A Comprehensive Understanding of KM

Date:2020-12-07 18:42
  1. What is KM?

KM may not be something new for those who just came to the Netherlands in terms of its importance in job-hunting. Yes, it is very important. KM is short for Kennismigrant, a Dutch word for Highly Skilled Migrant. 

KM is a working permit provided by companies willing to hire and highly pay foreigner employees based in the Netherlands. KM is a must for non-EU/EEA citizens who want to work (internship excluded) in the Netherlands. Therefore, it makes it necessary to find a company that is qualified to offer KM.

  1. Conditions

Both applicants and employers should meet certain conditions to be qualified for KM. Here are requirements for applicants:

  • You do NOT have an EU/EEA or Swiss nationality;

  • You signed labor contract with a company (with KM qualification) or a research institution based in the Netherlands;

  • You have to earn sufficient income. (See below for more information on required income).

Conditions applicable for employers who intend to hire foreign labors: 

  • You are legalized by IND with qualification of offering KM;

  • You pay foreign employees the income that meets KM income standard.

  1. KM Income Standard in 2018


Gross Income (monthly)

Highly Skilled Immigrants (search year) 

€ 2314

Highly Skilled Immigrants (under 30 years old)

€ 3229

Highly Skilled Immigrants (over 30 years old) 

€ 3229

Additionally, minimum income standard of € 2314 is also applicable for employees whose degree status changes. For example, if you applied for search year with a bachelor degree before and you graduated with a master degree afterwards, this lowest income is also applicable for you. The minimum KM income (€ 2314) is applicable for all applicants who find jobs providing KM within search year regardless of their ages.

  1. List of Recognized Companies with KM Qualification 

Hereby is a list of Recognized Companies with KM in 2018. Pleas copy the link below and download the list. Job seekers are highly recommended to target companies you would like to apply for according to the list. 

Copy this link for a complete list of recognized companies with KM qualifications: https://bit.ly/2tgpY5u

  1. KM Application Procedure & Fee 

The employers usually will assist employees to apply for KM. Every company with KM qualification has a list of all materials required for KM application. You do not need to be worried with application procedures. KM application materials will be processed by IND within 2 weeks after being received. The whole application costs € 582.

  1. FAQ

  • KM=Immigration? 

KM is a working visa that neither guarantees a Dutch citizenship nor Permanent Residence. Requiring a Dutch citizenship or Permanent Residence needs a valid residence permit that enables you to stay in the Netherlands for at least 5 years consecutively. In this case, KM becomes an approach (along with other conditions) for many to get Dutch nationality or Permanent Residence because it issues a 5-years valid residence permit. All in all, KM is an optional way of living in another country legally but does not equal to immigration. 

  • Maximum 5 years residence permit=Stay in the Netherlands for 5 years?

How long can you stay in the Netherlands is related with employment contract:

  • If you have a 1-year contract, you are approved to stay in the Netherlands for 1 year;

  • If you are fired, your KM is terminated;

  • If you have a permanent contract, your KM enables you’re a 5-year residence permit, which can be renewed before it expires.

  1. About 30% Ruling

30% ruling is a preferential tax policy of attracting highly skilled talents by Dutch government. Employers are eligible to offer a tax exemption that amounts to 30% of income to employees who move to work in the Netherlands. It means that the taxable part of income decreases to 70% while the 30% tax-free income will be given to employees as allowance. Tax-free allowance makes up for working far away from your home country.

Note: 30% ruling has no relevance with KM. Possession of KM does not guarantee you qualification to apply for 30% ruling. You can still apply for 30% ruling without KM if you meet conditions of applying for 30% ruling.


Conditions for 30% Ruling Application 

  • Applicable to: Foreign employees working in the Netherlands;

  • Residence: you lived at a distance of more than 150 kilometers from the Netherlands borders (in the past 2 years) before you start working in the Netherlands;

  • Minimum Income Standard: Annual income ≥ € 53,000 (or € 37,000 after a tax deduction 30% of income)

Benefits of 30% Ruling

    • A 30% deduction of payroll tax;

    • The tax-free policy for your kids’ international educationo;

    • Permission to convert a foreign driving license to a Dutch driving license. 


For student without an EU/EEA or Swiss nationality, it is necessary to find a job offering KM to legalize your stay and work in the Netherlands. If your current employer does not have a KM qualification or you are doing internship, you can also make full efforts in your work and try to negotiate with your company, perhaps to get a KM qualification for company or to provide you a full-time job with KM after internship. 

More information of KM in the Netherlands can be found on IND website:


More information of 30% ruling can be found on Belastingdienst website:


Recommended Articles
Want to discuss more about your career?
Schedule an consultation with us now!
Career Consultation
Searching for career opportunities?
Our 1-on-1 full care service can help you
Premium Package