Migration elicits mixed reactions from the host-society. Negative responses towards migrants seem to emerge when migrants are perceived as culturally different. We investigated when and why perceived cultural distance (PCD) is associated with negative migrant attitudes by focussing on differences in cultural values. We expected that PCD in social values (focus on relationships and society) should be more strongly associated with attitudes towards migrants than personal values (individual needs and gains) and should be mediated by symbolic threat. In two quasi-experimental studies (N = 200, N = 668) with Dutch participants (host-society), we simultaneously tested effects of respondents' perception of Dutch values, their perceptions of migrant values (of Moroccan, Syrian, Polish ethnic origin), and PCD between Dutch-migrant value on attitudes. For all migrant groups, PCD in social values was associated with more negative attitudes, less tolerance, and less policy support regarding migrants; this was mediated by symbolic threat. These links were weaker for personal values.