Orientation visa for highly educated persons (2023)

The Netherlands considers it highly important that highly skilled migrants have the time they need to find a job or start their own company in the Netherlands after completing their studies. This is why the Orientation year highly educated persons visa was called into life. You can apply for this residence permit within 3 years after completing your study, or obtaining your PhD in the Netherlands or abroad. The orientation visa also gives you the right to work in the Netherlands, so your employer does not need to apply for a separate work permit (TWV) for you.


If you wish to make use of the orientation year for highly educated persons, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You need to have a valid passport or other travel document;
  • You need to sign an antecedents statement;
  • You need to take a TB test (exemptions do exist);
  • You have not previously had a residence permit to look for work after study, doctoral programme or scientific research on the basis of completing the same study or doctoral programme or performing the same scientific research. Have you completed various study programmes or doctoral programmes, or have you performed various scientific researches? The orientation year can be granted after each completed study programme or doctoral programme or after each performed scientific research. However, this study programme, doctoral programme or scientific research must have been completed or performed after your previous orientation year.

In the past three years:

  • completed an accredited bachelor's or master's programme in the Netherlands; or
  • completed a postgraduate studies of at least an academic year (a minimum of 10 months) in the Netherlands; or
  • completed a study in the Netherlands in the context of the Cultural Policy Act; or
  • completed a study in the Netherlands that is provided in relation to the development cooperation policy of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs; or
  • obtained a master's degree in the context of an Erasmus Mundus Masters Course; or
  • completed a higher education programme designated by Ministerial Decree; or
  • done scientific research at any time. For this, you have had a residence permit in the Netherlands for the purpose of scientific research within the meaning of EU Directive 2005/71/EC, research within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2016/801, or as a highly skilled migrant to undertake scientific research; or
  • You have completed a Master’s degree programme, a doctoral programme or a post-Master's programme at a designated international educational institution* abroad and you have:
    • Achieved a minimum score of 6.0 for the International English Language Testing System, or
    • Achieved a comparable minimum score in an English language test in accordance with the Code of Conduct for international students in Dutch higher education, or
    • Acquired a diploma, certificate or document as meant in Article 2.3, (1) of the Civic Integration Decree (only in Dutch), or
    • Completed a Master or post-doctoral programme in the English language or in Dutch.

* Designated international educational institution

A designated international institution is an educational institution in the top 200 of at least 2 general rankings, or available rankings per faculty, or academic subject. Your educational institution must have been in the top 200 of these rankings on the date that you completed the study programme or doctoral programme. The rankings that include your educational institution must come from at least 2 different publishers. Rankings published by the same publisher count as one.

These are main international rankings:

(Video) How to: Apply for The Netherlands 🇳🇱 Orientation Year Visa| Job Seekers Visa for the Netherlands


The application fees must be paid when you submit your application. Please note that you pay for processing the application, not for the residence permit. The fees will therefore not be refunded if your application is refused.

How to apply for your residence permit

You apply for the orientation visa to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). If you have completed your education abroad, are still living there, and want to apply for the orientation year visa, you may require a provisional residence permit or mvv (this does not apply if you are, for instance, an EU citizen. Check the IND website for more details.). Use our interactive Coming to the Netherlands tool to find out if you need a provisional residence permit.

If you do need a mvv, you will need to start the procedure with the Dutch embassy or consulate in your country of residence. In this procedure you apply for a provisional residence permit and a residence permit simultaneously.

If you do not require a temporary residence permit and are already living legally in the Netherlands, you can apply to the IND for the 'Orientation year for highly educated persons' residence permit on their website.

For more information on how to enter the Netherlands, please check the procedure, or contact your (future) employer as to the procedures to be followed.

(Video) Self-sponsorship pathway to Netherlands | No job letter or work required 😦 | Nidhi Nagori ✨

Right to work

After the application

Have you enclosed a certified copy of a (foreign) diploma or the ‘Statement on completion of study’ with your application for a residence permit 'orientation year highly educated persons'? Then, you are free to work in the Netherlands while awaiting the decision on your application. You can collect a residence endorsement sticker at an IND desk. This sticker states 'arbeid vrij toegestaan, tewerkstellingsvergunning (TWV) niet vereist' (work freely permitted, no work permit required). To collect the sticker, you have to make an appointment online.

After collecting the orientation visa

On the residence document you will find your employment status (arbeidsmarktaantekening). This status tells you whether and under which conditions you are allowed to work.

