If you have a valid driver’s license issued in a country other than an EU / EFTA member state, you can still use it up to 185 days after registering in the Netherlands (in the BRP). After that you can only drive in the Netherlands with a Dutch driver’s license.
Can I exchange my driving licence?beheerder2019-06-13T19:05:40+00:00
You can exchange your driving licence for a Dutch one if you meet ALL of the following conditions:
You live in the Netherlands and are registered with your local municipality.
You are from the EU, the EEA, Switzerland OR are from a country with a special agreement; OR you have been granted the 30% ruling.
You have a valid residence permit (not required if you are a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland).
Your current driving licence is valid.
Your current driving licence, if issued in a country outside the EU, was issued after being a resident of that country for at least 185 days.
If you do not meet the conditions you cannot exchange your licence for a Dutch one. This means you will need to take a standard theory and practical test at the Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing (CBR).
Am I allowed to drive during the exchange?beheerder2019-06-13T19:06:14+00:00
An application is submitted to the Government Road Transportation Agency (Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer, RDW) and the appraisal process takes approximately two weeks. You are not permitted to drive while your application is being processed.
What is a Highly Skilled Migrant in the Netherlands?beheerder2020-03-24T13:45:14+00:00
The highly skilled migrant ruling came into effect in 2004. The ruling means that highly skilled migrants enjoy a special status within Dutch law, which includes that they don’t require a work permit.
Non-EU citizens in the Netherlands are highly skilled migrants if they are employed by a recognised sponsor – a company participating in the highly skilled migrant scheme (kennismigrantregeling) by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). They must also meet the salary requirement. However, this salary requirement is lower for graduates with an orientation year permit. This remains valid for as long as the graduate works at the same company.
A highly skilled migrant is an immigrant from outside the EU (incl. Switzerland) who has permission to work in the Netherlands based on his or her (scientific) knowledge.
How do I qualify as a Highly Skilled Migrant in the Netherlands?beheerder2019-06-13T19:25:53+00:00
A vital requirement of the Dutch highly skilled migrant permit is that the company must be approved as a recognised sponsor by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). If the company is not recognised, it cannot apply for the permit.
For the EU Blue Card and the ICT permit, the company does not need to be recognised as a sponsor.
What is the Length of time for decision for highly skilled migrant permit?beheerder2019-06-13T19:27:39+00:00
If the employer is a recognised organisation with the IND, the permit should only take two weeks to process. If the employer is not, then they will have to first go through the registration process, which will add to the whole processing time.
The Regular Provisional residence permit (MVV) is a special visa that is issued for a stay longer than 90 days. Your sponsor submits an application both for an MVV and a residence permit at the same time. Not everyone needs an MVV to enter the Netherlands. All About Expats as your sponsor then applies for a residence permit directly. All About Expats can submit the application while you are not yet in the Netherlands.
Not everyone needs an MVV. Nationalities that are exempt from the MVV requirement are Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, South Korea, United States of America or Vatican City. More information can be found on the IND website.
What is the difference between a visa and a residence permit?beheerder2020-05-28T12:27:25+00:00
A Regular Provisional residence permit (MVV) is used to enter the Netherlands;
and a residence permit is a document that gives you the right to stay here legally.
Citizens of certain nationalities cannot just travel to the Netherlands; these nationalities require a visa sticker (MVV) in their passport which allows them to enter the Netherlands. A visa sticker is collected at the Dutch embassy or consulate in your home country (or a third party country if there is no Dutch representation in your own country). Conversely, all Non-EU citizens need a residence permit. This is an ID card which you will receive in the Netherlands.
There is nothing to worry about. If your nationality requires a visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR), we will apply for both. You will collect the visa at the embassy or consulate in your home country. This is a sticker that is placed in your passport. The visa is always valid for three months. This is due to the fact that a visa is only used to travel to the Netherlands. From the moment you have collected the visa, you have three months to travel to the Netherlands. The residence permit, on the other hand, is an ID card that you will pick up in the Netherlands. This is the actual document that allows you to stay legally in the Netherlands during your studies here.
Yes, you can travel to Schengen member states only. Before you travel, please check whether the countries of your destination are Schengen states. Your entry visa (MVV) allows you to travel through Schengen countries for a maximum of 90 days. Please check the Schengen calculator to check how many days you still have left. The MVV is also referred to as a type D-visa. The D-visa is valid for 90 days from the commencement date stated on the visa sticker that is placed in your passport. You can use the D-visa to enter and leave the Netherlands (and other Schengen countries).
The residence permit for study allows you to live and study in the Netherlands, and to travel to all the Schengen countries and back to the Netherlands as often as you like while the permit is valid. Please note though that the maximum amount of days you can spend uninterrupted in another Schengen country is 90 days.
Also note that some countries require that your Dutch residence permit continues to be valid for a specific period of time (either three or six months) after your arrival in their country. This may have a significant effect on your travel plans, particularly during the summer months. Please remember this when you are planning to travel outside the Netherlands and check about any such requirements before you book any travel tickets.
What is the municipality and a BSN number, and is this related to my residence permit?beheerder2019-06-13T19:31:15+00:00
The municipality is the local government of a place. Depending on where you live, you fall under the municipality of Amsterdam or Amstelveen. It is necessary to register with the municipality in order to keep the right of your residence permit. When you have registered at the town hall, you will receive your BSN number within a few weeks (both Amsterdam and Amstelveen municipalities are present during the Arrival Days and you can register then as well).
A BSN number is a social security number needed to arrange all sorts of practical matters such as opening a Dutch bank account. Students often mistake the BSN number for their residence permit, and the municipality for the Dutch Immigration Service (IND). However, these are two separate institutions. The IND handles immigration matters and the municipality arranges the registrations in the town hall. You do not receive your BSN number when you have picked your residence permit at the Dutch Immigration Service (IND), but once you have registered with the municipality. So the IND and the municipality are not related. Please also note that it does not matter in which sequence you complete these practicalities; that is, you do not need a BSN number to collect your residence permit nor do you need to have your residence permit already in order to register with the municipality.
