All about Post Study Work Permit in Netherlands for Indian Students

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Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Dec 2, 2021 13:09 IST

All about Post Study Work Permit in Netherlands

Netherlands’ as a study abroad destination offers unique opportunities to international students. The most pronounced one is the post study work permissions – called the Search/ Orientation Year or ‘zoekjaar’ in Dutch. Simply put, students completing their bachelors’ or/and masters’ from an accredited Dutch University are eligible to apply for a Residence Permit for ‘Orientation Year’ which is valid for one year. Not only that, as per new regulations in effect from March1, 2016 - students have three years after completion of their degree program to apply for this permit. What it suggests is that if you have completed your bachelors/ masters or research work in 2016 then you have till 2019 to apply for the permit to arrive and work in Netherlands and find a relevant job. Even graduates of Top 200 Ranked Universities of the World* can also apply for this permit to find meaningful employment in Netherlands. This article deals in explaining the eligibility in detail, what all does the Orientation year entail and how to convert the same to a Work Permit.

*Top 200 as per

  • Times Higher Education World University Rankings
  • QS World University Rankings
  • Academic Ranking of World Universities

Eligibility Requirements for application for a residence permit for Search/ Orientation year

As an International Student you are eligible to apply for a permit for Orientation Year in Netherlands if:

  • You have completed bachelors/ master’s programs from a Dutch higher education institution, or
  • You have completed a postgraduate course of minimum 12-month duration in Netherlands, or
  • You are a PhD graduate from a Dutch University, or
  • You have completed a scientific research and fall under the highly skilled migrant category (under the directive 2005/71/EC)
  • You have completed an Erasmus Mundus Master’s course, or
  • You have completed training in the framework of specific cultural policy development cooperation policy, or
  • You have completed a master’s degree or postgraduate training from a foreign top 200 university* – this is to ensure that the candidate has relevant English language proficiency and is well versed in the subject (high skilled professionals)

Rules pertaining to Residence Permit for Orientation Year in Netherlands

There are certain rules related to validity, minimum income criteria, and application fee, which a candidate needs to fulfill in order to obtain a permit for the Orientation year.


This residence permit is valid for one year only and cannot be extended. If, however, you pursue another course (as per requirements mentioned above) then the validity of this residence permit is renewed. For example, if you undertake a research program, then even if you have had one orientation year, you can apply for another on completion of the research program.

Working & Work Permit Requirements

As per the new guidelines, you do not need a work permit to work while on this residence permit as against the working while studying guidelines for international students on Student Visa for Netherlands.

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Sufficient Means of Support

The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) of the Netherlands requires proof of sufficient means of support. However, the same is not applicable during the orientation year. If, however, you do get a job then not only do you need to get the visa changed to a relevant work permit, you also must meet the sufficient means of support criterion as laid down by IND. At present IND mandates that you must have a job which pays you a minimum of €3,108 or €4,240 monthly for highly skilled migrants of below 30 years and above 30 years respectively. However, if you have completed or were in an orientation year, then this income requirement is reduced to €2,228 per month.

Application & Fee

On completion of your graduation, while you still have a valid residence permit, you can apply at the local IND office for 'Orientation year for highly educated persons'. The application form is available online. You would require specific documents basis your category. Also, effective Jan 1, 2016, a non-refundable fee of €622 is chargeable for the application of this residence permit. The application would also include:

  • Health Charde: €624 per applicant
  • Additional visa cost: €700 per applicant
  • Special cases can avail €55 discount on their application

How to apply for a Residence Permit extension?

One can apply for the Residence Permit extension 3 months before the expiration of your present residence permit.

Process of changing the residence permit:

Step 1: You need to apply online through digid account

Step 2: Upload all the requested documents

Step 3: Pay application fee of €174

Step 4: You will receive a confirmation email from IND once they receive your application

Step 5: IND will inform you through a letter to collect your residence permit when it is ready

Step 6: Within 4 months of receiving the letter, you need to make an appointment with IND,

it will also share your appointment code on your registered email ID

Step 7: Residence permit will be issued after verifying your documents

Documents to carry to IND while collecting a new residence permit

  • Appointment code
  • Passport or any other travel-related documents
  • Present residence permit

Getting a Citizen Security Number

  • Once you collect the residence permit, you need to make an appointment with the local municipality
  • Register with the personal record database and submit your residence permit
  • After successful registration, you will get a Citizen Registration Number

Useful Links:

About the Author
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad applicatio... Read Full Bio



Thank you. This is quite helpful.

Reply to Ankur Gupta




How i check for phd courses offered in Netherlands in the field of chemistry? Also how i find about the course fee structure and schloarship oppurtunities?

Reply to Vinith


How can I apply and secure myself admission into this school

Reply to

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