Recruiting Immigrant Workers: The Netherlands 2016

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Published on September 06, 2016

The Dutch labour migration system has undergone substantive changes in recent years. To induce a transition to more high-skilled migration, a programme based on salary thresholds has grown in volume while a programme based on work permits after a labour market test has shrunk. New programmes target international graduates either of Dutch educational institutions or of selected institutions abroad. Changes to immigration procedures have shifted responsibility to migrants' employers and have greatly reduced processing times. This review first examines the composition of labour migration to the Netherlands, in the context of present and expected demand in the Dutch labour market. Following a discussion of various programmes and procedures, the review assesses how labour migration contributes to the strategic development of sectors and to employment in regions. It then explores the determinants for the retention of high-skilled migrants and for the integration of international graduates into the Dutch labour market.


Foreword and acknowledgements
Acronyms and abbreviations
Executive summary
Assessment and recommendations
Context for labour migration to the Netherlands
Evolution and characteristics of labour migrationto the Netherlands
The Dutch labour migration policy
Matching labour migrants with labour demand in the Dutch economy
Attracting and retaining skilled migrants and international students in the Netherlands
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Press release

 Knowledge migrants aged 30 or above are admitted if the salary they are offered by a Dutch employer exceeds 120% of the average gross income. While this requirement is simple and transparent, it is very restrictive for some groups of applicants.   Retention rates of skilled migrants can be further improved if spouses had better opportunities in the Dutch labour market, the OECD review shows. International students with early labour market experience, acquired through internships and ideally related to the field of study, are more likely to stay in the Netherlands after graduation.