As a holder of a residence permit 'Orientation year for highly educated persons', you are allowed to work in the Netherlands without any restrictions. This means that your employer does not need to have a work permit (TWV) for you. If you had another Dutch residence permit prior to this application, you will retain that employment status until you have received your residence permit based on the 'Orientation year for highly educated persons'.

Collection of the residence permit

The IND aims to have your residence permit ready within 2 weeks following your arrival in the Netherlands. The IND will send you a letter indicating when you can collect your residence permit. For this, you have to make an appointment online at the IND desk mentioned in the letter.

Validity residence permit

The residence permit will be issued for a maximum period of 1 year. It is not possible to extend the validity of this residence permit. If you wish to extend your stay in the Netherlands after the orientation year has ended, you have to apply for another type of residence permit. To students completing several programmes of study the orientation year can be granted after each programme of study. You can therefore apply for another orientation year at a later date if this is done on the basis of a different completed study programme. This programme of study or scientific research must have been completed after your previous orientation year.

(Video) How to Apply for The Netherland Orientation Year Visa |Job Seekers Visa| Highly Skilled Migrant Visa

Changing the residence permit

If you find a job as a highly skilled migrant during the orientation year, your employer must apply for a residence permit for you as a highly skilled migrant. Changing to a residence permit as a highly skilled migrant means a lower income requirement applies to you. This lower amount also applies if you switch to highly skilled migrant directly within 3 years after having graduated in the Netherlands.

If you have graduated, obtained your PhD or you have had a residence permit for scientific research and are not making use of the orientation year, you will also be eligible for the reduced salary criterion from the highly skilled migrants arrangement.

If you have not found a job as a highly skilled migrant, but a different job, then your employer will apply for a single permit for residence and employment.

If you have started your own business, you must change your residence permit to employment as a self-employed person or start-up.

Illegal stay

Have you been staying in the Netherlands for more than 3 months without a Netherlands visa? You are then staying here illegally. You have to leave the Netherlands immediately. If you do not do so voluntarily, the authorities may remove you from the Netherlands.


Entry ban

If you are staying in the Netherlands illegally, you face the risk of being issued an entry ban for the Schengen area.

Webinar 'Work in Holland: Special permit for alumni of higher education'

On 10 July 2018, the IND and Nuffic broadcast a free English webinar about the orientation year visa, called 'Work in Holland: Special permit for alumni of higher education'.

The topics:

  • What is an Orientation Year?
  • Who can apply?
  • How do I apply (including a demo on how to submit the application)?
  • Tips and tricks on how to start your Career in Holland
  • How to stay in touch, connect and join the Holland Alumni Network

Click this link to read more and to watch the webinar.

Remaining questions regarding the orientation year

If you have remaining questions, you can take a look at the frequently asked questions on the IND website.

(Video) Orientation Year (Zoekjaar) & Highly Skilled Migrant Visas for Netherlands


What is orientation year highly educated persons in the Netherlands? ›

Highly educated persons can apply for a Netherlands visa valid for one year, the so-called 'Orientation year highly educated persons' residence permit. As a holder of this residence permit, you are allowed to work in the Netherlands without any restrictions.

How long does it take to get orientation year visa? ›

The application process is relatively simple, but it can take up to 3 months for the decision to be processed. If you wish to apply the orientation year for a knowledge migrant, the following conditions must be met: You need to have a valid passport or other travel documents. You need to sign an antecedents statement.

Who can apply for orientation visa in Netherlands? ›

You can submit this application online if you meet all these requirements: You live in the Netherlands. You graduated, obtained your doctorate or conducted research in the Netherlands. You have a valid residence permit for that purpose.

How do I apply for a search year in the Netherlands? ›

If you are already in the Netherlands, you can submit your application online or make an appointment at the IND and submit your documents personally. If you live outside the Netherlands, you will need to submit your application at the Dutch embassy or the consulate.

How long is orientation year in Netherlands? ›

The orientation year (zoekjaar) permit allows recent bachelor's and master's graduates and scientific researchers from non-EU countries to stay in the Netherlands for a period of up to 12 months. During this period, they can seek employment or work without needing an extra work permit.

What is the highest level of education in Netherlands? ›

Tertiary (higher) education in the Netherlands is made up of hoger beroepsonderwijs – HBO (higher vocational education) and wetenschappelijk onderwijs – WO (scientific/academic education).

Is orientation usually a full day? ›

Job orientation is the process of welcoming new employees to your company, which usually lasts between one day and one week.

How long do orientations usually last? ›

In general, a new employee's orientation will take around three hours or no longer than a full workday. However, the correct amount of time to spend on new hire orientation varies from organization to organization.

