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NETHERLANDS – Minimum Salary Levels for 2015 Announced

The Dutch immigration authorities have announced the new minimum salary levels to take effect from 1 January 2015 for knowledge migrant workers (aka Highly Skilled Migrants) and Blue Card applicants coming to the Netherlands. Note that, since January 2014, salaries must meet minimum monthly pro-rata levels, must include 8% holiday allowance and must also be paid directly into the bank account of the foreign national.

Minimum Salary for 2015

The new minimum salary levels are as follows:

  • Knowledge Migrants aged over 30: €54,289.44EUR per annum (up from €52,462.08).
    • This must be paid in monthly instalments of at least €4524.12EUR/month (this amount includes 8% holiday pay).
  • Knowledge Migrants aged under 30: €39,800.16EUR per annum (up from €38,465.28)
    • This must be paid in monthly instalments of at least €3316.68EUR/month (this amount includes 8% holiday pay).
  • Persons who have graduated in the Netherlands within the last 12 months: €28,524.96EUR per annum (up from €27,565.92)
    • This must be paid in monthly instalments of at least €2377.08EUR/month (this amount includes 8% holiday pay).
  • Blue Card Holders: €63,607.68EUR per annum (up from €61,469.28EUR)
    • This must be paid in monthly instalments of at least €5300.64EUR/month (this amount includes 8% holiday pay).

Monthly Payments

Remember that payments must meet the minimum monthly amounts stated above, which include 8% holiday pay. Payments must also be made directly into the bank account of the foreign national, and the onus is on the employer to prove that such payments have been made and meet monthly requirements.

Failure to be compliant with this rule may result in fines of up to €12,000EUR per violation.

Affected Applications

The new salary criteria applies only where the application for the regular provisional residence permit (Machtiging Voorlopig Verblijf or MVV) has not been made prior to 1 January 2015. For applications made prior to this date, the 2014 salary criteria apply.

It is not necessary to adjust salaries of existing Knowledge Migrants in the Netherlands unless applying for a renewal of the residence permit. The new levels apply only where an application, either for a new residence permit or a renewal of an existing residence permit, is made.

Per Diems and Allowances

Per diems and allowances may only be included if they are guaranteed and stated in the employment contract.

Market Salary Rate

It should be noted that salaries must also meet the market salary rate for the specific position. If the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (the IND) consider the suggested salary to be less than sufficient, they can ask the UWV Werkbedrijf (the body that provides opinions on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) for an opinion. Additional justification for the salary level would likely be requested from the prospective employer. Applications which do not meet market conditions as adjudicated by the UWV Werkbedrijf will be rejected.

Action Items

  • Note new minimum salary levels for 2015 and ensure that upcoming applications meet the new criteria.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Expat Management Group.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.