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Orientation Year highly educated persons

Highly educated non-EU nationals who have graduated abroad or in the Netherlands can obtain a verblijfsvergunning zoekjaar hoogopgeleiden (Orientation Year residence permit for highly educated persons) with a maximum term of one year in order to find a job as a highly skilled migrant or to start an innovative company. This scheme aims to ensure that exceptional international talent is more easily admitted to the Netherlands.

Eligible applicants can apply for this residence permit within three years of completing a study or research project. It is not possible to extend the length of this 12-month residence permit, however it is possible to apply for another Orientation Year residence permit after another period of eligible study is completed.

During the 12-month period, Orientation Year permit holders are granted free access to the Dutch labour market without any restrictions (no work permit required). They are allowed to accept any (temporary) job, including internships (paid or unpaid), to work as a freelancer or to start their own company.

If the residence permit for highly skilled migrant has been applied for during or directly following the residence permit orientation year for highly educated persons a reduced salary criterion is applicable. Their family members will also have free access to the Dutch labour market during the orientation year, without restrictions.