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All About Netherlands Post Study Work Visa

All About Netherlands Post Study Work Visa
Shishant KumarMay 16, 2023

All About Netherlands Post Study Work Visa

The Netherlands is blessed with some of the top student cities in the world and is ranked #12 on the US News list of the best countries. A degree from the Netherlands gives you endless opportunities to build a successful career worldwide. But are you aware that the Dutch government allows international students to stay in the country for work after graduation? 

That’s right! In order to stay in the country, non-EU students need to apply for a different type of residency permit i.e., a post-study work visa. The Netherlands post-study work visa, also called “orientation year”, is a residence permit that lasts one year. It allows international students to find jobs in the Netherlands or start a business. For that, the student must have completed their studies, doctorate, or research project in the Netherlands. 

The orientation visa allows students to continue their stay in the country and have free access to the Dutch labor market. However, students from EEA and Switzerland can stay and work in the Netherlands without a residence permit. Keep reading to know all about the Netherlands post-study work visa. 

Overview: Netherlands Post Study Work Visa

Purpose of post study work visa in the Netherlands Stay in the country to search for a job or start a business
Duration of post study work visa  1 year 
Application fee  210 EUR 
Eligibility  International students with a degree or diploma from a Dutch higher education institute, or a degree from a foreign institute acknowledged by Nuffic, or students who conducted research in the Netherlands in the past 3 years  
Can post study work visa be renewed or extended? No

What is a Netherlands Post Study Work Visa?

A post study visa in the Netherlands is a special type of residence permit offered by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) for highly educated persons. It enables international students to search for work in the country after graduation, a doctorate, or research. Students who wish to work in the Netherlands after graduation as start-up entrepreneurs can also apply for an orientation residence permit. The validity of the post study work permit lasts for one year and is non-renewable. However, in the case of loss, theft, or damage to the orientation permit, it can be replaced. 

Once students find a job during their orientation period and if they wish to stay in the country to work and live, they have to apply for a residence permit that allows them to work. They can apply for a residence permit as a 

  • Highly skilled migrant
  • Start-up or self-employed person  

Who is Eligible for Netherlands Post Study Work Visa?

Before applying, students must make sure they are eligible to apply for a Dutch orientation year permit. There are certain conditions that must be met in order to apply for the Netherlands post study work visa. The applicant must possess a degree or diploma of a completed bachelor’s, or master’s program from an accredited Dutch university in the past three years. Even a master’s degree or research program under an Erasmus program is admissible. 


  • A valid passport or travel document
  • A valid provisional residence permit (MVV) (this is waived off in some cases) 
  • Antecedent certificate stating the applicant does not pose a danger to public or national security
  • You completed either one of the following study programs in the past 3 years (in English or Dutch)

An accredited bachelor’s or master’s degree program at a Dutch higher education institute

A research program funded by the Cultural Policy (Special-Purpose Funding) Act in the Netherlands

A post-masters program lasting at least one academic year (at least 10 months)

A study program in the Netherlands under the framework of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs policy on development cooperation

A master’s program, a doctoral program, or a post-masters program at an authorized foreign educational institution

You carried out research in the past 3 years with a residence permit in the Netherlands

  • You obtained a score of 6.0 in IELTS or other English language proficiency tests 
  • You must not possess a previous orientation year permit, in the case, if you are applying for a new orientation year visa, your program must have been completed after the expiry of your previous orientation visa permit
  • A TB (tuberculosis) test is necessary, however, it is not necessary if it was completed in less than six months or if you already hold a residence permit for the Netherlands 

  International students with a foreign diploma who wish to work in the Netherlands can also apply for an orientation year. But they need to have their foreign qualifications evaluated by Nuffic in comparison to the Dutch educational system. They can visit the “IDW” website for credential evaluation. Here are the requirements:

  • Students must possess a master’s degree, doctoral or post-master degree from a designated foreign educational institution
  • The designated institution must fall in the top 200 of at least 2 general rankings or academic subject rankings 
  • The rankings must be from 2 different publishers (Times Higher Education, Quacquarelli Symonds, or ShanghaiRanking Consultancy)

Note: Due to the EU-Turkey Association Agreement, Turkish citizens and their family members have a different set of requirements for the orientation visa.  

Application Process for Netherlands Post Study Work Visa

Once you have ensured that you meet the conditions to apply for an orientation visa, you can apply for it either online or offline. 

Online Application

The following requirements must be met in order to apply for the orientation permit online 

  • The student lives in the Netherlands
  • They have graduated, obtained their doctorate, or performed research in the Netherlands in the last three years
  • Have a valid residence permit
  • They are registered with the Personal Records Database and possess  a Citizen Service Number called burgerservicenummer (BSN)

Students need a DigiD with SMS verification and Internet banking (iDEAL) services to complete the online application. 

Offline Application

If the above conditions are not met, then students have to apply in writing for an orientation visa. All foreign nations residing outside the Netherlands and wishing to apply for the permit must download the form, fill it out, and send it by post. If the student does not possess a valid residence permit and is living outside the Netherlands, then he or she must apply for a provisional residence permit (MVV). They must apply for the MVV and orientation residence permit simultaneously at the Dutch embassy or consulate abroad. The MVV is an entry visa (Type D) and is intended for students who wish to stay in the country for more than 90 days.

They must make an appointment with the nearest Dutch embassy or consulate to submit their application. They must carry their passport, photos, valid documents, and filled-out application form to the appointment. The Dutch representative will register the application and collect biometric data. After this, the student must send the application to the IND within 3 weeks of the appointment and pay the application fees. IND takes over 90 days to give its decision. The students then have to travel to the Netherlands with the MVV and collect their residence permit for the orientation year at the IND desk.

Application Fees

The application for an orientation visa costs 210 EUR. This amount must be paid by all applicants except nationals of Turkey, San Marino, and Israel. Turkish citizens have to pay 70 EUR, whereas the application is free of charge for San Marino and Israeli citizens.


International students are free to work in the Netherlands with a post-study work visa called an orientation visa permit. The duration of which is 1-year post-graduation. The back of the orientation permit says “free to work,” eliminating the need for a separate work permit. Thus, the company that hires you does not demand a work permit, and you are free to work or operate as a sole proprietor or other form of self-employment. Once the student lands a job or starts a business in the Netherlands, they must apply for a residence permit that allows them to work as a highly skilled migrant, start-up, or self-employed person. Known for its cheap universities and affordable cost of living, this land of tulips is quite a famous student destination. If you are interested in studying in the Netherlands, get in touch with Gyanberry Gyanberry. Your one-stop platform for all your admission needs.

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Yes, international students can work in the Netherlands post-graduation with a post-study visa called an orientation year permit.

The post study work visa in the Netherlands lasts for a duration of 1 year from the date of its approval.

The post study work visa application in the Netherlands costs 210 EUR.

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