Does orientation count as your first day? ›

You've probably heard many terms associated with the start of a new employee's journey in a new job – preboarding, orientation, onboarding, training. In the plainest of terms, a job orientation happens either prior to the new employee's first day or right when the new employee starts their job at your organization.

Can I self sponsor Netherlands visa? ›

If you come to the Netherlands as a self-employed person, you will need a long-stay visa (MVV). This visa is valid for 90 days or more. You can apply for an MVV and residence permit through the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV).

Can anyone sponsor me to Netherlands? ›

You can financially sponsor someone who is coming to the Netherlands for a short stay (up to 90 days). Your visitor needs a sponsor if they have less than a certain amount of spending money per person per day.

How long does it take to get a highly skilled migrant visa in the Netherlands? ›

This procedure takes between two to four weeks. Both the Dutch highly skilled migrant permit and the ICT permit can be applied for online. This is not yet possible for EU Blue Cards. If the IND do not recognise the employee as a sponsor, the worker is not eligible to apply for the Dutch highly skilled migrant permit.

Is it hard to get residency in Netherlands? ›

Moving to the Netherlands as a non-EU/EEA citizen is hard. You must first apply for a temporary residence permit which you must then extend for five years. After living in the Netherlands with a temporary residence permit for five years, you are then eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit.

What is the super priority visa in the Netherlands? ›

The Super Priority Visa service is the fastest way to secure a visa decision. This service will give eligible customers a decision by the end of the next working day after their appointment at the visa application centre.

How long is the hiring process in the Netherlands? ›

Even though the Netherlands has many global corporations and an international business environment, it might take some time and effort to get a job here as a foreigner. With all the review and interview processes, the typical answer to “how long will my job hunt last?” is at least couple of months.

What happens after 5 years in Netherlands? ›

You can become naturalised if you have lived legally in the Netherlands for 5 years. Applications for naturalisation are made to your municipality. They will send the application to the Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst – IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service).

Is it easy to stay in Netherlands after graduation? ›

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.

How many hours a day do Netherlands work? ›

Standard working hours in the Netherlands are from 9 AM to 5 or 6 PM, Monday through Friday. By law, employers cannot require employees to work more than 12 hours on a given day, with a 60 hour weekly maximum.

What is the Harvard of the Netherlands? ›

The Harvard Club of the Netherlands is a community for all Harvard alumni and those with significant Harvard affiliation or interest.

Is the Netherlands richer than the US? ›

Both Netherlands and USA rank in the top for wealth. The USA ranks first in disposable income and household wealth, which is around $176,000 USD. Taxes are generally lower in a capitalistic society as well. The USA however ranks near the bottom in social inequality of wealth, between the rich and the poor.

What is the highest GPA in Netherlands? ›

The Netherlands

Dutch universities use a 10-point grading scale, where 10 is the highest mark. 5.5 is the usually the minimum pass mark. Grades of 9 and 10 are awarded very rarely in the Netherlands, hence why a grade of 8 or higher is approximately equivalent to a US GPA of 4.0.

Are you paid during orientation? ›

Should the new hire be paid for time spent at either event? Generally, yes. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must pay new hires for time spent in meetings, training, lectures and other similar activities.

Does orientation mean I'm hired? ›

A job orientation does not always mean you got the job.

This means you have been selected to come in and see the facility and work. If you have not had any notice that you have been hired, contact HR to see the status of the application.

How do I prepare for orientation? ›

If you want to make the most of your orientation experience, follow these tips to set you up for success.
  1. Reserve Your Session Early. ...
  2. Be Sure to Take Care of All Required Tasks Before Orientation. ...
  3. Make a List of Your Preferred Courses Before You Arrive. ...
  4. Prepare for Your Overnight Trip. ...
  5. Come With Your List of Questions.

Is it OK to miss orientation? ›

What If You Miss It? Orientation looks different for each college. Some schools make attendance optional, while others strictly require you to attend. Many colleges make orientation for first-year students mandatory because financial aid and academic counseling are rolled into the day.

What are the 5 orientations? ›

An organisation focus (and subsequently its marketing) is centred around five key categories, classified into the following orientation groups: Production orientation, product orientation, sales orientation, societal orientation and market orientation.

What is the purpose of orientation? ›

Provides the new employee with concise and accurate information to make him/her more comfortable in the job; Encourages employee confidence and helps the new employee adapt faster to the job; Contributes to a more effective, productive workforce; Improves employee retention; and.

What should I bring on my first day of orientation? ›

What you'll wear isn't the only thing to plan for on your first day. Make sure you're also bringing these important items.
  1. Identification. ...
  2. Banking information. ...
  3. Notepad and pen. ...
  4. Lunch money. ...
  5. Your A game.

