Orientation year for foreign graduates expanded

On December 7, 2015 by Dutch Umbrella Company

Working in the Netherlands after graduation

Foreign students who have received a degree in the Netherlands are currently granted one ‘orientation year’ to try and find a job as a highly skilled migrant. This scheme will probably be expanded.

Are you studying in the Netherlands and are you about to graduate? Then it’s important that you decide whether you wish to stay and work in the Netherlands. The Dutch government has instituted a scheme that allows recent graduates from Dutch universities to stay in the Netherlands for one year, in order to try and find jobs as highly skilled migrants. The Netherlands is not only keen to create an attractive environment for students, but also wishes to retain the talent it has nurtured for its own job market.

Therefore, upon graduation, you will be granted one year to find a job as a highly skilled migrant. For instance, you could accept a position with WePayPeople, an employer recognised by the IND. In order to be recognised as a highly skilled migrant you will have to satisfy certain salary criteria.

Read this blog for more information on salary criteria and working in the Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant.

Conditions for orientation year

In order to be eligible for the orientation year allowing you to stay one more year to find a job, you must hold a student visa. Needless to say, you must have studied in the Netherlands, and received a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a Dutch university or university of applied sciences.


The Dutch government strives to create a superior study environment and is keen to retain foreign talent for its own job market. Therefore, politicians are now planning to expand the current orientation year scheme for highly educated foreigners. The main change will probably be that the work permit requirement will be dropped. This way more ‘aliens’, who have completed a study in the Netherlands and hope to find a job in the country, should be able to apply for a residence permit on less stringent conditions.

Got any questions?

If you’re about to start working in the Netherlands and have any queries about staying in the country, work permits, wages and contracts, the Dutch Umbrella Company will be very happy to help you. For advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us at duc@wepaypeople.com.