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The basics
THE Netherlands: Visa Guides

Dutch graduate schemes for overseas students

The Netherlands offers international students opportunities to find work after they successfully finish their studies at Dutch Institutions.

Working in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has been very welcoming to international graduates who want to work in the country after graduation. There is a strict selection criteria when applying to study. But graduates also have access to relatively generous schemes that allows them to gain experience in their chosen areas of study if they successfully complete their studies.


Overall, the Dutch authorities allow international students to remain in the Netherlands for a year to look for work after graduation. Students can apply for one of two schemes:



Graduates with bachelor’s or master’s degrees

On completion of their (officially recognised) studies in the Netherlands, non-EU/EEA students are allowed to remain in the Netherlands for one year to search for a job as a 'knowledge migrant'. If they find employment with a minimum annual salary of € 26,376, they are allowed to remain in the Netherlands, but it might require a labour market test.


You should apply for this scheme upon graduation.



Graduates with master’s or PhD degrees

Young non-EU/EEA workers that have completed a master’s or PhD degree at an institution featuring in the top 150 of the Times Higher Education or Shanghai Jiatong Indexes, can apply for a work visa as 'highly skilled workers, which allows them to remain in the Netherlands for one year to look for work.


In order to qualify, students might have to pass a points-based assessment, based on their degree and possible maintenance fees. Students are able to apply during the first three years after graduation. There is no income threshold to comply with; it can even be lower than €26,931 gross a year, which is requested for those applying to the first scheme.


Read more:

If you need further information about application to work in The Netherlands, visit the official website.


Read more about studying in The Netherlands