What happens during orientation? ›

A job orientation occurs on the first few days of a new hire's employment. It involves introducing them to their team, showing them their workspace and administering new hire paperwork. Employees will usually spend a portion of their job orientation reviewing onboarding information like dress code, benefits and salary.

Can you start right away after orientation? ›

In most cases, either the same day you took the orientation, if time allows, or you start to work the next working day.

Can I self sponsor to Canada? ›

The Self-employed Persons Program allows people to immigrate to Canada permanently as a self-employed person. If you're interested in this program, you must: have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics and. be willing and able to make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of ...

Can you sponsor yourself in Canada? ›

To qualify as a self-employed person, you must have two years of relevant experience and show that you intend to become self-employed in Canada. You must also score at least 35 points on a selection grid designed to determine whether you will be able to make an economic contribution to Canada.

Can any one sponsor me to Canada? ›

You may sponsor one relative, related by blood or adoption, of any age, if you meet all of these conditions: you (the person who wants to sponsor your relative) don't have a living relative you could sponsor instead, such as a: spouse.

Who is not eligible to sponsor in Canada? ›

Who can't sponsor their spouse, partner or child
  • you're less than 18 years old.
  • you won't live in Canada when the persons you want to sponsor become permanent residents.
  • you're not a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act.
Feb 2, 2023

What qualifies as highly skilled migrant Netherlands? ›

Eligibility requirements

The employer must be recognised by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) as an approved sponsor. Recognised employers are listed in the Public Register of Recognised Sponsors. The applicant must have a job contract with an employer or research institution in the Netherlands.

How long does it take to become a Recognised sponsor in the Netherlands? ›

Advantages of recognition as sponsor

The IND tries to decide on an application within 2 weeks. In some cases the target period is 7 weeks, for example if a work permit (in Dutch: tewerkstellingsvergunning) is needed.

What is the success rate of Netherlands visa? ›

Student visas in Netherlands have a 99% acceptance rate. Immigration department does not reject the visa as long as all conditions are satisfactorily fulfilled.

What is the minimum salary for high skilled migrant Netherlands 2023? ›

As of January 1, 2023, the salary criteria for a highly skilled migrant are the following: Highly skilled migrants under the age of 30 must earn at least EUR 3,672.00 gross per month. Highly skilled migrants aged 30 and above must earn at least EUR 5,008.00 gross per month.

What is the 30 rule for highly skilled migrants in the Netherlands? ›

The 30% tax ruling is a tax advantage for highly skilled migrants in the Netherlands. An employer can pay up to 30% of the salary of an expat employee with the 30% status free of tax. An enormous tax saving for both employee and employer.

Does buying a house in Netherlands gives you residency? ›

Obtaining a residence permit and citizenship is not connected with purchasing real estate. The country has a program for getting a residence permit by investing at least €1.25 mln in the country's economy. The program does not provide a real estate option.

Can I live in Netherlands without speaking Dutch? ›

This is absolutely no problem. You can stay here for as long as your tourist visa lasts without having to learn Dutch. And if you speak English, you will find that many Netherlanders speak English as a second language. But if you want to live in the Netherlands, you must learn Dutch.

Can I apply for Dutch PR before 5 years? ›

You can apply from 3 months before your current residence permit expires. Have you already lived in the Netherlands with a residence permit for more than 5 years? Then you can choose when to apply yourself.

What is visa D for Netherlands? ›

The MVV is an entry visa. This visa is intended for persons who want to stay in the Netherlands for more than 90 days. The MVV is a visa sticker (Type D) to be placed in your passport. With the MVV you can travel to the Netherlands and pick up your residence permit.

What is the difference between visitor and supervisa? ›

With the parent and grandparent super visa, eligible parents and grandparents can visit family in Canada for longer periods of time than with a visitor visa. The super visa is a multi-entry visa that provides multiple entries for a period up to 10 years.

What are the benefits of Dutch permanent residence? ›

Advantages of becoming a Dutch citizen

You no longer need a residence permit. Therefore you no longer have to meet the requirements for a residence permit. You can stay abroad for a longer pe riod without any problems. You are allowed to vote in all Dutch elections.

Which jobs are in demand in Netherlands? ›

There has been growth across a range of industries, with the Technology industry currently employing the majority of digital professionals.
  • Top three cities for digital careers.
  • In-demand jobs in the Netherlands.
  • Technology.
  • Data.
  • Cyber Security.
  • Growth Specialists.
  • Customer Success Specialists.
  • Something to watch:

Is getting job in Netherlands difficult? ›

Job application processes in the Netherlands are fairly similar to those in many other countries. You generally need to send or CV or fill in an application form. For more skilled positions, these will usually need to be accompanied by a cover letter.