Can I apply for Long-term residence in the Netherlands?beheerder2020-05-28T13:28:52+00:00
Both the EU Blue Card holder and the Dutch highly skilled migrant permit holder may qualify for a permanent EC long-term residence permit, under Directive 2003/109/EC, after a five-year legal stay in the Netherlands.
The benefit for the EU Blue Card holders is that they are allowed to accumulate periods of residence in different Member States in order to fulfill the requirements of 5 years of legal and continuous stay. Provided, that the applicant has legal and continuous residence for two years immediately prior to the submission within the territory of the EU member country, where the application for the EC long-term residence permit is lodged.
The possibility to accumulate periods of residence in other Member States is not open to holders of the Dutch highly skilled migrant permit.
There is another big advantage for EU Blue Card holders: if the employee leaves the European Union, it is not considered an interruption of the five-year continuous legal stay (providing that this period is shorter than 12 consecutive months and does not exceed 18 months in total). These periods of absence are restricted to cases when the EU Blue Card Holder has returned to his country of origin to work as an employee or self-employed person, or to study or volunteer.
Holders of the Dutch highly skilled migrant permit are not allowed to have any interruption in their five years of legal and continuous stay to qualify for the EC long-term residence permit.
The ICT permit does not count towards obtainment of the EU long-term residence permit. However, the ICT permit may count towards obtaining the Dutch national residence permit after five years of continuously holding a valid residence permit. As that the ICT permit is issued for a maximum of three years, it must be switched to another type of permit after three years. This would enable the employee to build up five years of residence, enabling them to apply for the Dutch permanent residence permit.
Do I need to deregister if I am leaving the Netherlands?beheerder2019-06-13T19:51:56+00:00
Before leaving the Netherlands, a number of matters need to be dealt with. One is deregistering from the Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen, BRP). The municipality removes your personal details from the database and informs other government authorities of your departure.
How do I deregister?beheerder2019-06-13T19:54:13+00:00
You can deregister a month before leaving the Netherlands and are required to indicate your date of departure. If you deregister by post and do not provide a date of departure, the date the municipality receives your written notice will be adopted as your date of departure. If you provide your notice of departure in person, without providing a date of departure, that day is considered your departure date. If your partner or child(ren) leave the Netherlands, they must also deregister.
What is a citizen service number (BSN)?beheerder2019-06-14T08:08:25+00:00
Everyone in the Netherlands has a registration number: the citizen service number (burgerservicenummer, BSN) is assigned to Dutch citizens at birth. Those newly arriving in he Netherlands will need to apply for a BSN. A BSN is required in order to be permitted to work; open a bank account; make use of a healthcare institution; and to apply for benefits or an allowance.
How do I get a BSN?beheerder2019-06-13T20:06:32+00:00
If you live in the Netherlands for more than 4 months, then you must register as a resident in the Personal Records Database (BRP). Internationals moving to the Netherlands can register directly with the municipality in which they will be resident. When doing so, they will be assigned a BSN.
Which Collective Labour Agreement is applicable?beheerder2021-01-05T10:26:23+00:00
Yes, the StiPP pension is applicable to you during your time as an employee paid by All About Expats. This pension is applied from the age of 21 after 26 weeks of employment. The basic scheme is applicable from the 27th week till the 78th week. After the 78th week the plus scheme is applicable.
Holidays and leavebeheerder2019-06-13T20:08:48+00:00
If you have a full-time contract, you are entitled to 16 2/3 hours of holiday per month. This adds up to 25 holidays per year. If you work less, you receive a proportionate part of this. If you want to go on holiday, you can take the necessary holidays, to the extent that you have accumulated these.
If you plan to bring your family, you must also apply for a MVV (Entry visa) and/or VVR (Residence Permit) for your family members. If you possess or are entitled to a Residence Permit as a highly skilled migrant or a scientific researcher according to EU guidelines, your family members will receive the same residence status as you. This means, among other things, that your husband or wife is also exempt from the TWV (Work Permit) requirement.
The following conditions are set:
In case you and your accompanying partner (or a partner arriving later) are married or are registered as partners, you have to submit a copy of the legalised marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership.
In case you and your partner are unmarried or aren’t registered partners, you need a legalised unmarried status declaration. The unmarried status declaration must come from the country of origin.
Your accompanying children (or children that join you later) are not older than 18. It is not easy to bring along children who are older than 18 years. Their application is evaluated/processed separately from the application for the other family members.
You have adequate financial means to maintain your family in the Netherlands.
The applications for your family members also go through All About Expats. It is not necessary to apply for an MVV and/or VVR at the same time that your application is submitted, although doing it together is more convenient. Even if applications were submitted at the same time, it does not mean that all family members must come over at the same time. They can still choose between travelling to the Netherlands together with you, or at a later stage.
After receiving a positive answer on your MVV application, you have three months to pick up your MVV sticker from the embassy. Subsequently, the MVV is valid for three months for the purpose of travelling to the Netherlands.
Partners always receive a VVR for maximum of one year. Minor children always receive a VVR for the same duration as that of the parent with the VVR with the longest validity.
Is registration of my family members at the municipality required?beheerder2019-06-13T20:11:45+00:00
For registration in the BRP the birth certificates of the family members will also be required. A marriage certificate or declaration of partnership (no older than 6 months) is required to demonstrate a relationship with the partner. All official documents must be translated into Dutch, English, German or French and bear the necessary stamps (apostille, legalisation and, if necessary, verification).
The following documents must be submitted for registration in the BRP:
A valid passport;
Proof of legal stay, for example proof that an application for a residence permit has been submitted;
A rental contract, evidence of boarding at an address or the title deed to ones house;
Birth certificate (provided with an apostille or legalisation stamp and verified if necessary).
Legalizing Documents, how does this work?beheerder2019-06-26T11:44:19+00:00
Legalisation makes documents suitable for use in another country. To legalise a document, the competent authorities sign and stamp it. Several different steps may be needed to complete the process. Most countries have agreements for this. The steps you must take to have a document legalised vary by country. It depends on the agreements made between the Netherlands and the country the document comes from. Select the country your document comes from.
A competent authority in the country where the documents come from checks that the document has been signed by the correct authority or authorities in that country. This is usually their Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After approval, a stamp or sticker is placed on the document. This shows the Dutch authorities that the document has been issued by a competent authority.
