Biometric requirements for highly skilled migrants

On August 4, 2015 by Dutch Umbrella Company

As of January 2014, all foreigners – excluding citizens of the European Union and nationals of EEA member states and Switzerland – aged six years and older will have their fingerprints taken. In addition, a photograph will be taken for the residence permit. That also applies to highly skilled migrants. Oftentimes, this needs to be done at the same time as applying for the residence permit, or when applying for authorisation for provisional residence. There is no need to do this again for subsequent documents or permits.

Applying from within the Netherlands

When applying for a residence permit from within the Netherlands, the highly skilled migrant has to report to the IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service) to have 10 digital fingerprints and a pass photograph taken. The highly skilled migrant also has to provide a sample signature. If the highly skilled migrant has been resident in the Netherlands for some time and fingerprints have not been taken previously, then this will be required for the next application for a residence permit or visa.

An application for a residence permit is submitted by the highly skilled migrant’s employer. This is only possible if the employer is recognised by the IND as a sponsor. You can read all about recognition as a sponsor in this blog:

After submission of the application, the highly skilled migrant must go to an IND office to have the photo and fingerprints taken. No appointment is required. The addresses and opening times of IND offices can be found at

Applying from abroad, Entry and Residence (TEV) procedure

If the highly skilled migrant is not in the Netherlands, the employer can meanwhile start the procedure for application for a residence permit. The recognised sponsor needs to apply for a provisional residence permit (mvv). If this is granted, the highly skilled migrant can collect it from the Dutch embassy or consulate in the country of origin. In this case, fingerprints are taken at the embassy and a staff member of the diplomatic mission will assess suitability of the photo supplied and scan it. Here too, the highly skilled migrant is required to provide a signature. The highly skilled migrant can use the provisional residence permit to collect a residence permit from the IND on arrival in the Netherlands.

Applying from abroad, for those who are exempt from provisional residence permits

If an application is submitted in the Netherlands for a foreigner who is exempt from the requirement for a provisional residence permit (for a stay of less than three months, for example) and who is currently abroad, the applicant must attend an IND Office on arrival in the Netherlands. An IND official will take fingerprints and a photo and the client provides a signature. No appointment is required for this.

TB test

In order to obtain a residence permit, the highly skilled migrant must be willing to undergo a test and – if necessary – treatment for tuberculosis (TB). When the migrant submits the declaration of intent to undergo TB testing to the IND along with the residence permit application (and meets any other conditions), the IND will issue a residence permit. The permit is granted under the explicit condition that the highly skilled migrant will indeed undergo a TB test within three months. If it should emerge after the residence permit has been granted that – despite signing the declaration of intent – a TB test has not taken place within three months, the permit may be withdrawn.

The requirement to undergo TB testing does not apply to highly skilled migrants who are nationals of one of the countries listed on the attachment entitled ‘Exemption from obligation to undergo TB testing’. The requirement for testing does not apply if the migrant has an EU residence permit as a long-term resident of another EU country, or is a family member of someone who does and has already been admitted to another EU country as a family member of a long-term resident.

Why does the IND impose these requirements?

Taking fingerprints for the residence permit is mandatory by virtue of a European Regulation. This better protects the residence permit against abuse and fraud.