Maastricht is an important city in the overall economy of the Netherlands. It has a highly skilled, educated workforce, and excels in a number of specialist fields that contribute greatly to its economic output, like chemical and life sciences. In addition, a number of global companies have offices or headquarters in the city, including Vodafone, Hewlett-Packard, Mercedes-Benz, and DHL.
There is also a large group of public institutions in the city, many of which provide work for the expatriates living and working in Maastricht, such as The United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT), Eurocontrol, the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), and the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion. Many of these public institutions were set up in Maastricht due to its importance to the formation and development of the European Union.
Whether or not you will need a permit to work in Maastricht depends on your nationality. As the Netherlands is a member of the European Union, EU citizens do not need a permit work in Maastricht or anywhere in the country.
However, non-EU citizens will need to apply for a work permit. In order to protect its economy, the Netherlands has put strict regulations on the granting of work permits for non-EU citizens, so in order to obtain a permit you must first secure employment and then make your application through your prospective employer. Once it has been proven that no Dutch or EU citizen has the necessary skills for your prospective role, you will be granted a permit to work in Maastricht.
Expatriates living and working in Maastricht will be required to pay income tax. The Netherlands has a progressive, sliding scale tax system, which means that amount of income tax you pay depends on how much you earn in the fiscal year. National insurance contributions are added on top of income tax, and are used to pay for pensions and schooling.
The income tax rates plus mandatory national insurance contributions for 2015 are as follows:
However, the Netherlands also has a 30% income tax rule in place for certain expatriates. If you are an expatriate working in Maastricht in a highly specialized position, then you may be eligible for a tax-free allowance of 30% of your gross salary subject to Dutch payroll tax. You may also receive a tax-free reimbursement for tuition fees should your children attend an international school.