The Dutch authorities check the document and place another stamp or sticker on it. This is usually done by the Dutch embassy, consulate-general or honorary consul in the country where the documents come. A number of countries have made agreements saying that not all these steps are required. Or that they are not required for certain types of documents. The Apostille Convention is one of these agreements.
I am a Highly Skilled Migrant. Are my partner and/or my children allowed to work?beheerder2019-06-13T20:12:55+00:00
If your child is born in the Netherlands, he/she does not get Dutch citizenship automatically. According to Dutch law, the child gets the citizenship of the parents. This means that the parents’ nationality is transferred to the child. The country (place) where your child is born does not determine its nationality.
If your child is not entitled to Dutch citizenship upon birth, then you must apply for a residence permit for him/her as soon as possible. If your child has the nationality of an EU country or a country in the European Economic Area (EEA), or Swiss nationality then you do not have to apply for a residence permit.
Before you apply for your child’s residence permit, you must first register your child’s birth at your municipality. The municipality shall issue a birth certificate, which is recorded in the register of births, marriages and deaths. Your child is also registered in the Municipal Personal Records Database (Dutch: BRP). After registration you receive a BSN within a week. You will need the birth certificate in order to apply for your child’s residence permit.
You will need to apply for a travel document for your child (for example, a passport). For that you should contact the authorities of your country. If your child (and you, as the parent) cannot obtain a travel document, then you must substantiate this situation with the appropriate documents.
Subsequently, you would have to telephone the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) for an appointment. After you get an appointment, the IND will send you a letter specifying which documents you have to bring with you (for yourself and for your child).
Can I get child benefit?beheerder2019-06-13T20:14:28+00:00
If you have children under 18, the government will help you with the costs of bringing them up and caring for them. The money you receive for this from the government is called child benefit (kinderbijslag). The rules for who can get child benefit and how much child benefit will be paid are set down in the National Child Benefits Act (AKW).
The amount of your child benefit depends on the age of your child. You will get a higher amount when your child turns 6. The child benefit will increase again when your child turns 12. If your child does not live with you because he or she is disabled, and you are faced with high expenses, you may be eligible for child benefit at twice the basic rate.
You get child benefit once a quarter. The first payment you will receive will be for the next quarter after your child’s birthday. In other words, your child benefit will start in January, April, July or October. The SVB pays child benefit after the end of each quarter.
If you adopt a child or if you have just come to live in the Netherlands, your child benefit may start at a different time.
For how long is the orientation year permit valid?beheerder2019-06-13T20:16:09+00:00
You may work anywhere, and in any role, as long as you don’t claim any benefits – that is not allowed as a holder of the orientation year permit. But you are free to join the labour market in any way you like.
When should I apply for the orientation year permit? Should I wait for my final grades?beheerder2019-06-13T20:16:55+00:00
You will need to send a copy of your diploma or a declaration from your university that states that you have fulfilled all requirements for earning your degree. Sending the application before fulfilling all requirements is therefore not recommended, but you can apply before your graduation ceremony has taken place, if you can supply the necessary declaration. Do note that you must submit your application before your student visa expires.
Is my residence permit for study purposes still valid after my graduation in the Netherlands?beheerder2019-06-13T20:17:55+00:00
You can apply for the orientation year until 3 years after your graduation date or the expiry date of your residence permit for scientific research. If you want to prevent a residence gap (an interruption in your lawful residency), you will have to apply before your residence permit for study purposes or scientific research expires. If you prefer to apply later, after your residence permit has expired, and your are not exempt from the MVV requirement (see question 3), you can apply at a Dutch representation (embassy or consulate) abroad.
When does the orientation year start?beheerder2019-06-13T20:18:35+00:00
You reside legally in the Netherlands, but you do not have a valid Dutch residence permit, or you have a valid Dutch residence permit for study purposes when you apply: If a residence permit for the orientation year is granted to you, it will start on the application date if you have submitted all requested documents with the application and if you qualify for the orientation year at that moment, even if the decision is made after that date.
You have a valid Dutch residence permit for the purpose of scientific research (or a ‘highly skilled migrant’ residence permit to perform scientific research) when you apply: If a residence permit for the orientation year is granted to you and your employment contract or hosting agreement is not ended prematurely, it will start immediately after your current residence permit expires. If your employment contract or hosting agreement is ended prematurely, your residence permit for the orientation year will start on the date your employment contract or hosting agreement ends ór on the application date, whichever comes last.
You apply at a Dutch representation abroad: If an MVV is granted to you, you will automatically obtain a residence permit after arriving in the Netherlands. Your residence permit will start on the day after the date the MVV sticker is placed in your passport by the Dutch representation. You can also choose to have your residence permit start on the date you enter the Netherlands.
I have applied for the orientation year while residing legally in the Netherlands. How soon can I start working?beheerder2020-02-06T12:53:16+00:00
If you want to start working soon, it is recommended that you apply for the orientation year online. The IND strives to handle your online application in 2 weeks if it is complete. In general, you can collect your residence permit within a week after your application has been handled.
If you cannot wait 3 weeks, because you have already found a job and your employment contract starts within 3 weeks, you can get a (free) residence endorsement sticker in your passport at an IND desk. The sticker will be valid while your application is pending and states that you reside legally in the Netherlands and that you have free access to the Dutch labour market. This means you can start working immediately after you have collected the sticker. You do not have to wait for the residence permit itself.
If you apply online or by post and your application is complete, you can get the sticker after your application has been registered. If you apply at an IND desk, you can get the sticker immediately if you submit all requested documents with your application. You will have to make an appointment by phone if you want to submit your application at an IND desk.
You cannot get a residence endorsement sticker if you applied for an MVV abroad and that application is still pending.
What are other benefits of the orientation year?beheerder2019-06-13T20:19:31+00:00
You are granted free access to the Dutch labour market during the orientation year. This means that there is, apart from the Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act (WML), no salary criterion and that an employer does not have to apply for a work permit for you. Furthermore, the reduced salary criterion applies to you when you find a job as a highly skilled migrant. This may encourage an employer to hire you.
