Recruiting Immigrant Workers: The Netherlands 2016

image of Recruiting Immigrant Workers: The Netherlands 2016

The Dutch labour migration system has undergone substantive changes in recent years. To induce a transition to more high-skilled migration, a programme based on salary thresholds has grown in volume while a programme based on work permits after a labour market test has shrunk. New programmes target international graduates either of Dutch educational institutions or of selected institutions abroad. Changes to immigration procedures have shifted responsibility to migrants' employers and have greatly reduced processing times. This review first examines the composition of labour migration to the Netherlands, in the context of present and expected demand in the Dutch labour market. Following a discussion of various programmes and procedures, the review assesses how labour migration contributes to the strategic development of sectors and to employment in regions. It then explores the determinants for the retention of high-skilled migrants and for the integration of international graduates into the Dutch labour market.



Assessment and recommendations

During 2010-13, permanent migrant inflows to the Netherlands were stable at around 100 000 persons annually, but these levels substantially exceeded inflows in previous years. The growth was driven by a strong rise in migrant inflows based on free movement within the European Union and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), from 19 000 in 2003 to 65 000 in 2013. Among migrants from countries outside the EU and EFTA, around 20 000 family migrants made up the largest group throughout recent years. Total net migration inflows had fallen below 20 000 in 2012 and 2013 but rose again to 37 000 in 2014.


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