Orientation Year / Search Year

Did you hear about this? The Dutch are looking for international talents to come to the Netherlands and settle in the country, taking advantage of a flourishing working environment.

This is what the Orientation Year (or Search Year) is offering: the opportunity for international persons to start working in the Netherlands without having to apply for a work permit (TWV). It truly is the perks of the Netherlands without the Dutch administrative formalities!

The Orientation Year allows you to do all kind of works, from a temporary job or part-time job to a paid or unpaid internship. It gives opportunities to both graduates and researchers as well as Dutch employers.

Who can apply?

  • Bachelor, master and PhD graduates from a Dutch higher education institution, as well as researchers

  • Anyone who has completed a postgraduate course (minimum duration 12 months) in the Netherlands

  • Anyone who has completed scientific research (under the directive 2005/71/EC or labour as highly skilled migrant)

  • Anyone who has completed training in the framework of specific cultural policy development cooperation policy or an Erasmus Mundus Master Course

  • Anyone who has completed a Master’s degree or postgraduate training or is promoted to a foreign top 200 University

  • Anyone who is a starting entrepreneur (start-up) with a residence permit as a self-employed person who is not advancing in the self-employed scheme but who meets the orientation year conditions

When can you apply?

You may apply within three years after graduating or completing your research. You are then able to go back to your home country before returning to the Netherlands to look for a job.

The Orientation Year lasts one year and cannot be extended. However, each time a graduate obtains a new degree or a researcher has completed new research, they may apply again for an orientation year.

How much is it?

The costs for this procedure are €633.

How can you apply?

You can apply for the orientation year permit directly at the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), you do not have to apply through the university.

To submit your application, you can contact the IND at 088-043 04 30 in order to make an appointment.

Applying directly after your studies

If you wish to apply for the orientation year directly after completing your studies (without leaving the Netherlands), we advise you to start the procedure for the orientation year permit at the IND before you actually receive your diploma. You can start applying as soon as you have completed all parts of your study programme (including your thesis) and the date of the graduation ceremony is known.

You will need a Statement of completion of studies from the Educational Management Office for the application. They will inform you when the statement is ready.

Please note that within two weeks after receiving your diploma you must send a copy to the IND.

Applying from abroad

If you are currently living abroad and your nationality requires that you apply for an entry visa for the Netherlands, you can submit your application at the Dutch embassy in your country.

If you are living abroad and you do not need an entry visa for entering the Netherlands, you can apply directly at IND.

For more information about this opportunity please visit the IND website.

Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Facebook - White Circle
  • LinkedIn - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • YouTube - White Circle

IHS, institute for housing and urban development studies

of Erasmus University Rotterdam

Visitors' address

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
Mandeville (T) Building, 14th floor
3062 PA Rotterdam
The Netherlands

Mailing address

P.O. Box 1935
3000 BX Rotterdam
The Netherlands

Phone: + 31 10 408 9825

© 2019 by IHS, Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

of Erasmus University Rotterdam