I already found a job as a highly skilled migrant without needing an orientation year first. Am I still eligible for the reduced salary criterion?beheerder2019-06-13T20:19:51+00:00
Yes, you are. If you qualify for the orientation year, but you do not apply for it because you already found a job as a highly skilled migrant, your employer can still make use of the reduced salary criterion.
I have had a residence permit for paid employment or for working as a highly skilled migrant, immediately after I had graduated or performed scientific research. Am I still eligible to apply for the orientation year?beheerder2019-06-13T20:20:14+00:00
Yes, that is possible. You can apply for the orientation year until 3 years after your graduation date or the expiry date of your residence permit for scientific research, regardless whether you have had a residence permit for paid employment or for working as a highly skilled migrant in the meantime or not.
I found a job as a highly skilled migrant during the orientation year? Does my employer have to apply for a new residence permit for me immediately?beheerder2019-06-13T20:20:36+00:00
No, that is not necessary. You have free access to the Dutch labour market during the orientation year, so your employer can wait until the end of your orientation year before he applies for a new residence permit for you.
Can I work in other Schengen member states with a Dutch residence permit for the orientation year?beheerder2019-06-13T20:20:58+00:00
No. A Dutch residence permit allows you to enter and exit the Netherlands and travel through the Schengen Area. However, a Dutch residence permit does not give you the right to work in other countries. If you want to work in another (Schengen member) state, you will have to apply for a residence permit and/or a work permit in that state.
Your stay in other Schengen member states is limited to a maximum of 90 days within a period of 180 days. If you intend to stay in another Schengen member state longer, you must comply with the immigration regulations of that country.
Can I use my residence permit for the orientation year to look for a job in the Netherlands while living abroad?beheerder2019-06-13T20:21:15+00:00
No. If you do not have and keep your main residence in the Netherlands during the orientation year, your residence permit can be revoked. Having main residence in the Netherlands is a key requirement to retain a Dutch residence permit.
Healthcare in The Netherlandsbeheerder2019-06-14T08:16:52+00:00
Every person who lives or works in the Netherlands is legally obliged to take out standard health insurance to cover the cost of, for example, consulting a general practitioner, hospital treatment and prescription medication. You may also opt to take out additional insurance to cover costs not included in the standard package.
Standard mandatory healthcare insurancebeheerder2019-06-14T08:17:18+00:00
The Dutch government decides on the cover provided by the standard package. All insurers offer the same standard package. Healthcare insurers are obliged to accept anyone who applies for the standard insurance package and must charge all policyholders the same premium, regardless of their age or state of health.
The health insurance system in the Netherlands is based on the principle of social solidarity. Together, we all pay the overall cost of health care. Everyone contributes, for example, to the cost of maternity care and geriatric care.
What does the Standard Mandatory health insurance covers?beheerder2019-06-14T08:17:41+00:00
Not all health care is covered by the standard package. You can opt to take out additional insurance to cover, for example, physiotherapy or dental care. Additional insurance is not obligatory and you are not obliged to take out the standard package and additional insurance with the same insurance company.
Insurance companies are not obliged to accept everyone who applies for additional insurance. An insurance company can refuse to accept you as a client or can ask you about your health before accepting you.
Health insurance through All About Expatsbeheerder2021-01-04T14:11:35+00:00
As stated in the Public Health Insurance leaflet, a compulsory excess applies in the Netherlands for reimbursements under the public healthcare insurance. Under the No Risk I, you do not have to pay a compulsory excess.
No Risk II
Emergency dental treatment – maximum € 200 annually;
Medical necessary repatriation 100%;
Transport of moral remains 100%;
Reimbursement of statutory personal contribution for medicines 100%.
The premium is deducted monthly from your salary. The following cost structure applies for 2019:
Can I co-insure my partner and children at Holland Zorg?beheerder2019-06-27T13:44:10+00:00
The Holland Zorg Temporary Employment Policy only apply for employees. As an exception, family members can be co-insured on the employee’s policy.
Holland Zorg offers an online application module to enable you to arrange appropriate health insurance for you, and if needed your entire family.
The insurance options that largely correspond to the Holland Zorg Temporary Employment Policy are:
Supplementary Insurance Start
Dental Insurance “TandExtra”
For children up to age 18, dental insurance is not required because most dental expenses are covered by the basic insurance. However this does not apply to braces / orthodontics, crown, bridge work and implants. These require additional insurance. Newborn babies must be registered for health insurance within four months after birth.
Can I change my insurance provider?beheerder2020-01-14T08:15:09+00:00
You can change to another health insurer at the end of each year. Whether or not you can also change your additional insurance depends on the policy conditions.
Health insurers offer a transfer service. They will cancel your old insurance for you if you take out a new policy with them before 31 December.
You are not obliged to take out additional insurance with the company that provides your basic package. If you apply for a basic package with a new insurer, you can keep the additional package with your current insurer and vice versa. Special conditions may apply to a ‘separate’ additional package. The premium may be higher or the insurer may apply a qualifying period. You will be insured during the qualifying period but certain costs will not be reimbursed. Your insurer can inform you of the conditions.
Change of employer when your residence permit is still validbeheerder2019-06-14T08:26:40+00:00
Highly Skilled Migrants are allowed to change employers while their residence permit is till valid. The residence permit continues as long as you fulfil the conditions, even if you change employer or obtain another position.
If you no longer work for the employer or change your position, your employer must pass this information onto the IND. Have you found another job? Then you must inform the IND yourself of your new employer. You must do so within 4 weeks. The IND will then review whether the conditions are still being fulfilled.
The official name is Kingdom of the Netherlands. The dutch have a Parliamentary democracy within a constitutional monarchy. King Willem-Alexander is the official Head of State. The official capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam but the seat of the government is The Hague.
The kingdom consists of the Netherlands and three territories in the Caribbean: Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. The Netherlands consist of 12 provinces. The Caribbean Islands Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius are special municipalities of the Netherlands.
Total surface area is 33,800 km2 and is inhabited by 17.214.000 inhabitants (July 2018). The currency is Euro.
