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Working with highly skilled migrants

Would you like to employ one or more highly skilled migrants? This involves many obligations, procedures, and risks for you as an employer. This also applies to a somewhat lesser extent when working with ‘ordinary’ migrant workers. We will list the most important topics related to working with foreign employees for you.

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Knowledge migrant, highly skilled migrant and expat

What’s the difference?

Expat and migrant worker are synonyms for foreign employees. A highly skilled or knowledge migrant is a highly skilled immigrant from outside the EU (including Switzerland) who comes to work in the Netherlands due to their specialized knowledge. As a result, they form a specific group within the migrant workers or expats.

The popularity of knowledge migrants is growing rapidly. This is because there are fewer highly educated people available for specialized positions in the Netherlands. Because knowledge migrants can add a lot of value to the Dutch economy, the knowledge migrant scheme was created. This scheme ensures that as an employer (under certain conditions), you can easily and quickly employ highly skilled migrants. There are specific requirements, conditions, and salaries for hiring highly skilled migrants.

Knowledge Migrant Ruling 2024

Netherlands has a special Knowledge Ruling. This ruling enables companies to easily and quickly bring highly skilled knowledge workers to the Netherlands. In this FAQ, you will find the most important information about this ruling.

What are the conditions for the Knowledge Migrant Ruling in 2024?

In simple terms, the Knowledge Migrant Ruling eases the admission requirements for highly skilled migrants. For employees from outside the EU, a work permit is usually required to work in the Netherlands. However, this permit is often not required for highly skilled migrants. Highly skilled migrants can also benefit from a shortened admission procedure.

Not every company can use the Knowledge Migrant Ruling, and not every migrant from outside the EU is eligible for it. These are the main conditions:

  • The employer is an IND (Immigration and Naturalization Service) reference.
  • The highly skilled migrant must have an employment contract with a Dutch employer for a minimum of 3 months.
  • The employer pays at least the minimum salary applicable to the highly skilled migrant.
  • The highly skilled migrant has a valid passport, has taken out health insurance in the Netherlands, and does not pose a threat to national security.
Are there different rules for students?

Different rules apply to students from outside the EU who are in their orientation year. They have one year to find a job. Students are not eligible for the orientation year if they have previously had a residence permit for job-seeking after studying, promotion, or scientific research. Their completed education must also meet various requirements. Once searching students find a job, the minimum income threshold also applies to them.

What’s the purpose of the Knowledge Migrants Ruling?

The main purpose of the Knowlegde Migrants Ruling is to increase the attractiveness of the Netherlands to students and highly skilled migrants. These international talents can give a boost to the Dutch economy, prosperity, and higher education with their knowledge.

Why use Highly Skilled Migrants through Tentoo?

Tentoo helps with the optimal utilization and proper implementation of the Knowledge Migrants Ruling. By utilizing the highly skilled migrant through our service, we ensure correct compliance with the ruling, allowing you as an employer to focus on your business instead of navigating the complexities of the ruling.

Tentoo - working with highly skilled migrants
What does this ruling entail?

The 30% ruling

Foreign workers often incur additional expenses, such as housing or travel costs. To accommodate employees in this regard, employers are often allowed to pay out 30% of the salary as a tax-free allowance. This is called the 30% ruling. From 2024, this rule has changed to a 30/20/10% rule. This means that for the first 20 months of employment, a 30% tax-free allowance applies. In the following 20 months, the maximum untaxed allowance is 20% of the salary and in the last 20 months it drops to 10%. Highly skilled migrants almost always qualify for this. To make use of the 30% ruling, the employee and employer must submit a request together to the Tax Administration (Belastingdienst).

Conditions for the 30% ruling

The Tax Administration checks whether the employee and employer meet the following conditions:

  • The employee has not lived within a radius of 150 kilometers from the Dutch border for more than 8 months in the past 2 years.
  • The employee is registered in the Netherlands and employed by the employer.
  • The employee adds value to the Dutch economy (which is almost always the case for highly skilled migrants).


Higher net salary

The 30% ruling offers you as an employer an alternative to reimbursing the extra costs (including extraterritorial costs) that foreign employees incur. Instead of reimbursing the actual costs, you can pay out 30% of the salary tax-free through this ruling during the first 20 months. A highly skilled migrant with an annual income of €60,000 can receive an additional net amount of €7,000 per year through this ruling. Do you want to know how much it will cost you as an employer to employ a highly skilled migrant? And how much it will cost if Tentoo supports you in this process?

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Recognized Sponsor at the IND

Only employers who are recognized sponsors by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) can hire highly skilled migrants. Because Tentoo has been a recognized sponsor for years, we take over the administrative tasks and associated obligations of the IND sponsorship. This allows you to focus on the core tasks of your company and the cooperation with the highly skilled migrant.

Obligations of Recognized Sponsorship

The process of becoming a recognized sponsor is complex and it takes time, energy and money. You also have several obligations. For example, you must report when:

  • The highly skilled migrant no longer meets the minimum salary required for them;
  • The employment ends;
  • The highly skilled migrant changes job positions;
  • The highly skilled migrant returns to their country of origin;
  • The highly skilled migrant moves within the Netherlands;
  • You no longer have visibility on the location of the highly skilled migrant.

Benefits of Recognized Sponsorship

As a recognized sponsor, you can use an accelerated application process for a residence permit for highly skilled migrants. This means that the IND responds faster to the application. You also need to send fewer supporting documents to the IND and there is a fixed contact person at the IND.


Salary criterion for knowledge migrants 2024

If you employ a knowledge migrant, you are required to pay him or her the minimum knowledge migrant salary.

For 2024, the minimum knowledge migrant salary is set at:

  • Knowledge migrants under the age of 30: €3,909 gross per month (excluding 8% holiday allowance).
  • Knowledge migrants aged 30 and over: €5,331 gross per month (excluding 8% holiday allowance).
  • Knowledge migrants in their orientation year: €2,801 gross per month (excluding 8% holiday allowance).
  • EU blue card holder: €6.245 gross per month (excluding 8% holidat allowance).

If the knowledge migrant turns 30 during his or her contract, nothing changes. Only when you offer a new contract, the knowledge migrant salary for those aged 30 and over applies. The knowledge migrant salaries are indexed annually.

Good employership with Tentoo

When you choose to hire foreign employees, good employership is of great importance. You want to ensure that the employee is legally allowed to work and can take advantage of all tax benefits. You also want to avoid fines for both you and your employee and ensure that the knowledge migrant feels at home within your company as soon as possible.

Tentoo ensures that every knowledge migrant is guided as well and extensively as possible in this process. They can always turn to us with questions about their employment contract, residence permit or salary. Ready to learn more? Our experts are ready to help you!


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