The basics
THE Netherlands: Visa Guides

Post-study visa options in the Netherlands

Want to stay in the Netherlands to work once you graduate? Read our guide to the possible visa options for international students in Holland...


So, you’ve completed your studies in the Netherlands and you wish to remain in the country to work, but what are the visa options available to you? This will depend on a) your nationality, and b) what you intend to do in the country post-study.


Are you staying for the short term or long term?

If you are only looking to remain in the country for 90 days or less, you can apply for a short stay visa at your nearest Dutch embassy. If you are planning to stay for longer than 90 days, you’ll need one of the following long term visas.


Are you an EU/EEA/Swiss student?

I AM an EU/EEA/Swiss student...

You do not need to apply for anything. The only thing you must do is register at the IND office (also known as the Immigration and Naturalisation Service or ‘Immigratie en Naturalisatiedienst’) if you intend to remain in the country for longer than three months after graduating.


I am NOT an EU/EEA/Swiss student...

There are a number of options available to you. The one you should apply for will depend on what you plan to do in the country once you’ve completed your studies. If a company wishes to employ someone who is not from an EU or EEA country (or Switzerland), that company must apply for a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning, or a ‘TWV’ for short) on behalf of that employee; they can apply to the UWV for this. They must also prove that they have been able to find a suitable Dutch national to fill the position though this is not something which the graduate should be concerned about.

Find out if you are from an EU/EEA country


Non-EU/EEA nationals must also have a residence permit (verblijfsvergunning) which grants you permission to live in the country. This is tied to your work permit and how long your work contract is (the country you are from may also affect this). An entry permit does not matter here as you will already be in Holland having studied there.


There are a few different options for non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals, some of which do not require a work permit which makes things simpler. Take a look at them below:

Search year (zoekjaar)

This is where you are given a full year from the day you graduate to find a job in the field which you studied. You must have studied a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree at an NVAO-accredited institution in the Netherlands to do this. There is a €600 application fee to do this; plus you will have to find a job with an annual salary of at least €27,336.


Highly educated migrant (regeling hoogopgeleide)

Meanwhile if you’ve graduated with a particular Master’s degree or a PhD, you may be able to remain in the country as a highly educated migrant. Those from Bulgaria, Romania and non-EU/EEA countries (including Switzerland) will still require a work permit.


Highly skilled migrant (kennismigrant)

If you are younger than 30 years old and you have a job where the annual salary is at least €38,141, you can apply for a highly skilled migrant visa. If you are older than 30 years old, the required salary is €52,010.


Scientific visa package

This is where you are planning to perform research at a research institution in the Netherlands. A relatively new initiative, those with this visa do not require a work permit. Just like a company will apply for a work permit, that research institution will apply for this on behalf of the individual.



One more thing...Health Insurance

You must have some form of health insurance when applying to remain in the Netherlands.



Feel more comfortable about studying in the Netherlands now that you know what work visa options are available to you once you graduate? Find a course abroad in the Netherlands now!


Read more:

'Applying for a student visa in the Netherlands'

'Finding a graduate career in the Netherlands'


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About Author

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.