The Netherlands - Program expanded for highly educated persons

  • The Netherlands
  • 03/09/2016
  • Berry Appleman & Leiden

What is the change? The Netherlands has launched a new Orientation Year for Highly Educated Persons program that allows non-EU nationals to apply to live in the country and look for work within three years of college graduation.

What does the change mean? The program is available to graduates of Dutch universities, higher professional education (HBO) programs or top universities abroad. It provides more time (three years instead of one) for non-EU nationals to apply once they complete their studies.

It is also available to anyone who has held a Dutch residence permit as a scientific researcher within the past three years.

  • Implementation time frame: March 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Orientation Year for Highly Educated Persons residence permits.
  • Who is affected: Non-EU graduates of Dutch universities, HBO programs or top foreign universities; people who have held Dutch residence permits as scientific researchers within the past three years.
  • Business impact: Officials hope the program will benefit the Dutch economy by making it easier for highly educated non-EU nationals to live in the Netherlands while they find work or start a business.

Background: The new program replaces the old Orientation Year for Highly Educated Persons and the Orientation Year for Graduates with a single scheme, and allows individuals to work in the Netherlands without restriction. The permits expire after a year and are not extendable. They can be applied for each time a non-EU national completes a bachelor’s program (in the Netherlands) or a master’s or Ph.D. program (in the Netherlands or at one of the top 200 universities abroad). The list of top universities abroad is compiled from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings and Academic Ranking of World Universities. The program is also available to non-EU nationals who have held residence permits as scientific researchers within the past three years.