News - January 22, 2009


As of 1 January this year, it is easier for highly educated professionals from abroad to get into the Netherlands. According to, those who meet certain criteria can obtain a residence permit for a maximum of one year to find work or set up an innovative company.

Knowledge migrants have to have at least a Master’s degree to qualify for the job-hunting year. And it must be either from a Dutch university or from one of the universities in the top 150 of the ‘Shanghai ranking’ of 2007. Graduates can make use of this rule for up to three years after graduating.

A points system is also in place. Besides the level of education, which earns 25 points for a Master’s and 30 for a doctorate, other key factors are age and ‘indicators for success in the Netherlands’. Someone of between 21 and 40 years of age gets 5 extra points. Another five points are awarded for work experience, having studied in the Netherlands, and knowledge of languages. A total of 35 to 40 points are needed for a permit. Financial means are not among the criteria.