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New migration policy in Holland favours brain gain

The Dutch cabinet has agreed to a proposal by the minister for immigration and integration, Mrs Rita Verdonk, for changes in Dutch immigration policy concerning highly educated migrants and non-EU students. The new migration policy is based on a points system for innovative business people, freelance researchers and creative top talents. Companies and organisations will play a greater role in the admission procedures of highly skilled migrants as they will be able to establish contracts with the government.

The residence categories relevant to the field of higher education are as follows:

Residence category 2: Study and regular work. Migrants falling into this category are those wishing to study at a Dutch higher education institution or carry out work requiring specific qualifications. The length of stay in the Netherlands depends on the length of the work contract, with the possibility of extending the residence permit. The migrant may become eligible for a permanent residence permit and the right to family reunification if they can support themselves financially. However, the residence permit will be withdrawn if the migrant claims social security benefits.

Residence category 3: Knowledge and highly skilled work. This category concerns the admission of highly-skilled migrants. A points system is to be introduced for migrant workers who are not affiliated to a company or organisation (‘highly skilled migrant programme’). This programme will allow migrants to obtain a renewable two-year residence permit. Migrants under this category may, after five years, become eligible for a permanent residence permit.

Press release from Dutch ministry of justice