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What are the immigration procedures for working/living in the Netherlands?

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Immigration procedure for non EU citizens

Citizens with a non EU nationality need to undergo an immigration procedure if they wish to stay and or work in the Netherlands. In most cases, the procedure to follow is very clear. The Netherlands implements a special immigration programme for highly skilled workers: the highly skilled migrant (HSM) programme. The most important requirements of this procedure are:

  • the employer needs to be recognized as a sponsor by the Dutch immigration authorities;
  • the employee must have a certain guaranteed monthly income (ex. holiday allowance).

The income requirements vary per year. There are special categories for people from abroad who wish to work in the Netherlands after their study. The popularity of this system stems from its simplicity as well as its brevity. In many cases, the process takes only two weeks max!


Although the procedure is clear, it is very important to know the underlying rules very well. If a company breaks the rules, fines are inevitable once revealed to the Labour Inspection. The most severe penalty, which is only imposed after numerous or serious breaches of the rules, is the withdrawal of the recognized sponsorship. All non EU employees would have to leave the country in the event that a company was to receive this penalty.

Reliable advice is important. We at Settle Service constantly monitor the developments of immigration rules and legislation and we adjust our procedures accordingly. We make a digital file for each non EU employee and make this available to the employer after the immigration procedure is complete. Generally speaking, we will only submit immigration applications if we know that the outcome will be positive and that the employer will be free from risk.

Please contact our office for more information.