Looking for a job after graduation?
Are you a non-EU/EEA student and have you graduated or are you graduating soon and would like to stay longer in the Netherlands? Then you can apply for an orientation (search) year permit. This permit allows you to remain in the Netherlands for one year to search for a job after your graduation. Please note: Team Immigration (EUR) cannot assist graduates with the orientation (search) year permit application as it should be done by the student directly with the IND.
If you are searching for a job, take a look at the page of the Career Service at EUR. They can help you with all your questions regarding your preparation for the labour market and can help you to discover your interests and qualities. Furthermore, they also offer several workshops.
Checklist for leaving the Netherlands
Want to return to your home country after graduation? Go to our checklist to see what you should do if you’re done with your studies and you’ll be leaving the Netherlands.
Orientation (search) year permit
The orientation year was designed to bring highly educated internationals into the Dutch workforce. It grants you free access to the Dutch labour market, by offering employers benefits like not having to apply for a work permit for you and not having to adhere to the salary criterion. Furthermore, the reduced salary criterion applies to you when you find a job as a highly skilled migrant. This may encourage an employer to hire you.
The orientation (search) year permit is meant to search for a job, however, you can also use this residence permit to do an internship. Furthermore, it is not necessary to work while being in the possession of this residence permit. If you are unable to find a job and thus will not work during your orientation year, this is alright and will have no consequences.
If you would like to apply for an orientation (search) year permit, you’ll need to meet the requirements of the IND. You’ll have to meet the general requirements that apply for everyone, and you should be graduated. At the IND website, you can see which study programmes/research are taken into account for the orientation (search) year permit application. In general, if you are graduated from Erasmus University Rotterdam with a bachelor’s, master’s or PhD degree, you can apply for an orientation (search) year permit. Be aware that you should apply for the orientation (search) year permit within 3 years after the date on your diploma or certificate.
You should apply for the orientation (search) year permit through the IND website. The procedure will be explained step by step on their website (click here). The EUR cannot assist graduates with the orientation (search) year permit application as it should be done by the student directly with the IND. The cost of the application is € 228. After handing in your application, you’ll have to await the decision of the IND. The statutory decision period of IND is 90 days.
The IND has an extensive FAQ on the procedure and various situations. Please read through it first, and if you still have questions you can contact IND directly.
Application for the orientation year permit should happen directly at the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). Are you:
Each orientation year permit expires after one year and cannot be extended.
However, you can apply for a second orientation year if you complete another study programme, doctoral programme or performed another scientific research after your previous orientation year. For example, you apply once after your bachelor and a second time after your master.
If you would like to stay within the Netherlands and will not pursue another study programme, please consider applying to another residence permit or visa that you are eligible for. You could check the information on the IND website.
Need help with the permit?
Check our Career Services
Frequently Asked Questions
All non-EU/EEA students who are in the possession of a Dutch student residence permit need to consider a number of additional rules and regulations when they want to work or do an internship in the Netherlands.
If you are no longer enrolled, we will notify the IND. The IND will give you 3 months after the graduation date or until the expiry date on your card, whichever comes first.
Examples of validity of permit after graduation:
- If you were enrolled at EUR until 31 August 2021 then your residence permit will be valid until 30 November 2021.
- If you graduated on the 31st Of May 2021, then your permit is valid until 31st of August 2021, even if your permit expiration date is 30 November 2021.
- If you graduated in August and your permit is valid until the end of September, then your permit will expire in September since the expiration date of your card comes earlier.
If you want to stay in the Netherlands and work or do an internship, then make sure to apply for an orientation year.
For more information about the orientation year visa visit the FAQ from the IND.
Within 3 years after completing your studies, international students can apply for an orientation year during which you may work freely or do an internship or traineeship in the Netherlands without your employer having to apply for a work permit for hiring you. You do need to apply for the orientation year.
If you leave NL, your residence permit should be returned to the IND. There are 2 possible ways:
- You can hand in your residence permit card at the IND Front Office. Call 0880 430 430 to make an appointment. You will receive a proof of submission and a colour copy of your residence permit card;
- You can send your residence permit to the address below. Make sure that your residence permit is not valid anymore. This can be done by perforating or cutting your residence permit partially.
IND Bureau Documenten
9560 AA Ter Apel