A year to explore the Netherlands

Have you just graduated, obtained a PhD or performed scientific research and wish to find a job or start your own company? The Orientation Year Visa enables you to explore the endless possibilities to start your career in the Netherlands. Find out more about the Orientation Year Visa here.

Orientation Year Visa

Have you just finished a bachelor or master, obtained a PhD or performed scientific research and wish to find a job or start your own company? The Orientation Year Visa enables recent graduates and researchers unique flexibility to follow their ambitions. With this visa you can start a business or work in any sector without salary requirements.

1. Criteria for the graduate

The following main conditions apply when you apply to the Orientation Year Visa:

  • You have finished a bachelor or master, obtained a PhD or performed scientific research in the past three years.
  • The Orientation Year Visa can be granted after each completed study programme or doctoral programme or after each performed scientific research.

2. Criteria for the institution

You finished your bachelor or master, obtained a PhD or performed scientific research at one of the top 200 educational institutions in the world (Dutch universities are among the top 200).

These are the ranking lists:

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

The educational institution must be listed in at least 2 of the available lists (general, faculty or subject field-specific) from separate publishers.

3. Submit your application.

Register your application at the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). The costs to process your application include a one-time fee.

Learn more about this permit >>

Good to know about the Orientation Year Visa

The Orientation Year Visa offers many benefits. Not only does it allow you to apply for jobs or even start your own company without any restrictions for the period of 12 months, but it can also make the transition to the next work permit easier. One of the options for a next work permit could be the permit for the highly skilled migrant. The Orientation Year Visa also gives you the opportunity to learn the Dutch language while you’re working in the Netherlands. Acquiring some level of Dutch will make your life easier and will make you feel more at home, while gaining insight in the Dutch culture and customs. Are you set on being an entrepreneur and ready to build on your own innovative business? Be sure to first look into the Startup Visa which offers excellent opportunities for startups. More information about the Startup Visa can be found here.