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.
On 1 January 2013, there were 3.54 million residents in the Netherlands with at least one foreign-born parent (“non-native background”).