New policy regarding the Orientation Year permit

There has been a significant improvement to the Orientation Year scheme. A measure aiming to retain foreign talent for the Dutch labour market, the scheme 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 new policy means that international graduates will be able to apply for the permit within up to three years after their graduation, as opposed to just one year as per the previous regulation. 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 came into effect on 1 March 2016.

Advantages for international graduates

The scheme offers great advantages for employers of international graduates. As part of the scheme, international 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.