The Dutch are the 7th largest global investors of the world (source: CBS)
The Dutch are the 7th largest recipient of foreign investment of the world (source: CBS)
The Netherlands ranks 3rd wordwide by Forbers Best Countries of doing business
The Netherlands ranks 2nd worldwide on the 2018 Global Innovation Index
The Netherlands has the 5th highest number of patent applications per million inhabitants in the world.
The Netherlands has the 7th highest GDP in the European Union (Source: OECD)
The Netherlands is the only country which has consistently been among top 3 in the total ranking of any European Index published by the Health Consumer Powerhouse since 2005.
The Netherlands ranks 20th worldwide in safety (Global Peace Index)
The Netherlands ranks 3rd worldwide in English proficiency (English Speaking Proficiency Index)
The Netherlands ranks 7th on the Human Development Index (source: UNDP)
13 Universities are in the in top of the Times 200 (2018)
The Netherlands ranks 5th on the UN Happiness Index
60% of all Forbes 2000 Companies active in IT have established an office in The Netherlands
70% of all Dutch Innovation is IT related
The Netherlands ranks 1st Most connected country in the world (source DHL GLOBAL CONNECTEDNESS INDEX 2018)
The Netherlands ranks 4th on the 2017-2018 World Economic Forum’s list of the 128 most competitive countries.
The Netherlands has the 2nd highest online connectivity in the world .
What is payrolling?beheerder2019-06-14T09:15:50+00:00
The payrolling service originated in the United States in the 1960s with the first wave of labor migrants. Payrolling was first introduced in the Netherlands in the 1990s. It is estimated that 200,000 people currently work in the Netherlands with a payroll contract.
A payroll company hires the Highly Skilled Migrant of a client on paper and thus becomes a legal employer. Formally, the Highly Skilled Migrant is therefore employed by the payroll company. With this, the payroll company also immediately takes over the labor risks. The payroll company makes employees available exclusively and often for a longer period to the client.
What are the motives for a company to work with payrolling?beheerder2020-02-06T12:21:17+00:00
Motives for companies to hire Highly Skilled Migrants through payrolling are: recognized sponsorship IND (Immigration and Naturalization Service), time saving, Pre-financing , cost saving, risk management, less personnel administration and professional support.
How about the 30% facility when I switch from employer?beheerder2020-05-28T13:24:18+00:00
An employee who already has the 30% ruling can switch to a new employer and benefit from the 30%-ruling again (for the time left). The period between the one employment and the other may not exceed three months. A new application for the 30%-ruling is required.
What is an Umbrella Company?beheerder2019-06-26T11:58:55+00:00
Umbrella Companies are used by recruiters and freelancers in the UK. An Umbrella Company offers the freelancer an alternative to a Limited Company (legal entity in the UK). They essentially serve as an ‘employer’ to contractors by providing the intermediary services between a recruitment agency or end client and the contractor who will be conducting the work.The umbrella company provides payrolling and invoicing services to the freelancers.
What kind of a services does an Umbrella Company offers?beheerder2019-06-26T11:59:48+00:00
As an employee of the Umbrella Company, the freelancer has access to various employee facilities such as continued payment of (part of) the wage in the event of illness, employee insurance for disability and unemployment and continued payment of wages during maternity leave. In addition, wage tax and national insurance contributions are already paid to the tax authorities as a type of withholding tax, and a pension scheme can be opted for.
An additional advantage is that the freelancer can also be eligible for the 30% ruling. This is only accessible to people with an employment contract and ofcourse meets the other conditions.
Does the client has a positive creditrating (think of a Creditsafe rating), than pre-financing the salary payments and payments to the tax authorities and, if applicable, the pension fund is also part of the service
Does All About Expats offers Umbrella Services?beheerder2019-06-26T12:03:07+00:00
For Highly Skilled Migrants outside the EU, EEA of Switzerland without a permanent Dutch residence permit All About Expats doesn’t offer Umbrella Services. Although All About Expats offers similar services, it is technically not an Umbrella Company. Umbrella Services is a service that in almost all cases acts as an intermediary that mainly regulates the invoicing and compensation of billable hours. In the Netherlands this service is called Freelance Payroll. By default, the wage payment obligation is excluded here, which means that if no hours are invoiced, no salary payment will take place.
All About Expats is of the opinion that the regulations concerning knowledge migrants from outside the EU, EEA of Switzerland and the services offered by traditional Umbrella Companies do not go together. Excluding the obligation to continue paying wages jeopardizes a current residence permit and will stand in the way of the application for a new residence permit. After all, there is a wage standard that must at least be achieved during the term of the employment contract.
All About Expats only works on the basis of fixed term agreements where wages are guaranteed during an assignment. This means that during the hiring assignment in the event of illness, public holidays and holidays, at least the standard wage will be paid on. With an Umbrella Company there is a risk that these hours will not be continued or paid at a lower value. This can have negative consequences for the right of residence of the highly skilled migrant and for the application of the 30% ruling.
Are you citizen of the EU, EEA of Switzerland or do you have an permanent Dutch residency, than we can offer you freelance payroll construction, which is 100% the same as the services of an Umbrella Company.
What is the so called 30% facility?beheerder2020-05-28T13:23:36+00:00
The 30% facility is a Dutch tax facility aimed at attracting foreign employees with a specific expertise to work in the Netherlands. If a highly skilled migrant comes to work in the Netherlands, he or she is possibly confronted with extra costs, so-called extraterritorial costs. All About Expats may provide the Highly Skilled Migrant with a maximum of 30% of his or her wage, including reimbursement, tax-free. This facility is known as the 30%-facility. For this, it is not necessary to prove that expenses have been incurred.
All About Expats and the highly skilled migrant needs the permission from the Tax Authorities to apply the facility. To obtain this, the highly skilled migrant and All About Expats have to submit an application. The submission is done by our partner Dutch Tax Advice who can submit applications in an efficient manner on the basis of a covenant with the tax authorities. The covenant also ensures that a shorter process time applies: about 4 weeks instead of the 4 months that applies by default.
All About Expats and the highly skilled migrant are eligible for this allowance if a number of conditions are met.
