Residence permits for highly skilled migrants and their children

On April 25, 2016 by Dutch Umbrella Company

A new employee from abroad would like to bring her 17-year-old daughter to the Netherlands. She is turning 18 in a few weeks’ time. What do you need to do to facilitate this and what does your employee need to do? Before we answer these questions, we briefly discuss the permit application process for the new foreign employee.

Employing personnel from abroad: the EU

For citizens of EU countries, the process is simple. They do not need to apply for residence or work permits. They must hold a valid passport, health insurance (naturally, health insurance can easily be arranged via WePayPeople), and they must register with a local authority for the purposes of having a valid permanent address or place of residence.

Employing personnel from outside the EU

Because the Netherlands is battling with growing levels of unemployment, the government tightened up the regulations in respect of employing non-EU residents in 2014. Employees must apply for a combined work and residence permit (GVVA). Applications can be submitted to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) by the employee or the employer. No permit is required for periods of employment of less than 3 months.

Highly skilled migrants

Highly skilled individuals (highly skilled migrants) who contribute to the knowledge economy do not always require a work permit if they earn a specific minimum gross wage. The prescribed salary is dependent on age, amongst other things. Check the rate calculator for the minimum gross wage required.


You may only facilitate the entry of highly skilled migrants if you are a recognised sponsor. Sponsors are persons or organisations that have an interest in attracting foreigners to the Netherlands. You can apply for the status of recognised sponsor via the IND, but the process is very time consuming. WePayPeople is a sponsor; therefore, highly skilled migrants on WePayPeople’s payroll are able to start work quickly.

Residence permits for family members

If you or the employee wish to apply for residence permits for children, the employee must already be in possession of a residence permit, the children must be going to live with the employee, and there must be sufficient income to maintain the family members. If the children are going to arrive in the Netherlands at the same time as the parent(s), it is useful for the employer/sponsor to submit the children’s residence applications simultaneously to that of the highly skilled migrant.

Usually, permits are requested for a spouse or children under the age of 18 years. A number of conditions apply to each family member. They must hold a valid passport, pose no risk to public safety, and not have been convicted of an offence.

Family members must register on the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP) using the same address as the employee and, depending on country of origin, they must be tested for tuberculosis. They are also obliged to obtain health insurance and this too they can simply do via WePayPeople.


Applying for a residence permit is a time-consuming process. It can take several months to gather and submit the required items of proof.

The application process for a residence permit takes a maximum of 90 days. The permit is valid for a maximum of 5 years. The family member may also work in the Netherlands, provided the employer applies for a work permit on their behalf.

WePayPeople is recognised by IND as a sponsor and listed as such in the register at That offers a number of benefits. The 90-day process has been reduced for WePayPeople to a target lead- time of just 2 weeks.

Children under the age of 18

If the application is submitted and registered with the IND before the child reaches the age of 18 years, the child may reside with the parent/highly skilled migrant. Therefore, it is advisable to submit this application as quickly as possible. If the parent has an employment contract for an indefinite period, both parent and child receive a 5-year residence permit.

The child’s permit is not revoked when the child turns 18-years of age. After 5 years, there is the option to apply for a study permit, or, assuming the child has completed its education, to apply for an individual residence permit on the basis of paid employment / as a highly skilled migrant.

Further information

WePayPeople participates in the Expatcenter Amsterdam Partnership Programme, an initiative between various local authorities and the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), and provides a variety of services for highly skilled migrants.

As mentioned earlier, WePayPeople is an IND-recognised sponsor, which makes the application process significantly quicker and simpler.


Does this article raise any more questions? Please contact our expat deks on 020-820 15 60, or send an e-mail to