The Netherlands aims to retain foreign talent

As of 1 March 2016, the policy for highly educated persons has been changed. There has been a significant improvement to the Orientation Year scheme. The scheme offers great advantages for employers of international graduates.

A measure aiming to retain foreign talent for the Dutch labour market, it allows recent bachelor’s and master’s graduates (both from Dutch and international universities) to search for work in the Netherlands for up to a year with a special Orientation Year work and residence permit. The scheme therefore offers great opportunities for companies looking to hire international talent. As part of the scheme, these graduates – smart internationals who, if they studied in the Netherlands, have already been in the country for a while, are well-integrated and often speak Dutch as well as English – can be hired as highly skilled migrants with a lower-than-usual minimum salary requirement.

The new policy means that international graduates will be able to apply for the special work and residence permit within up to three years after their graduation, as opposed to just one year. This allows them to first return to their home country for a period of time and then come back to the Netherlands to look for employment. In addition, scientific researchers are also going to be eligible for the permit. The policy changes will be implemented in the near future.