When is someone a highly skilled migrant

When is someone a higly skilled migrant?

M. (Miriam) Berendes-Curreymr. D.O. (David) Wernsingon

There is a great demand in the Netherlands for highly educated professionals from outside the EU. The majority of these enter the Netherlands as highly skilled migrants. But when is someone actually a highly skilled migrant? There are a number of requirements attached to this (a specific educational requirement is not one of them!). Miriam and David summarize the requirements for you.

The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) recently published its annual figures for 2021. These figures show, among other things, that 22,840 applications have been submitted for the category Knowledge & Talent. This concerns highly educated professionals with a nationality from outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland - third country nationals. The purposes of stay in this category are, among others, Employment as a Highly Skilled Migrant, European Blue Card and Search Year for Highly Skilled Migrants (with the purpose of finding employment as a Highly Skilled Migrant).  These numbers show that there is a great demand for highly educated professionals from outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland. In this blog, we will elaborate on the purpose of stay ‘Employment as a Highly Skilled Migrant'.

First of all, it is important to establish who is meant in this context when we talk about a highly skilled migrant. In practice, highly educated international professionals are often referred to as highly skilled migrants or expats. To avoid any misunderstandings; when we talk about highly skilled migrants we mean the foreign national who has a residence permit for ‘Arbeid als Kennismigrant’ (Employment as a Highly Skilled Migrant). 

A highly skilled migrant must meet a number of conditions. Other than the name suggests, there is no specific educational requirement. However, a highly skilled migrant must meet the following conditions:

  • Employment with a recognised sponsor - with the exception of Turkish Highly Skilled Migrants, who may also be employed by a non-recognised sponsor;

  • Earning a salary that at least meets the statutory wage criterion for highly skilled migrants;

  • The salary is in line with the market;

  • There has been a careful recruitment and selection of the highly skilled migrant.

Last week, we explained in our blog how an organisation can become an recognised sponsor for the purpose of stay ‘Arbeid Regulier en Kennismigranten’. Once an organisation has been recognised as a sponsor, it can submit an application for residence as a highly skilled migrant for its future employees.

The Highly Skilled Migrants Scheme - in its current form - has been in effect since September 2013 as a result of the Modern Migration Policy Act (MoMi) and brings with it a number of advantages. For example, recognised sponsors - through their status as a reliable partner of the IND - can make use of a shortened procedure to bring employees from outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland to the Netherlands. And the time-consuming, and in practice almost impossible procedure for obtaining a work permit (TWV) or combined residence and work permit (GVVA) is no longer required.

On the other hand, the recognised sponsor must familiarise himself with the legislation and regulations relating to highly skilled migrants and correctly apply the procedures prior to starting the employment, during the employment and upon termination of the employment.

In general terms, we distinguish three categories of highly skilled migrants. For each of these categories a legal salary criterion is defined:

  • Highly skilled migrant younger than 30 years of age (€3,549 gross per month)

  • Highly skilled migrant 30 years and older (€ 4,840 gross per month)

  • Highly skilled migrant following graduation or search year (€2,543  gross per month)

When exactly which wage criterion should be applied and what points of attention there are for the payroll administration, we will explain in another blog in a fortnight time.

To be able to determine the correct salary criterion, it is, among other things, important to determine which procedure should be followed for the establishment or extension of the stay of the highly skilled migrant. The following procedures can all be applicable when an organisation wants to act as a sponsor for a highly skilled migrant:

  • Procedure for Entry and residence (TEV);

  • Procedure for Regular Residence Permit (VVR);

  • Change the purpose of residence permit to highly skilled migrant;

  • Registering a highly skilled migrant;

  • Extension of residence permit highly skilled migrant;

It is important that the correct procedure is followed in order to prevent problems in the future. Which procedure is followed determines the salary criterion to be applied and, in addition, each procedure has its own points of attention. Next week, we will elaborate on the above procedures. We will also discuss the actions to be taken when the employment contract between the highly skilled migrant and the recognised sponsor is terminated. A proper termination is at least as important as a proper start. 

Do you have any questions about this topic? Please do not hesitate to contact Miriam Berendes-Currey or David Wernsing.  They are happy to assist you!

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