Residence permit for orientation year

Last update: 23 June 2022

If you want to look for work in the Netherlands after your graduation, doctorate or research, then you need a residence permit. Find out what the requirements are and how to apply for the residence permit.

Do you want to work immediately after your graduation as a start-up entrepreneur? You may be able to apply for a residence permit as a 'start-up'.

Requirements

These requirements apply to you:

  • You meet the general requirements that apply to everyone.
  • One of these situations applies to you:
  • You carried out research in the past 3 years. You had a residence permit in the Netherlands for research purposes according to Directive (EU) 2016/801 or for work as a highly skilled migrant for research.
  • You obtained a master’s degree in the past 3 years in the context of an Erasmus Mundus Masters Course.
  • You completed one of the following study programmes in the past 3 years:
    • an accredited bachelor’s or master’s degree programme at a Dutch higher education institution.
    • a post-master's programme in the Netherlands for at least one academic year (at least 10 months).
    • a study programme in the Netherlands in the context of the Cultural Policy (Special-Purpose Funding) Act.
    • a study programme in the Netherlands in the context of the development cooperation policy of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    • a master’s degree programme, a doctoral programme or a post-master's programme at a designated foreign educational institution. In addition, you meet one of these requirements:            
      • You obtained a minimum score of 6.0 on a test in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). There are 2 versions of the IELTS: Academic and General Training. It does not matter which version you have.
      • You obtained a minimum score of 6.0 on another accepted English language test (TOEFL, TOEIC and Cambridge English grades & scale) that is listed in the Code of Conduct for International Students in Higher Education.
      • You have a diploma, certificate or document as referred to in Article 2.1 of the Regulation on civic integration 2021 (only in Dutch).
      • Your master’s degree programme, doctoral programme or post-master's programme was in English or Dutch.
  • You previously did not have a residence permit for an orientation year after performing this research, or completing this study programme or doctoral programme. Have you performed different research projects, or completed different study programmes or doctoral programmes? The IND can issue a residence permit for an orientation year after each performed research project, and after each completed study programme or doctoral programme. However, this study programme, doctoral programme or scientific research must have been completed or performed after your previous orientation year.

Different requirements may apply to Turkish citizens and their family members.

Designated foreign educational institution

A designated foreign educational 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 rankings of the following publishers:

Evaluation of foreign diplomas

All foreign diplomas have to be evaluated by Nuffic before they can be accepted. This does not apply to diplomas from accredited higher education programmes in Flanders, Belgium. For more information, see the frequently asked questions orientation year highly educated persons.

Process and costs

These are the steps in the application process for the residence permit:

Show details Hide details
  • 1. Check requirements open minus
  • 1. Check requirements open minus
  • 2. Collect documents open minus
  • 2. Collect documents open minus
  • 3. Apply open minus
  • 3. Apply open minus
  • 4. Pay for application open minus
  • 4. Pay for application open minus
  • 5. Wait for decision on application open minus
  • 5. Wait for decision on application open minus
  • 6. Decision on application open minus
  • 6. Decision on application open minus
  • 7. Collect MVV and travel to the Netherlands open minus
  • 7. Collect residence permit open minus
  • 8. Collect residence permit open minus

Application forms

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.
• You are registered in the Personal Records Database (in Dutch: Basisregistratie Personen or BRP). This is the population register of the municipality
• You have a Citizen Service Number (in Dutch: burgerservicenummer or BSN).
You need DigiD with SMS verification and internet banking (iDEAL) for this.

Written application forms

Are you unable to submit the application online? Download the form to fill in the application in writing and send it by post.

Written application forms

Are you unable to submit the application online? Download the form to fill in the application in writing and send it by post.

The residence permit

Find out what else you need to know about the residence permit:

TB test

Did you indicate at the time of the application that you will take a TB (tuberculosis) test? Then make an appointment at the public health service (in Dutch: Gemeenschappelijke Gezondheidsdienst or GGD). Do this within 3 months after you have received your residence permit. Take the

with you to the appointment.

Working with the residence permit

You are free to work in the Netherlands. Your employer does not need a work permit (in Dutch: tewerkstellingsvergunning or TWV). You are also free to work as an independent entrepreneur or self-employed worker without employees. On the back of your residence permit, it says ‘Free to work, work permit not required’ (in Dutch: Arbeid vrij toegestaan, TWV niet vereist). 

Working during the application process

You are allowed to start working during your application process in the following situations: 

  • Your application included a copy of a Dutch diploma, certificate or a ‘statement on completion of study’. 
  • Your application included a copy of a foreign diploma or certificate. This diploma or certificate should be acknowledged by Nuffic. Diplomas from Flanders (Belgium) do not have to be acknowledged ny Nuffic.
  • You have conducted scientific research over the past 3 years.

However, you need to have a Residence Endorsement sticker in your passport first. The Residence Endorsement sticker states, ‘Free to work, work permit not required’ (in Dutch: Arbeid vrij toegestaan, TWV niet vereist). You can make an appointment with the IND to have a Residence Endorsement sticker placed in your passport.
 

Legal obligations

You have an obligation to provide information. This means that you must notify the IND of changes in your situation. Read more about your obligation to provide information.

 
The IND checks whether you meet your obligations. If you do not, you may get an administrative fine

Validity of residence permit

The residence permit for the orientation year for highly educated persons is valid for 1 year. 

Other applications

Extension not possible

You cannot extend the residence permit for the orientation year for highly educated persons. 

Replacement of the residence permit

Has your residence permit been damaged, lost or stolen? Then have the residence permit replaced. Visit the web page residence permit damaged or change of personal details or residence permit lost or stolen.

Apply for a different residence permit

If you found a job during your orientation year and you want to stay in the Netherlands to live and work, apply for a residence permit that allows you to work. You can, for example, apply for a residence permit as a highly skilled migrant, start-up or self-employed person.