• Minimum Salary Requirements for Highly Skilled Workers to Increase in 2014
  • December 18, 2013
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Effective January 1, 2014, third-country nationals applying for work authorization under the Knowledge Migrant (Kennismigranten) program for highly skilled foreign workers will be subject to increased minimum gross income levels. The new salary requirements are as follows:

    • Applicants under 30 years of age must evidence a valid offer of employment and an annual gross starting salary of at least €38,465.28 (approximately $52,946.66), up from €38,141.
    • Applicants 30 years of age and older must evidence a valid offer of employment and an annual gross starting salary of at least €52,462.08 (approximately $72,214.94), up from €52,010.
    • Foreign graduates of a Dutch institution of higher education, who can take advantage of the program’s one-year search period to find employment, must evidence a valid offer of employment and an annual gross starting salary of at least €27,565.92 (approximately $37,965.01), up from €27,336.

    Previously, the gross thresholds could be satisfied on an annual basis. But beginning January 1, the gross monthly salary for all Knowledge Migrants must meet the pro-rated minimum thresholds, which results in the following amounts:

    • Applicants under 30 years of age will need to meet a monthly gross starting salary of at least €2,968 (approximately $4,100), excluding holiday payments.
    • Applicants 30 years of age and older will need to meet a monthly gross starting salary of at least €4,048 (approximately $5,600), excluding holiday payments.
    • Foreign graduates from a Dutch institution of higher education, who can take advantage of the one-year search period to find employment, will need to meet a monthly gross starting salary of at least €2,127 (approximately $3,000), excluding holiday payments.

    Also effective January 1, salary payments must be transferred directly to a Dutch or foreign bank account registered in the employee’s name. Salaries must be administered through the payroll of a Dutch company or, in the case of an intra-company transfer or assignment, by the entity abroad responsible for the assignment to the Netherlands. Benefits and other allowances may be counted towards the salary requirements under certain conditions.

    The Knowledge Migrant program seeks to better attract young, highly skilled professionals to the Netherlands by establishing relatively straightforward requirements and allowing for expedited processing of work permit applications via a “one-stop” shop with the Immigration Department's Desk for Knowledge and Labor Migration.

    The Department's internal policies for processing Knowledge Migrant work authorization applications are subject to change with little or no advance notice. Therefore, Fragomen strongly recommends that those planning to apply for Knowledge Migrant work authorization review the new minimum salary requirements, along with the current application requirements and related processing times, with their Dutch immigration professional prior to filing.