Nederland verliest aantrekkelijkheid op gebieden als tolerantie, huisvesting en gezondheidszorg Published on 03-08-2022

Knowledge migrants from outside the EU are an interesting labour force for the labour market shortage

The Netherlands is losing attractiveness in areas such as tolerance, housing and healthcare

Rotterdam, 29th August 2022. Knowledge migrants from outside the EU want to stay longer or permanently in the Netherlands and also more often intend to learn Dutch and apply for Dutch citizenship. This is much less the case among knowledge migrants from within the EU. Attracting knowledge migrants from outside the EU has a more lasting effect on the labour market shortage than attracting knowledge migrants from within the EU. This is evident from research by Intelligence Group and Ravecruitment into the motives, experiences and future prospects of knowledge migrants in the Netherlands, from within and outside the EU.

Reason for return

Knowledge migrants from outside the EU more often indicate that they intend to stay in the Netherlands and integrate into Dutch society compared to those from within the EU. The reasons for the entire group to return or not to return to the home country are often related to family, political and economic circumstances.

International career

The motives for an international career of knowledge migrants from outside the EU are more long-term in nature. Investing in this target group by offering them assistance with legal paperwork and assigning a designated contact person can help to facilitate their onboarding. In addition, a flexible attitude on the part of the employer with regard to days off for family events in the country of origin, for example, can help in a sustainable relationship with them. After all, an international employee has to travel longer to attend the wedding of a relative, for example.

Losing ground

Previously, the Netherlands was known for its tolerance, housing and healthcare. These are precisely areas in which the Netherlands is losing ground. This is especially true for Amsterdam, where housing problems are particularly acute (the capital city rose from 35th to 25th place in 2022 as the most expensive city to live in according to Mercer’s ‘cost of living’ study). This effect will in all likelihood also trickle down to the other major cities in the Netherlands.

The abolition of the 30% ruling will inevitably affect the choice of knowledge migrants to live in the Netherlands. Especially for those from outside the EU who are less satisfied with the net salary in the Netherlands.

Digital nomads

The ‘digital nomads’ are a growing group of international workers who perform location-independent work and move more easily between different countries. This means that it will also become more difficult to retain this group.

“Whereas the knowledge migrant previously worked in the Netherlands mainly on a temporary basis, today’s knowledge migrant appears to be primarily a permanent asset. This is highly desirable in order to bring the labour market more in balance and contribute to economic development, organisational growth and diversity and stability of the workforce”, says Gijs Notté, Director of Ravecruitment.

The choice of knowledge migrants to choose the Netherlands at this moment is based on other interests. In order to attract knowledge migrants as a country, it is important first of all to have a stable economic climate. In addition, it can best distinguish itself in other areas, such as the work-life balance, the use of the English language, the public transport network and the openness of the population.

Organisations can reach knowledge migrants on various platforms. Knowledge migrants obtain their information in the migration process, in particular from websites related to work, housing and social contacts, such as LinkedIn, Funda and Facebook. In addition, they also use more specific websites aimed at expats, for example: iamexpat, Dutchnews and

Technical justification

The results are derived from the research into the motives, experiences and future perspectives in the Netherlands among knowledge migrants from within and outside the EU.

For questions, please contact Intelligence Group: Geert-Jan Waasdorp (, or Nadina Bricic (

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