What are the conditions?beheerder2019-06-27T11:42:28+00:00
If a highly skilled migrant who wants to work in the Netherlands wants to make use of the 30% ruling, he or she must have, among other things, specific expertise. To demonstrate this specific expertise, an income standard applies that is indexed every year.
In 2020 there will be specific expertise if the highly skilled migrant has a taxable annual salary of at least € 38,961 (€ 38,347 in 2020), excluding the tax free allowance. For highly skilled migrants who have obtained a Dutch Master’s degree in scientific education or an equivalent foreign title, and who are younger than 30 years of age, this income standard is € 29,616 (€ 29,149 in 2020) excluding the tax free allowance.
What is the definition of an incoming employee?beheerder2020-03-24T13:43:28+00:00
‘Incoming employees’ can benefit from the 30% facility. For the 30% facility, the highly skilled migrant must have lived outside the Netherlands for more than 16 months from the 24 months before his or her first working day in the Netherlands. And also on more than 150 kilometers from the Dutch border.
How is the Tax free allowance calculated?beheerder2020-01-08T16:08:45+00:00
Daisy is 31 years old, a Java developer and has agreed a salary of €4,612 excluding 8,33% holiday allowance with the user company. This salary meets the income standard applied by the IND for highly skilled migrants aged 30 or older.
The income standard for the 30% facility is €38,347 yearly taxable wage. This is per month €38,347 / 12 = € 3,195 including 8% holiday allowance. The basic salary without 8.33% holiday allowance is €3,195 / 1.0833 = € 2,950 monthly
The difference between the agreed wage of € 4,612 excluding 8% holiday allowance and the required monthly taxable wage of €2,949 = €1,662. This is 36 % of the agreed wage, which is more than the 30% maximum allowable tax-free allowance for the 30% facility.
Daisy can therefore receive 30% of what was agreed as a tax-free allowance, which amounts to €1,383 excluding 8.33% holiday allowance.
Sarah is 29 years old, a Web developer and has agreed a salary of € 3,381 excluding 8,33% holiday allowance with the user company. This salary meets the income standard applied by the IND for highly skilled migrants younger than 30. Sarah is not in the possession of a recognized master’s degree.
The income standard for the 30% facility is € 38,347 yearly taxable wage. This is per month € 38,347 / 12 = € 3,195 including 8,33% holiday allowance. The income standard without 8.33% holiday allowance is € 3,195 / 1,0833 = € 2,950 monthly.
The difference between the agreed wage of € 3,381 excluding 8.33% holiday allowance and the required monthly taxable wage of € 2,912.27 = € 431. This is 12.74% of the agreed wage, which is less than the 30% maximum allowable tax-free allowance for the 30% facility
Daisy can therefore receive 12.74% of what was agreed as a tax-free allowance, which amounts to € 431 excluding 8.33% holiday allowance.
Estimated impact on your net wagebeheerder2019-06-27T13:05:54+00:00
A maximum of 30% of your taxable wage is paid out as a tax-free allowance. Please note that a reduction in the gross wage can have consequences for the pension basis and any benefits and allowances, such as unemployment benefits and rent allowance. Once the application of the scheme expires, a fall in net income can occur.
What is de the duration once the 30% facility is granted?beheerder2019-06-27T13:15:10+00:00
If the application is submitted within four months from the first day of the employment, the 30% ruling will apply retroactively from the first day of employment. If the request is not submitted within four months, the 30% rule will apply from the first day of the month following the month in which the request is submitted.
Therefore it is necessary that you provide All About Expats and their partner Dutch Tax Advice as soon as possible the required information for the application of the 30% facility. Please note that for the application a social security number is required. A social security number will be available to you after you register yourself at the municipality.
What kind of information do I have to provide?beheerder2019-06-27T13:17:21+00:00
To show the Tax Authorities that you meet the definition of an incoming employee All About Expats and their partner Dutch Tax Advice need proof that you lived more than two thirds of the period of 24 months 150k of the Dutch border. You can think about:
copy of bank statements with cash withdrawals / debit card payments;
copy of rental contracts that applies to the specific period in combination with proof of rent payments or energy bills;
overview of possible municipal taxes;
registration and deregistration certificates;
statements of former employers (this alone is not enough).
How do I provide the information to All About Expats and Dutch Tax Advice?beheerder2019-06-27T13:19:14+00:00
Deemed non-resident taxpayer
An expat who qualifies as a resident taxpayer of The Netherlands, can opt to be taxed as a deemed non-resident taxpayer. The advantage is that as a deemed non-resident taxpayer, the expat need not report any investment income to the Dutch Revenue (except for Dutch source income, such as Dutch real estate).
The choice will be made in the application form but can be changed every year. The expatriate can still deduct certain personal expenses (i.e. alimony payments, medical expenses etc.). Our Partner Dutch Tax Advice can advice you on this matter.
Expats to whom the 30%-ruling applies can exchange their foreign driver’s license for a Dutch license. This can be an advantage for expats from non EU-countries (EEA and Switzerland included), who can only use their foreign driver’s license for 6 months after their date of registry
How about the 30% facility when I switch from employer?beheerder2020-05-28T13:22:58+00:00
An employee who already has the 30% ruling can switch to a new employer and benefit from the 30%-ruling again (for the time left). The period between the one employment and the other may not exceed three months. A new application for the 30%-ruling is required.
What are the costs of the Standard Mandatory Healthcare insurance?beheerder2019-06-27T13:24:21+00:00
You pay a fixed, nominal, premium to your insurance company for the standard health insurance package. The monthly premium for the obligated health insurance is approximately around € 90 – € 130 (2019) depending on your choices.
Besides the monthly premium there is a obligated own risk. The policy excess concerns healthcare costs that are not reimbursed. The government determined that the excess for 2019 amounts to € 385,-. Medical costs that exceed this sum are covered by your health insurance and will be paid by the insurer.
Does my employer also pays contribution?beheerder2019-06-27T13:25:08+00:00
In addition to the nominal premium All About Expats as your employer also pays an income-related contribution for the standard package. This contribution is directly remitted by All About Expats to the Healthcare Insurance Fund.
When comparing health care insurance packages the following items are relevant:
How much own risk do you want to have?
Do you want to have additional insurance?
