Change to student orientation year in 2016

On January 29, 2016 by Dutch Umbrella Company

Graduates who wish to find a job in the Netherlands after completing their studies will be given a year to do so. Why? Because the Netherlands would like to retain highly educated people for the benefit of the Dutch economy.

This regulation will be undergoing some changes this year (2016), the most important of which is that the commencement date of the orientation year will be more flexible. Currently, this orientation year commences immediately within one year after obtaining your degree.

Commencement date of orientation year more flexible

With the new regulation, you can have the orientation year commence at any point within a 3-year period after graduating, obtaining your degree or completing your scientific study. This offers you the opportunity to first return home or for example to go traveling after graduating and then apply for a residency permit for 1 year.

This residency permit also exempts you from the required work permit. This means that during this orientation year you can also work in the Netherlands without an employment permit [Dutch: tewerkstellingsvergunning, TWV]. A lower salary criterion applies for this regulation, which in principle means that you can also carry out low-wage work, for example in the catering industry or a supermarket.

Moreover, if you start work as a knowledge migrant after this orientation year, a lower salary criterion of €2,228 applies (based on figures 2016), which makes it easier for employers to hire you. For the most recent figures please check our recent blog or the IND website.

The new regulation also specifies that graduates can also make use of the orientation year in a country other than the Netherlands to then later also come to work as a knowledge migrant. The new regulation will not only apply to students, it will also apply to scientific researchers. As mentioned previously, it is not yet known when the new regulation will take effect. We will inform you of this as soon as this is known.


If you still have questions about this topic, click the link below to read the current regulation in full on the blog Orientation year for foreign graduates expanded, or send an email to