What is the minimum wage for expats in the Netherlands? ›

In 2022, the minimum monthly gross salary for a highly skilled migrant age 30 or older is EUR 4,840. For migrants under age 30, the minimum monthly gross salary is EUR 3,549. For graduates of Dutch universities and Highly Educated Migrants of any age, the minimum monthly gross salary is EUR 2,543.

What is the academic year in Netherlands? ›

School years in the Netherlands start in August or September and end in June or July, depending on the region and school.

What is the academic year in Dutch university? ›

The academic year is divided into two semesters. Each semester is then divided into three periods. Periods 1, 2, and 3 take place during the fall semester (semester 1) and periods 4, 5, and 6 take place during the spring semester (semester 2).

What is a Dutch HAVO diploma? ›

Senior general secondary education (HAVO) and pre university education (VWO) HAVO and VWO prepare pupils for higher professional education (HBO) and university studies, respectively. HAVO takes five years, while VWO takes six years.

What is the academic year for schools in Netherlands? ›

Academic Session starts from 2nd September and ends on 30 June in the Netherlands educational institutes. There is a long vacation from 15th July to 1st September each year for Danish educational institutions. Schools in the Netherlands have a summer holiday and around 1 to 2 weeks of holidays in a year.

What is the academic year of Canada? ›

The academic year in Canada runs from early September to late May or June. The summer months are generally considered holiday, although many institutions offer summer courses during July and August. Study permit holders are required to actively pursue their studies.

How long is summer break in Netherlands? ›

All Dutch schools have five holidays throughout the year. These are autumn (one week), Christmas (two weeks), spring (one week), May (one week, usually spread across April/May), and summer (six weeks).

Can you take a gap year in the Netherlands? ›

The Netherlands is one of the happiest countries in the world, making it an ideal location to spend a gap year. While beautiful Amsterdam is the first city to come to everyone's mind (and with good reason!), Rotterdam, Haarlem, Den Haag, and Delft are Dutch cities that shouldn't be overlooked.

What is a good grade in Dutch university? ›

Ten point grading system
10Outstanding *
9Very good *
7More than satisfactory
5 more rows

What is the high GPA in Dutch universities? ›

The Netherlands

Dutch universities use a 10-point grading scale, where 10 is the highest mark. 5.5 is the usually the minimum pass mark. Grades of 9 and 10 are awarded very rarely in the Netherlands, hence why a grade of 8 or higher is approximately equivalent to a US GPA of 4.0.

How long is a bachelor degree in Netherlands? ›

The length of study

Bachelor degrees offered by research universities of Netherlands requires 3 years of study, while bachelor degrees offered by universities of applied science requires 4 years of study.

What is the Dutch equivalent of a masters degree? ›

The Dutch equivalent to a Master's degree is the Doctoraal (abbreviated Drs.), not to be confused with a Doctoral degree (a PhD).

Which country has best education system? ›

Sweden is a great choice for research and innovation. Tuition fee for students from the EU (European Union) countries is free in Sweden. Ranked as the world leader in providing top education systems globally, Sweden has over 45 universities.

What is the Dutch equivalent of a bachelor's degree? ›

Hbo Bachelor's programmes take four years (240 ECTS). Wo Bachelor's programmes take three years (180 ECTS). The minimum admissions requirement for an hbo Bachelor's programme is a diploma at Dutch mbo level 4 (senior secondary vocational education) or Dutch havo (higher general secondary education).

What grade is a 13 year old in Netherlands? ›

Secondary education: HAVO and VWO
Academic year in the NetherlandsYears old
Grade 710-11 years old
Grade 811-12 years old
VMBO 1 or HAVO 1 or VWO 112-13 years old
VMBO 2 or HAVO 2 or VWO 213-14 years old
10 more rows

What age do you finish high school in Netherlands? ›

For pupils between 5 and 16 years the Compulsory Education Act applies. In the Netherlands, pupils must attend school from 5 to 16 years old. However, in fact, nearly all children attend primary school from the age of four.

How long is Christmas break in Germany? ›

Types of school holidays in Germany

Christmas holiday (Weihnachtsferien) - usually two weeks. Winter holiday (Winterferien) - between a few days and two weeks. Easter holiday (Osterferien) - two to three weeks.


1. Promotional video about the orientation year for highly educated persons
(Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst (IND))
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