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The Relocation Company: Highly Skilled Migrants in the Netherlands

Consultancy firms with a local presence in the Netherlands are doing well. Not only for Dutch firms, but also international firms that choose the Netherlands to serve their European clients. Brexit also contributed to this trend.

Consequently, there is a high demand for consultancy skills; some skills that could not only be fulfilled by the Dutch local workforce. A Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) could be a solution.

Don’t underestimate engaging a Highly Skilled Migrant

Engaging HSM’s comes with it’s challenges and calculated risks.

As we all know, in the consultancy business one of our own KPI’s is the utilisation rate. With new foreign hires it might take longer to be billable then local hires.

In order to hire a knowledge migrant, the consultancy firm needs to be a recognized sponsor of the Dutch Immigration Office (IND). This could take up to 3 months after approval. A residence permit needs to be organized for Non- EU employees with a processing time between 6 and 12 weeks.

When relocating to the Netherlands, many expats need to make additional costs, due to double housing, medical examinations or visits to their home country, amongst other things. To offer some financial relief, the Dutch government has introduced the 30 % tax ruling, allowing tax exemption for up to 30 % of an expat’s salary. This makes the Netherlands for HSM’s an even more attractive place to live.

Upon the arrival, the expat often will be offered a temporary accommodation and he/she needs to be registered at the city hall asap to obtain a Social Fiscal Number (BSN). Without a BSN in the Netherlands, no health insurance can be taken, no application for the 30% tax ruling and kids are not allowed to attend a public school… At the bigger cities there might be a waiting time to register at the municipality. Salaries need to be paid out into a local bank account, which one to choose from?

Renting properties in the major cities are hard to find due to the high demand. The renting process in the Netherlands might be different than in other countries, local expertise is highly recommended.

Another challenge might be schooling. Although most expats might look for (private) international education, there is a trend that more expats are considering the local public education system that the Netherlands has to offer. In some area’s the choice of a public school depends on where you live.

When the family moves into the new house, other challenges will arrive. Registration of utilities, which TV/Internet provider to choose from, registration at doctors and dentists.

After some time when the family has settled in, the trailing partner might want to (re)integrate in the local workforce. Language barriers, local customs and procedures could be overcome working with partner support programmes.

A lot of research has been conducted to the success factors of an international move. If a trailing partner/family is not happy in the new country, there is a big chance the employee contract will be early terminated.

Benefits of working with a Destination Service Provider

All these challenges could be overcome working with a Destination Service Provider (DSP).

Local relocation companies have the knowledge and networks to assist in all the above areas:

  • The Employer/HR could (partly) outsource the time-consuming immigration paperwork to a DSP and will focus on strategic key competencies like Talent Recruiting.
  • The Employee does not have to take care of the time-consuming administration/registration requirements and can focus on his/her new job and be dedicated to client.
  • The trailing partner/family will be assisted during the settling in.


In this way all stakeholders will be relieved from the often stress-full things that comes with an international move, which will be instrumental in making the integration of the foreign employee and his/her family in their new home country a success.

The Relocation Company is a local Destination Service Provider assisting employers and their foreign employees during the immigration to the Netherlands.

Find out more about The Relocation Company here.

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