NETHERLANDS – New Market Salary Rate Rule for Knowledge Migrants – Significant Government Fee Increase – Reduced Registration Requirements for Dependent Spouses
Effective 19 June 2011, the Netherlands has introduced a new salary rule for Knowledge Migrant (highly skilled) applications. Minimum salary levels already apply for Knowledge Migrant applications but the new rule (the “Market Conformity Test”) requires salaries to also be in line with market conditions, as adjudicated by the UWV Werkbedrijf (the body that provides opinions on behalf of the Dutch Minister of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW). Additionally, government fees for several immigration categories have increased, and the requirement for spouses of Knowledge Migrant Permit holders to register their marriage with the Municipal Person Records Database has been removed.
New Market Salary Rule
Applications for the Knowledge Migrant (highly skilled) Programme in the Netherlands were already required to meet certain minimum salary criteria, as set out below. However, the new “Market Conformity Test”, introduced on 19 June 2011, also makes it a requirement that salaries must be in line with market conditions.
If the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (the IND) consider the suggested salary to be less than sufficient, they can ask the UWV Werkbedrijf (the body that provides opinions on behalf of the Dutch Minister of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) for an opinion. Additional justification for the salary level would likely be requested from the prospective employer. Applications which do not meet market conditions as adjudicated by the UWV Werkbedrijf will be rejected.
Minimum salary criteria
- €50,619EUR gross per annum for highly skilled migrants over the age of 30
- €37,121EUR for migrants below the age of 30
- €26,605EUR for migrants who completed their studies in the Netherlands
Significant Government Fee Increase
The IND has also announced new fees, effective from 1 July 2011, which are significantly higher than previous fees.
For example, the government fee for a provisional work permit for a Knowledge Migrant Worker has increased threefold, from €250EUR in 2009/2010 to €750EUR for 2011. Government fees for residence permit extensions have doubled - going from €188EUR to €375EUR.
The full IND fee list can be found here.
Reduced Registration Requirements for Dependent Spouses
Finally, the requirement for dependent spouses to register their marriage with the Municipal Person Records Database (GBA) has been removed – i.e. it is no longer required to submit an M46 form to the IND. It is still a requirement to submit a marriage certificate to the IND as part of the dependent application (although note that unmarried partners are also accepted as dependents in the Netherlands, provided they meet certain conditions) and it is also a requirement for the principal applicant and the dependent spouse/partner to live together at the same address.
- Note that salaries for Knowledge Migrant Permit applications must meet market rates as well as minimum salary criteria
- Note new government fees, effective 1 July 2011, and budget accordingly.