Do they cover a wide area of hospitals for emergency care?
An excellent comparison site which is available in English is: Zorgwijzer
Dutch insurance companies are obliged by law to offer the basic package to everyone. They cannot deny coverage because of gender, age or health profile. This obligation does not apply to additional insurance. You are not legally required to have additional insurance and insurers may reject applications for additional insurances. They are also free to decide the coverage and premium.
Register with a General Practitionerbeheerder2020-02-06T12:13:40+00:00
After you have chosen your healthcare Insurance you must register yourself with a General Practitioner. You can find a Dutch General Practitioner in your area of residence online by using the Dutch word: “huisarts”.
What happens if you don’t have a Health insurance?beheerder2019-06-27T13:37:54+00:00
A fine is not the only negative consequence of not having a Dutch health insurance. If you need health care and you are not in possession of a health care policy, you will have to pay for the medical costs yourself. These costs include (hospital) treatment and medication and you will be directly charged for all the costs for (hospital) treatment and medication. Generally, these costs will quickly exceed the costs of the insurance premium you would pay if you were insured.
Good to know
The General Practitioner is the first contact point when you become ill or other health problems arise. The GP will provide an examination and may prescribe medication that can be collected at the pharmacy. If this does not suffice, the GP can refer to specialists, institutions and hospitals for further examinations, treatments and care.
Registering to a local pharmacy is also highly recommended as prescription medications can only be collected there.
Hospitals in The Netherlands are usually nearby and provide a high level of care. Some hospitals are specialized in certain treatments or areas. The General Practitioner will refer you to the right hospital except if emergency medical care is required. In that case hospital care will be immediately available by calling 112.
Health insurance companies sign contracts with health care providers, such as hospitals, clinics and therapists. Healthcare providers that have a standing agreement with the health insurance company are referred to as ‘contracted healthcare providers’. Reimbursements may be lower when care or treatment is supplied by a healthcare provider that does not have a standing agreement with the insurer. The reimbursement percentage mainly depends on the chosen policy.
To hire a highly skilled migrant, it is required that the employer in question is a recognized sponsor of the IND. This recognition means that the company is considered by the IND as a reliable partner.
The recognized sponsor uses an accelerated admission procedure. The IND aims to make a decision within 2 weeks;
The recognized sponsor is required to send fewer supporting documents to the IND;
The recognized sponsor has a fixed point of contact at the IND.
When is a recognized sponsorship not necessary?beheerder2019-06-28T08:30:59+00:00
A recognized sponsorship is not necessary when applying for an “EU Blue Card” residence permit or a residence permit in the context of an intra corporate transfer. If the company is not recognized as a sponsor, the processing time of the application takes between 8 and 12 weeks.
What are the costs of becoming a recognized sponsor?beheerder2021-01-04T10:51:23+00:00
The IND fee for being a recognized sponsor in 2021 is € 4,125. For companies that have been in existence for less than 1.5 years and for companies that have fewer than 50 employees worldwide, there is a reduced IND fee of €2,062.
What is the application procedure?beheerder2019-06-28T08:35:31+00:00
The application procedure for recognized sponsor can be divided into two groups: a relatively simple procedure for companies that have been in existence for more than 3 years and a difficult and lengthy procedure for companies that have been in existence for less than 1.5 years. For companies that have been in existence for more than 1.5 years but less than 3 years, the IND may decide that the company must also follow the difficult and lengthy procedure. This is the case if the IND has doubts about the continuity and solvency of the company.
Company has been in existence for more than 3 years
Companies that have been in existence for more than 3 years can be recognized as a sponsor by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) without assessment.
The most important conditions are:
Registration with the Chamber of Commerce
The company is not in arrears with the payment of social security contributions and payroll taxes
The company has not been fined a tax offense in the past four years prior to the application for recognized sponsor, or a fine for violation of the Aliens Employment Act, Minimum Wage and Holiday Allowance Act, and the Aliens Act
Drivers must be reliable. The IND can request a declaration of behavior in this regard
The company may not have been declared bankrupt in the past three years
The turnover and profitability of the company.
The IND will decide on these applications in 4 weeks. The legal decision period is 3 months.
Company has been in existence for less than 1.5 years or between 1.5 years and 3 years
The application procedure for companies that have been in existence for less than 1.5 years consists of a lot of paperwork and has a fairly long lead time (count on 6 months). Advice on these applications is provided by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and not by the IND itself. The RVO will assess whether the continuity and solvency of the company are sufficiently guaranteed. This assessment is based on the points system described below. If RVO advises positively, the company is recognized as a sponsor. If the company achieves sufficient points, a positive recommendation from RVO follows. A total of 100 points can be achieved. 50 points are sufficient for a positive advice.
Before the RVO starts to substantively assess the application, the RVO first checks the following points:
Is the company registered in the Chamber of Commerce?
Has there been a change in the shareholder structure of the company?
Has there been or has been a takeover, a moratorium or bankruptcy?
If there has been a change in the shareholder structure or if there is (has been) a takeover, a moratorium or bankruptcy of the company, the company will have to explain this and make it clear on the basis of documents. If that does not happen, the RVO will not proceed with the substantive assessment.
In a substantive assessment, the RVO uses the documents to assess whether the continuity and solvency are sufficient.
Which documents must be submitted?beheerder2019-11-22T14:28:26+00:00
As an employer, you are obliged to report changes to the IND if they affect the right of residence of the highly skilled migrant, the employee transferred within a company, or the employee for regular paid employment, seasonal work or learning to work.
If the employee no longer meets the wage requirement;
If the employment contract has been terminated;
If the employee receives a different position;
If the employee returns to the country of origin; • if the employee moves;
If you no longer have a view of the employee.
As an employer, you are required to collect and record relevant information about your employee.
The employment contract or the appointment decision;
The work permit if required;
Loon The wage specifications;
A copy of the passport.
Do you no longer act as a sponsor for the employee? Then you must keep relevant data and documents for another 5 years.
You must carefully recruit and select highly skilled migrants. You must also inform them of the admission and residence conditions that they must meet.
