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Visas for Working in the Netherlands


Richard Bierlaagh


March 07, 2022


08:44 PM

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Are you considering working in the Netherlands? Be it to kickstart or advance your career, expand your business or build whole new company; we’re honored to be on your mind.

As a small state with a high-income economy and limited natural resources, the Netherlands adopts policy to facilitate the knowledge-economy. At the same time, the Netherlands has an expansive welfare state that can only persist if its boundaries can be safeguarded.

This means that immigration procedures are generally focused on one main question: will the Dutchie-to-be add to the economy and thrive self-sustainably? Different moving-for-work situations link to different visas and their underlying application procedures and test. We highlight the three predominant ones:

A tax advisor’s 101 to entering the Dutch labor market

Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) Visum

What is it and who does it apply to?

  • This is a permit for employed persons and is a work and residency permit in one.

Persons can apply if they:

  • Have an ‘Immigrations recognized sponsor’ (usually: your future employer), and; Will earn:
  • € 3,484/mo (<30 yrs age);  € 4,752/mo (≥30 yrs age).

When does it end?

  • If the employment is discontinued or, if that comes first;
  • After 5 years of living in NL.

What is the procedure?

  • Online request at immigration authorities (IND) & payment fees;
  • Decision within 90 days
  • Pick up the permit within 3
  • months after the decision
  • Start your employment

Self-Employed Visum

What is it and who does it apply to?

  • This is a permit a for self- employed persons, regardless of incorporation status.
  • The offered product or service must be ‘innovative’ in NL.
  • Several clients in the Netherlands. Gross profit per month € 1,285.96

When does it end?

  • If the activities in the Netherlands end, or, if that comes first:
  • After 5 years of living in NL.

What is the procedure?

  • File request to the NLEA, including business plan.
  • Request permit at IND & paying the fees
  • Registration at the Dutch house of commerce.
  • Decision within 90 days (extension of maximum 6 months)
  • Pick up the permit within 3 months after decision
  • Start duties in the Netherlands

Innovative Startup Visum

What is it and who does it apply to?

  • This visa allows ‘Innovative’ early- stage startups and their founders to enter the Dutch market.
  • Applying startups need a certified ‘facilitator’; a local mentor.
  • The NL Enterprise Agency must clear the business plan. Tests:
    • Is the product ‘Innovative’?
    • Are profits foreseeable based on the business plan?
    • Does the company have sufficient funding to survive runway on its own?
    • The startups staff must be paid at least € 1,837.08/mo.

When does it end?

  • After one year; it can be renewed!

What is the procedure?

  • Find a facilitator;
  • File a request at the NLEA;
  • Register with Chamber of Commerce.

The 30% Ruling: a tax incentive to entice scarce and highly skilled workers to come over

The 30% Ruling is a facility that originates as compensation for ‘extraterritorial costs’ that incoming workers may experience on account of having to move houses internationally and perhaps maintain a cross border lifestyle. Under its application, the expat is considered only ‘partially liable to Dutch tax’. In brief:

  • The 30% Ruling exempts 30% of wages above the threshold as well as all foreign shareholdings and savings from Dutch income tax.
  • The facility applies for max. 5 years and is accessible for:
  • People moving in from ≥ 150km from the Dutch border;
  • To work for a Dutch employer, including their own entity;
  • Whose skills are scarce in the Netherlands, which is evidenced by incurring a wage in excess of € 55.658/year (threshold, i.e.: € 4,638/mo, <30: €3,525).

Time Abroad (application time!)

  • Option 1: Highly Skilled Migrants Visum (max. 5 yrs, min € 3,484 – 4,752/mo)
  • Option 2: Self-Employed Visum (max 5 yrs, min. € 1,286 profit/mo)
  • Option 3: Startup visum [1 yr] After 1 year: apply for option 1 or 2
  • Optional & conditional: 30% Ruling (max 5yrs, min €3,525 - € 4,638/mo) Citizenship (Visa no longer needed)

Learn More About Living, Working and Paying Taxes in the Netherlands

Archipel is a Dutch tax firm in The Hague, they are Tax Tech on the front end, a quality boutique at the back. Archipel Tax Advisors translate between real life and taxation to provide tailor made solutions and a personal approach.

Connect with Richard for tax and financial advice as an expatriate/immigrant in the Netherlands.


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