What is a Highly Skilled Migrant visa in the Netherlands?

Are you ready to embark on a remarkable journey to the Netherlands, where your career growth and endless possibilities await? Look no further, because the IND might have the right key to unlock your dreams: the Highly Skilled Migrant Visa or as we like to call it: ‘HSM-visa’.

In this blog, we will take you through the application process and everything you need to know of the highly skilled migrant program in the Netherlands. Brace yourself for a comprehensive guide that leaves no stone unturned, empowering you to navigate the visa process with confidence and clarity.

In case you need more assistance, we can walk you through each step of the journey. Our expert insights, firsthand experiences, and insider tips will arm you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions and overcome any hurdles along the way. For more information, please send an email to info@movetonl.com 

What is the HSM-visa about?

Highly skilled migrants are professionals who can make a contribution to the knowledge economy in the Netherlands. The visa is designed to attract top talents from around the globe, this visa category recognizes your exceptional skills, qualifications, and expertise. It offers a seamless pathway to work and reside in the Netherlands. 

How do I know if I am a ‘Skilled Worker’?

Boldly stepping into the realm of Knowledge Migration? Let’s shed light on the defining factors that set you apart.

A Knowledge Migrant is primarily distinguished by two essential elements: the level of salary and the academic education you have acquired. Occupations such as (guest) teachers, (scientific) researchers, or doctors in training exemplify the diverse range of professions encompassed by this visa category.


With your expertise and qualifications, you possess the power to make a significant impact in your field.

Are you ready to seize exciting job opportunities with Dutch employers? If you’ve secured a position that comes with an employment contract lasting a minimum of three months and you meet the income requirement, then congratulations! You could be eligible for the coveted Highly Skilled Migrant HSM-visa.

However, not every company can take advantage of the scheme. Your employer must be registered as an ‘IND referent’. To date, MoveToNL is not a referent. 

How much do I need to earn?

Curious about the financial aspect of the Knowledge Migrant visa? Let’s dive right in!

To qualify as a Knowledge Migrant under 30 years of age, you must earn a minimum gross monthly income of €3,672 (excluding 8% vacation allowance). For those aged 30 and older, the threshold rises to €5,008 (excluding 8% vacation allowance).


Can I still apply for a 30% ruling if I do not have a HSM-visa?

Yes you can! In short, if you can tick off the following boxes, you will most likely be eligible:


✅ You have an employment contract with a Dutch employer

✅ You have been recruited from outside the Netherlands;

✅ You have specific expertise or skills (which mostly breaks down to 2,5 years of experience)

✅ You have lived more than 150 km’s from the Dutch border before you started working in the Netherlands

✅You are going to earn a minimum gross salary of € 41.954 

How much does it cost?

Boldly embracing the journey towards your Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) visa? We’ve got great news for you! With our streamlined service, you pay a flat fee to initiate your HSM visa application. 

By choosing to file your application independently, the cost amounts to €350,00. However, keep in mind that additional expenses such as document requests from your country of origin and potential notary fees should be taken into account.

While these costs are challenging to predict in advance, they vary based on your specific country of origin. We’re here to provide you with the clarity and support you need throughout the process, making your HSM visa application a seamless and hassle-free experience.

How long will it take the government to process the application?

Boldly pursuing your Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) visa? Timing is key!

Due to the fact that you can only apply as a sponsor for this type of visa (see also our blog about ‘sponsorship’ or in Dutch ‘erkent referentschap‘) the IND processes your applications faster. The IND tries to decide on an application within 2 weeks. In some cases the target period is 7 weeks when either additional information is needed or a work permit. 

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