What if my company consists of several legal entities?beheerder2019-06-28T08:43:14+00:00
An IND recognition applies per legal person. If your company consists of several legal entities, then each legal entity must be a separate sponsor. Of course only if the legal entities concerned want to hire highly skilled migrants.
What happens if a recognized sponsor does not comply with the rules?beheerder2019-06-28T08:44:26+00:00
The IND can check at any time whether your organization complies with the rules, for example by requesting information from your organization. If you do not comply with the rules, the IND can take various measures.
Suspension or withdrawal of approval
The IND can suspend the recognized sponsor as a recognized sponsor. During the suspension, the IND will investigate whether the organization still meets the conditions for recognition. If the organization does not comply with the rules several times or no longer meets the conditions for recognition, the IND can withdraw the recognition. The IND can then refuse the organization as a recognized sponsor for 5 years.
Withdrawal of residence permits
In the event of suspension or withdrawal of recognition, the IND can withdraw the residence permit of the highly skilled migrants who are employed by you.
Warning and administrative fine
The first time that the recognized sponsor does not comply with the rules, a warning usually follows. The IND may impose a fine for a subsequent violation. The amount of the fine depends, among other things, on the seriousness of the violation and the number of violations. In the case of serious violations, the IND can also immediately impose a fine, without prior warning.
Declaration of a criminal offense
The IND is obliged to report if there is a reasonable suspicion of an offense. For example, if the organization has deliberately provided incorrect information. The Public Prosecution Service will then determine whether your organization will be prosecuted. In that case, the organization may be fined or the director sentenced to prison.
If the highly skilled migrant can no longer legally reside in the Netherlands, the Dutch government will check whether he is leaving the Netherlands. If he does not leave on his own initiative, the government can deport him. The IND can recover the costs incurred thereby from the recognized sponsor. This concerns the costs for transport to the airport or border, the flight ticket and the costs of travel documents, such as a replacement passport. The costs can be recovered from
1 year after your organization no longer acts as a sponsor for the knowledge migrant in question.
The Dutch Educational System Explainedbeheerder2019-06-28T09:30:29+00:00
In the Netherlands education is compulsory by law for the ages from 5 to 18 years for all children who are living in the Netherlands. Compulsory education runs in principle from 5 to 16 years plus one or two years until the attainment of a diploma.
Children at ages of 4 to 12 attend Dutch primary schools close to the places where they actually live. This school has eight grades, from group 1 through group 8. The difference between primary schools can be religious or educational. All primary schools are monitored by the Dutch Government.
After the age of 12 children attend a secondary school which has different levels:
preparatory vocational secondary education (vmbo) – 4 years in duration
senior general secondary education (havo) – 5 years in duration
university preparatory education (vwo) – 6 years in duration
Choice for a level is made supported by the advice of the Primary school and the results of a test.
There a two different types of higher education in the Netherlands:
HBO: vocational education which is professionally oriented
For access to bachelor’s programs at the HBO the minimum requirement is HAVO or MBO.
WO: scientific education which is research oriented
For access to bachelor’s programs at the WO the minimum requirement is VWO.
Public local schools are government-funded, and all children, including expats, can attend them free of charge. However, most schools will ask for what is known as a parental contribution. This covers activities such as excursions and extra-curricular activities. At the age of 16, school fees apply but as these are subsidised by the government, the cost of public school remains far lower than that of international schools.
Yes. at these schools children are taught in English for 30% to 50% of the day, from the age of 4.
Please notice that at a bilingual school 50% of the time Dutch will be the spoken language. Also the school leaving exams at the end at the secondary school are in Dutch. For children who doesn’t adapt the Dutch language very easily this is maybe not a good option.
Some bilingual schools offer special programs for non-Dutch speaking speakers.
Around and in the main Dutch cities there are both private and public International Schools. Some international schools are partly funded by the government and others are private. For subsidized international schools, the annual fees are between €3,600 and €8,500, depending on the school and grade level. Subsidized schools generally offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum.
This is easily transferable to other IB schools in other countries and classes are mostly taught in English. Fully private schools have fees upward of €12,000-€26,000. Some of these schools offer the specialized curricula of other countries (i.e. French, Japanese, American, or British), while others follow the IB curriculum.
The following national insurance schemes apply to all persons living or working in The Netherlands:
General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW)
The AOW is a basic state pension for people who have reached their AOW pension age. If you live or work in the Netherlands, you will almost certainly be insured under the AOW scheme. AOW pension is paid by the SVB.
General Surviving Relatives Act (ANW)
If a spouse, partner or parent dies this will have financial consequences for the surviving partner and/or children. In accordance with the Surviving Dependants Act (ANW) surviving dependants may be eligible for a surviving dependants’ benefit. Orphans are also eligible for a benefit.
Long Term Care Act (WLZ)
If you need a lot of care or support on a daily basis, for example because of mental or physical limitations, you may qualify for care under the Dutch Long-term Care Act (Wlz).
The Health Insurance Act (ZVW)
Every person who lives or works in the Netherlands is legally obliged to take out standard health insurance to cover the cost of, for example, consulting a general practitioner, hospital treatment and prescription medication. You may also opt to take out additional insurance to cover costs not included in the standard package.
Child Benefit Act (AKW)
Child benefit is money from the government towards the expenses of raising a child. If you live or work in the Netherlands and you have a child or children under 18, you will get Dutch child benefit. Dutch child benefit is paid by the SVB.
Which Employee Insurance schemes apply?Patrick Odijk2020-02-06T12:09:01+00:00
There are several Employee insurances acts. The for Highly Skilled Migrant most important ones are:
Sickness Benefits Act (ZW)
A Dutch law that is implemented by the UWV and ensures that ill employees, in cases where the obligation on the employer to continue to pay during illness does not apply (for example because they are no longer employed), have the right to a benefit.
Work and Income According to Labor Capacity Act (WIA)
The WIA ensures that employees are entitled to an invalidity benefit in the event of full and permanent incapacity for work. Those who are still able to work up to a certain level receive a supplement to their wage.
Unemployment Insurance Act (WW)
The WW insures employees against the financial consequences of unemployment. The loss of income may be temporarily cushioned by an Unemployment Insurance Act benefit (WW benefit). This benefit bridges the period between one job and another.