Some call it a search year, others will call it an orientation year: both terms are used to identify the same residence permit: one which gives you as a highly educated expat, one year to find a job or start a company in the Netherlands. An orientation year permit is interesting for anyone who recently obtained (or will obtain) a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or finished a science program.
An orientation year permit allows recent bachelor’s and master’s graduates from countries outside the Netherlands the option to stay in the Netherlands for a period up to 12 months.
The orientation year permit is interesting because it gives you the freedom to work for any employer in the Netherlands. As opposed to highly skilled migrants, who are only allowed to work for a company that is registered with the IND and have the so-called recognized sponsorship. This gives you an exceptional position on the labor market, especially on the market of highly skilled expats who want, or are going, to work in the Netherlands.
Anyone who meets one of the following conditions can apply for the orientation year visa:
You are eligible up-to three years after obtaining your bachelor’s or master’s degree. So if you have plans on traveling abroad or to visit your country of origin, you do not have to worry about the eligibility, as long as you come back and apply within three years.
If you want to prevent a residence gap, you have to make sure that you have your purpose of stay adjusted to ‘highly skilled migrant’ before the end of your orientation year. This means that you have to find an IND recognized employer.
Did you decide you want to apply for the orientation year permit? Do so within three years of graduating. You can apply by submitting an application form to the IND and do not forget to have all required documents.
Do you want to know more about the orientation year? Check our article on this: Orientation year for highly educated persons.
Lucky for you, TOSS offers payroll solutions. We are a recognized sponsor and can convert your orientation year status to that of a highly skilled migrant with a reduced salary. On paper, we may become your formal employer, but meanwhile you work for the employer that offered you your dream job during your orientation year.
TOSS also has a recruitment department and we are happy to help you find your (new) job with a recognized employer. Feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need advice, please email us at email@example.com or call or WhatsApp us on +31 20 261 9447.