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The 'orientation year' permit

You’re nearing the end of your studies here in the Netherlands, and it’s starting to feel like home… Or perhaps you graduated from a Dutch institution or from a top 200 university abroad in the past three years? The next step is for you to start your career, and that may require a different type of residency permit than the one you currently have. If you’re an EEA or Swiss citizen, you’re free to live and work in the Netherlands by default. If you’re a non-EEA citizen and you’ve completed your studies or research project in the Netherlands, you may be eligible to apply for the ‘orientation year’ residency permit.
The Netherlands Point of Entry

How to apply for an orientation year permit

First off, make sure to check that you’re eligible. Conditions include having completed a bachelor’s or master’s programme at a Dutch institution for higher education, or obtaining a master’s degree in the context of an Erasmus programme. 

Once you’ve ensured you meet the conditions, you can submit your application online if you live in the Netherlands, are registered here and have a burgerservicenummer (BSN). You’ll also need to have graduated in the past three years, completed a PhD or carried out scientific research in the Netherlands, and have a valid residency permit for that purpose. Note that if you have a residency permit for a different purpose, such as ‘stay with a partner’, you can only submit the application in writing. You can get an application form from the Dutch embassy or consulate. For up-to-date information about the application procedure and fees, visit the IND website, where you’ll also find full conditions for the orientation year permit and a checklist of documents you’ll need to provide. 


Do I qualify for the orientation year permit?

You have a foreign diploma and want to work or study in Netherlands. What is the value of this diploma in the Netherlands? This is indicated in an international credential evaluation. The evaluation states with which Dutch level a foreign diploma is comparable. For more information and to apply go to International credential evaluation.