Hiring skilled and educated talent for your company is never easy. But, making the right hire for a position is essential to ensure that things run smoothly and that the job gets done. Oftentimes, that perfect candidate is a non-EU citizen, and so they require a visa and work permit to work in The Netherlands. Applying for and arranging a highly skilled migrant (HSM) visa and a work permit can be lengthy and time-consuming. That’s why we enlisted the help of TOSS in Holland to explain the ins and outs of hiring HSMs from abroad and a fast track to doing it, especially if your company is not a recognized sponsor by the Dutch immigration and naturalization service (IND). A list of all the sponsors can be found here.
Types of Visas Available for Companies to Hire People From Abroad
There are several options available when hiring non-EU citizens from abroad. The options can be found on the website of the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization (IND) service. Some of these options which may suit your company’s candidates are as follows:
- Highly skilled residence permit (Highly Skilled Migrant) – ideal for companies looking for skilled talent from abroad; talent which is harder to find in The Netherlands and the EU. Becoming an IND-recognized sponsor is mandatory for hiring HSMs. There are also certain requirements which need to be satisfied in order to be considered a highly skilled migrant (e.g. Salary requirements).
- Intra-corporate transfer residence permit (ideal for larger organizations with a presence around the globe and in The Netherlands). Becoming an IND-recognized sponsor is NOT mandatory to hire employees locally via intra-corporate transfer.
- Residence permit with the EU blue card – skilled migrants with a high salary who are highly educated and have applied for the EU blue card. Usually via another EU member state. Becoming an IND-recognized sponsor is NOT mandatory to hire EU blue card holders.
- Applying for someone as a researcher (Directive EU 2016/801) – usually, the compensation would be in the form of a grant rather than a salary. Not applicable to organizations/persons not conducting research. Becoming an IND-recognized sponsor is definitely mandatory for hiring researchers.
- Resident Permit for work in paid employment – This could work; however, for citizens from outside the EU, it’s quite expensive and requires lots of documentation to submit. You must prove to the IND that you cannot find the right person in NL or the EU. This process alone can take 6 months. This very challenge is addressed by the HSM visa and recognized sponsor program. This can be done without becoming a recognized sponsor.
- Orientation Year Visa – This is ideal for hiring talent which generally speaking, has recently graduated. So if your candidate is not a recent graduate, it’s going to be more challenging. However, the salaries tend to be lower, so as an employer, you would be getting value for money. The requirements for the orientation year visa can be found on the Dutch government’s website.
- If your candidate has a spouse or partner who is already an EU resident or citizen, they can apply to live in the Netherlands and work there freely. This avoids your organization having to do the paperwork.
Becoming a Recognized Sponsor
In order to hire citizens from outside the EU, ideally, your company should become a recognized sponsor. A recognized sponsor is an organization whose business interest requires hiring higher-educated talent from abroad. For more information on applying to be a recognized sponsor, visit the IND website.
Pros & Cons of Becoming a Sponsor
Keep in mind that it may not be worth the hassle to become a recognized sponsor if you’re going to hire just a handful of highly skilled migrants every now and then. The process for becoming a recognized sponsor can take up to a year or even longer. Also if your company is not yet registered, the challenge of proving the history, liquidity and solvency of the company can be a hurdle. However, becoming an IND sponsor has its advantages, such as reduced paperwork, lower costs, and quicker decision-making time for all your candidates, weeks rather than months. This contrasts sharply with the hiring based on regular employment mentioned earlier. It basically means that the IND trusts you. Keep in mind that even as a recognized sponsor, your organization will need approval from the IND for the candidate to live and work in The Netherlands. Definitely worth enlisting the help of an immigration lawyer to give you a hand with this to make life easier.
Obligations of a Recognized Sponsor
There are certain obligations to remain a recognized sponsor, so this will take time from your team. Failure to meet these obligations can result in fines or even being withdrawn from the program. The list of obligations can be found on the IND website. Smaller organizations who want to remain lean may find these added requirements to be not worth it for their needs and would like a simpler and more streamlined approach.
The Fastest, Most Efficient Way to Hire HSMs
The fastest and easiest way to hire highly skilled migrants is via an umbrella or international payroll company like TOSS in Holland. They become the Employer of Record. The way it works is simple:
- You have found the right candidate to work in The Netherlands
- You contact an international payroll provider (like TOSS), and the candidate enters into an employment agreement with the payroll provider. This is the Employer of Record (EOR)
- The employee is officially an employee of the payroll company (EOR), and so all the visa and paperwork are done by them. They are a recognized sponsor and can hire HSMs (probably quicker and more efficiently than many sponsors)
- Your company enters into an agreement with the payroll company for that employee. You pay the salary + a small fee to the EOR/payroll provider for their service. Boom, an instant hire!
Other Advantages of Using an International Payroll Provider
The advantages of using an international payroll provider are all too many.
- It avoids you having to become a recognized sponsor and the obligations that come with it.
- Your employee can work sooner, which helps with employee retention and your team’s overall productivity.
- Flexibility. Companies like TOSS in Holland offer a wide variety of contracts, so in the event, your employee gets sick or if you would like the ability to make changes to the organization, there are flexible contract options you may not be aware of.
- Reduced administration and workload for your team.
- Sponsored International Payroll providers understand the market better and can advise on dos and don’ts. Seeing as they do this sort of thing all the time, they are the experts. They can also provide your organization with a rich source of candidates.
- A strong international payroll provider will offer other services such as housing, recruitment, or even furniture rental services. The good ones, like TOSS, are often one-stop shops. This will provide both cost-effective solutions and make this employee’s transition much easier and smoother, and a happier employee is a more productive employee. Not many payroll companies do this, so make sure to check before signing anything.
If you’re planning on hiring several HSMs, definitely worth looking into hiring an international payroll provider.
Other Considerations – No Entity in The Netherlands
If your company does not have an entity in The Netherlands but wishes to hire someone locally as a highly skilled migrant or for regular employment, using an international payroll company is ideal. Setting up an entity locally in The Netherlands requires a few things: using a notary, getting internal approvals, and understanding local regulations and laws. You’ll also have to file taxes for your local entity. These are just a few administrative tasks you’ll face with setting up shop locally. Using an international payroll provider and local sponsor as the employer of record, you can avoid setting up a local entity. This can be ideal for accompanying spouses who would like to keep their jobs back home in their native country.
If you’re looking for help hiring from abroad or want the ability to hire locally with no presence and are not sure what to do, consider reaching out to TOSS in Holland, they have extensive experience and knowledge. Their team is always happy to help and answer your questions, no matter how involved your situation may be.