit expire within 3 months? Apply for extension. Write on the form that you wish to have the labour market notification 'arbeid vrij toegestaan' on your new residence permit.

Legal obligations

There are a number of legal obligations that apply to you and your employer.

The IND monitors your compliance with these legal obligations. Failure to meet these legal obligations may have consequences.

Further applications (extend or change) / return visa

Replace residence permit

Is your residence permit damaged, lost or stolen? In that case, have the residence permit replaced.

Extend residence permit

Is your residence permit due to expire soon? Apply for an extension.

Change residence permit

Has something changed in your situation that influences your residence permit? Please report this immediately to the IND. It may mean that the residence permit has to be changed.

Permanent stay

Having had a residence permit for a period of 5 years, you may apply for a permanent residence permit.

Becoming a Dutch citizen

Having had a residence permit for a period of 5 years, you may apply for Dutch citizenship.

Return visa

If you are awaiting a procedure, you do not have a valid residence document at present and you wish to travel outside the Netherlands, you may need a return visa to re-enter the Netherlands. This could be the case if your current residence permit is no longer valid or your current residence permit will expire during your stay outside of the Netherlands. To apply for a return visa you must meet certain conditions. ​

Recognised sponsor

A sponsor is a person, employer or organisation that has an interest in the arrival of the foreign national in the Netherlands. An organisation is obliged to get recognition as a sponsor if they wish to apply for a residence permit for au pair, exchange, study, highly skilled migrant and scientific researcher (Directive 2005/71/EG).

Provisional residence permit (mvv)

​The provisional residence permit (mvv) is a visa you need if you wish to stay in the Netherlands for more than 90 days. For more information, check Regular provisional residence permit (mvv).

Dutch representation

​This is the Dutch embassy or consulate.

formal decision

​A formal letter with the decision on your application.


​A TWV is a work permit. The employer applies for a TWV with UWV (Netherlands Employees Insurance Agency). UWV examines among other things if there is no employee with the Dutch, EU/EEA or Swiss nationality that is qualified for the job.