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The orientation year highly educated

In this third blog, we will discuss the residence permit ‘orientation year highly educated’.
Stefan Kleijer
17 February 2022
18 February 2022


The residence permit ‘orientation year highly educated’ is intended for persons who have graduated, obtained a doctorate or done scientific research and are looking for a job or want to start their own business. A foreign employee who applies for this permit in the Netherlands must meet the following conditions:

(1) Education requirement

The foreign employee must have completed at least a bachelor's programme at a Dutch institution of higher education or a master's programme at a designated foreign educational institution, obtained a doctorate or conduct academic research during the past three years. Designated foreign educational institutions are the educational institutions included in the top 200 overall rankings or in the top 200 available rankings by subject from:
- QS World University Rankings
- Times Higher Education World University Rankings
- Academic Ranking of World Universities

(2) No previous residence permit

In addition, the foreign employee may not have previously obtained a residence permit 'orientation year highly educated' for the same study programme, the same PhD or the same academic research. A foreign employee can, therefore, complete a second (bachelor's or master's) programme, obtain a doctorate or conduct academic research, after which a residence permit for 'orientation year highly educated' can be obtained again.

(3) Any kind of work

Unlike other residence permits for work, the foreign employee with the residence permit 'orientation year highly educated’ can, in principle, accept and perform any kind of work. This only leads to an exception for a few government professions. For example, only a Dutch national can be appointed as a military officer. For a foreign student who has just completed his study in the Netherlands, the residence permit 'orientation year highly educated’ can be a convenient intermediate step towards a residence permit for employment as a highly skilled migrant.

Costs, decision period and validity

The residence permit must be applied for at the IND. The IND has three months to decide on the application. The IND charges € 207 for the application of the residence permit. The period of validity of the residence permit is one year. It is not possible to extend this residence permit.