As of 1 January 2014, the Netherlands has introduced a number of changes in relation to work permits (TWVs) for highly skilled non-EU workers.
The main changes affect short-term knowledge migrants ("kennismigrant kort verblijf"). The Netherlands has been running a short-stay work permit scheme since January 2012 which enables employers to hire highly skilled foreign workers for up to 90 days. Although the scheme was only intended to run for two years as a pilot scheme, it is now permanent as of 1 January 2014.
In addition, the minimum salary thresholds have changed significantly. In order to qualify for a short-stay permit, the short-term knowledge migrant previously needed to earn at least 4,372 Euro (gross) per month. This figure applied irrespective of age. The permit scheme now distinguishes salaries based upon age: short-term knowledge migrants aged under 30 need to earn at least 3,206 Euro and those aged 30 or more must earn at least 4,372 Euro. In both cases, the figures are calculated on a gross monthly basis and include any holiday allowance.
A further change is that non-EU nationals currently working in another EU country can now apply for a long-term, highly skilled migrant visa without needing an official Dutch address. This used to be a major condition of eligibility and its removal will make applications quicker and simpler for foreign migrants.
Overall, these changes should be good news for Dutch employers of non-EU workers. Nihat Kurt, partner at the Expat Management Group, notes that the new rules are not widely known in the Netherlands but believes they "may have a positive impact on Dutch companies' mobility programs," with the new salary changes in particular allowing them to "save costs as they do not need to offer [salaries] at the old increased level."