International students are allowed to spend a period of up to twelve months in the Netherlands ( ‘zoekjaar’ or ‘orientation year’) to find a job as a highly skilled migrant ('kennismigrant') after graduation. During this period you have free access to the Dutch labour market.
About the orientation year
To make use of the orientation year you need to apply for a change in the purpose of stay endorsed on your residence permit. Submit your application shortly after you graduate: you may not reside in the Netherlands without a valid residence permit.
- The maximum duration of your orientation year is twelve months
- The administration fees for the orientation year are € 174,-
- During your search year you may not apply for ‘toeslagen’ (state benefits).
- You may take up a job during your search year to cover living expenses without applying for a work permit.
How to apply for a search year extension
To apply for a orientation year, please visit the website of the IND.
Visit the website of the Holland Alumni Network for further information about applying for a orientation year.