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Looking for a job after study, promotion or research

You have graduated or obtained a PhD or performed scientific research and wish to find a job or start your own company . You live abroad or are still in the Netherlands. You need a residence permit ‘orientation year highly educated persons’. What are the conditions and how do you apply?

Do you wish to work as a start-up entrepreneur after your studies? Then you may also be eligible for a residence permit as ‘start-up’.

​Other conditions apply to persons with the nationality of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland and their family members.


There are certain conditions that apply to everyone. In addition, you must meet the following conditions:

  • 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 3 years you have:
    • completed an accredited bachelor’s or master’s programme in the Netherlands; or
    • completed a post-master’s programme 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 (currently – August 2019 – there are no higher education programmes 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
    • completed a master’s or post-master’s programme or obtained a PhD at a designated international educational institution* abroad and you:
      • have achieved a minimum score of 6.0 for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). There are two versions of the IELTS: Academic and General Training. Both of these qualify to meet this requirement; or
      • have achieved a comparable minimum score in another accepted English language test (TOEFL, TOEIC en Cambridge English grades & scale) set out in the Code of  Conduct for international students in Dutch higher education; or
      • posses a diploma, certificate or document as meant in Article 2.3, first paragraph of the Civic Integration Decree (only in Dutch); or
      • have completed a master’s, post-master’s or doctoral programme in the English or Dutch language.

*A designated international educational institutions is, at the moment of your graduation or PhD, listed in the top 200 of one of the general ranking lists or in the top 200 of one of the available ranking lists by subject – that correspond with your field of study or research field- of the:

All foreign diplomas have to be evaluated by Nuffic before they can be accepted, except for diplomas from accredited higher education programmes in Flanders, Belgium. Check out the ‘FAQ Orientation year’  for more information.


This application costs € 174.

Apply online

You can submit this application online when you live in the Netherlands and currently have a valid residence permit. You have recently graduated, completed a PhD or carried out scientific research in the Netherlands. You also have to be registered in the BRP and have a BSN.
Are you abroad and do you need to apply for a [provisional residence permit] (mvv)? Please submit the application in writing. You can get an application form from the Dutch embassy or consulate.

For the online application you need:

  • [DigiD with sms code] or the DigiD app
  • iDEAL (internet banking) to pay for your application


Help with logging in with DigiD + sms and DigiD app

  • Information on DigiD + sms: go to explanation on DigiD for more information in different language (Dutch, English, French and Arabic).
  • Information on DigiD app: go to explanation DigiD app for more information (Dutch and English).

You can start the online application by clicking the button Apply online.

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