Student - June 14, 2007

Foreign scientists exempt from integration

Scientists from outside the European Union are to be exempted from the integration requirements in the Netherlands. They also no longer need a work permit to be able to work here.

The rules have been relaxed for all scientists, PhD researchers who have a guaranteed place in a research group, and for their families. The Dutch cabinet has introduced the changes in accordance with European guidelines for admitting scientists to the EU.

The migration rules within Europe have also been relaxed. Scientists working in another member state, and who need to come to the Netherlands for research purposes, no longer have to apply for a temporary residence permit.

The rule is now similar to that for students from outside the EU and ‘knowledge migrants’. The latter group has to earn at least 45 thousand euros a year, and graduates under thirty have to earn at least 30 thousand euros, but many scientists do not earn such high salaries. For non-EU students who graduate in the Netherlands and want to stay here, the salary requirements were recently reduced to 25 thousand euros.

The Netherlands fears a shortage of highly qualified workers in the near future. The cabinet hopes that, by relaxing the strict migration rules for knowledge workers and students from outside the EU, it will be able to import more scientific expertise.

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