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What is The Netherlands Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) Residence Permit?

On this page, we will explain the purpose of the Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) work scheme in the Netherlands, who is eligible, and how to apply. For expert assistance with your immigration matter, contact Reiss Edwards, immigration lawyers, and solicitors in London, on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk

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The Netherlands is increasingly at the top of the list for prospective migrants seeking a new place to live for themselves and their families. With its ease of access to the European Union, fast and modern transport system, laid back lifestyle, excellent job opportunities, wonderfully rich history and culture, friendly and warm people, and the fact that so many people speak English, the Netherlands is the natural choice for many. Every year, thousands of hopeful candidates apply for a permit to allow them to live and work in the Netherlands, with one of the main immigration routes being the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme. On this page, we will explain the purpose of the Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) work scheme in the Netherlands, who is eligible, and how to apply.

What is the Netherlands Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) programme?

The Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) programme is intended for foreign nationals (i.e., from outside the EU/EEA) who have been offered a full-time paid job by an employer in the Netherlands and meet the minimum income requirements. As such, this is just one of several different types of residence permits; others include regular work permits, seasonal labour or work experience work permits, intra corporate transfer permits, start-up personnel permits, European blue card permits, guest lecturer permits, and permits for trainee doctors and researchers.

In some cases, it may be possible to secure an HSM residence permit without a job offer; the Netherlands Immigration and Naturalisation Service state, “If you are highly educated, you could be eligible for a residence permit for an orientation year for highly educated persons. This residence permit allows you to stay in the Netherlands for a maximum of one year to seek employment as a highly skilled migrant. During the orientation year, you may accept every job or internship”.

Am I Eligible for The Netherlands Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) Residence Permit?

There are a number of eligibility rules which must be met in order to acquire an HSM Work permit for the Netherlands, as follows:

  • You must have an employment contract with an employer or research institution in the Netherlands. Your employer must be a recognised sponsor with the Dutch immigration and naturalisation department (IND) (recognised employers are listed in the Public Register of Recognised Sponsors)
  • You are going to earn sufficient income (see below for more details on the required salary)

The minimum salary requirements for the Netherlands highly skilled migrants (HSM) for 2021 are as follows:

  • Highly skilled migrants 30 years or over: € 4,752 gross per month
  • Highly skilled migrants under 30 years: € 3,484 gross per month

When working out your salary, IND will include any allowances and reimbursements included in your contract but not holiday allowances, payments in kind, and irregular pay (e.g., overtime pay).

Additional requirements must be met by scientific researchers, doctors in training to become a specialist, and intra-company transfers.

How Do I Apply for A Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) Permit?

The application process for the HSM scheme is completed online on the IND website. The application form can be found here. The application is typically completed by the employer based in the Netherlands.

The application steps are as follows:

  1. Apply for a provisional residence permit for the Netherlands and a long-term visa (this is referred to as an MVV). This will allow you to travel to and stay in the Netherlands. An MVV is a sticker that is placed into your passport. The IND states, “Your recognised employer submits an application both for an MVV and a residence permit at the same time. … Your recognised employer sends the application form together with the required documents to the IND. After the application has been received, the IND sends a letter stating how the fees are to be paid”.
  2. On receipt of the application, the IND will check the application is complete and the fee has been paid (see below for the fee payable). If there are gaps in the application, these will be requested by the IND.
  3. Once fully processed, a letter with a decision will be sent by the IND. Decisions are made within 90 days.
  4. If approved, you will be able to collect your MVV from your local embassy or consulate. At the same time, you will be asked to enrol your biometric information to ensure your identity.
  5. You will then be able to travel to the Netherlands to start work.

There are two applications forms available online – one for the main applicant (the person with the high level of skills), and one for their family members.

On arrival in the Netherlands, you will need to:

  • Collect your residence permit (within two weeks of arrival) – your residence permit will state “arbeid als kennismigrant en als zelfstandige toegestaan, andere arbeid toegestaan met TWV”, which means you are permitted to work as a highly-skilled migrant in the Netherlands.
  • Register in your municipality in the Netherlands.
  • Take out health insurance

How Much Does It Cost to Apply for The Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) Work Scheme?

The current application fee for the Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) work scheme is €320. The application fee for family members is €192, and for children under 18, this is only €64.

What Is the Processing Time for The Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) Work Scheme?

All applications are processed within 90 days of the receipt of all of the information required.

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