What is payrolling?What’s the orientation year about?

The Netherlands attaches great importance to giving highly skilled migrants the opportunity and time they need to find a job in the Netherlands after completing their studies. The orientation year permit allows recent graduates from non-EU countries and scientific researchers to stay in or come to the Netherlands for a period of up to twelve months. During this one-year period, the graduate can work in any type of jobs. Before the end of the year, an application for work as a highly-skilled migrant should be submitted.

For how long is the orientation year permit valid?

The permit is valid for one year. Within that year, you need to find employment as a highly skilled migrant or start up a business in order to stay in the Netherlands.

Can I work during the orientation year? And can I apply for internships? Also, am I only allowed to work at companies that are recognised sponsors?

You may work anywhere, and in any role, as long as you don’t claim any benefits – that is not allowed as a holder of the orientation year permit. But you are free to join the labour market in any way you like.

When should I apply for the orientation year permit? Should I wait for my final grades?

You will need to send a copy of your diploma or a declaration from your university that states that you have fulfilled all requirements for earning your degree. Sending the application before fulfilling all requirements is therefore not recommended, but you can apply before your graduation ceremony has taken place, if you can supply the necessary declaration. Do note that you must submit your application before your student visa expires.

How can I apply for the orientation year while I am abroad?

Depending on your nationality, you may need a provisional residence permit (in Dutch: ‘machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf’ or ‘MVV’) if you want to settle in the Netherlands. An MVV is an entry visa that is required if you want to stay in the Netherlands for more than 90 days and your nationality or circumstances do not exempt you from the MVV requirement.

You can start the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV procedure) by applying for an MVV at a Dutch representation in your country of origin or continuous residence, or, if that is not possible, in a country nearby. You can make an appointment through the website of the Dutch representation. You can download the application form (‘MVV issue form’) from www.netherlandsandyou.nl.

The TEV procedure combines the application for an MVV and the application for a residence permit. If an MVV is granted to you, you will automatically obtain a residence permit after arriving in the Netherlands.

Which ranking lists are used to determine whether I qualify for the orientation year with my foreign degree?

The following general ranking lists, current on your date of graduation or obtaining your PhD:

–                 Times Higher Education World University Rankings

–                 QS World University Rankings

–                 Academic Ranking of World Universities

The following ranking lists by subject, current on your date of graduation or obtaining your PhD:

–                 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by subject

–                 QS World University Rankings by subject (broad subject area)

–                 QS World University Rankings by subject (specific subject)

–                 Shanghai Ranking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects

If your educational institution is, on the date of your graduation or obtaining your PhD, not listed in the top 200 of any of these general ranking lists or in the top 200 of any of these ranking lists by subject, that corresponds with your field of study or research field, you do not qualify for the orientation year.

Is my residence permit for study purposes still valid after my graduation in the Netherlands?

When you graduate, your enrollment at your educational institution will be ended. How long your residence permit remains valid, depends on your situation:

  • Your residence permit for study purposes is valid until 3 months or less after the date your enrollment at your educational institution ends.
  • In this case, your residence permit will remain valid until its end date ór until the start date of your orientation year, whichever comes first.
  • Your residence permit for study purposes is valid for more than 3 months after the date your enrollment at your educational institution ends.
  • In this case, your residence permit can be revoked after those 3 months if you do not apply for the orientation year, or for a residence permit with another purpose of stay, within those 3 months. Y
  • You end your study program without graduating. In this case, your residence permit may be revoked immediately.

How much time do I have to apply for the orientation year after my graduation or after my scientific research in the Netherlands?

You can apply for the orientation year until 3 years after your graduation date or the expiry date of your residence permit for scientific research. If you want to prevent a residence gap (an interruption in your lawful residency), you will have to apply before your residence permit for study purposes or scientific research expires. If you prefer to apply later, after your residence permit has expired, and your are not exempt from the MVV requirement (see question 3), you can apply at a Dutch representation (embassy or consulate) abroad.

When does the orientation year start?

  • You reside legally in the Netherlands, but you do not have a valid Dutch residence permit, or you have a valid Dutch residence permit for study purposes when you apply: If a residence permit for the orientation year is granted to you, it will start on the application date if you have submitted all requested documents with the application and if you qualify for the orientation year at that moment, even if the decision is made after that date.
  • You have a valid Dutch residence permit for the purpose of scientific research (or a ‘highly skilled migrant’ residence permit to perform scientific research) when you apply: If a residence permit for the orientation year is granted to you and your employment contract or hosting agreement is not ended prematurely, it will start immediately after your current residence permit expires. If your employment contract or hosting agreement is ended prematurely, your residence permit for the orientation year will start on the date your employment contract or hosting agreement ends ór on the application date, whichever comes last.
  • You apply at a Dutch representation abroad: If an MVV is granted to you, you will automatically obtain a residence permit after arriving in the Netherlands. Your residence permit will start on the day after the date the MVV sticker is placed in your passport by the Dutch representation. You can also choose to have your residence permit start on the date you enter the Netherlands.

I have applied for the orientation year while residing legally in the Netherlands. How soon can I start working?

If you want to start working soon, it is recommended that you apply for the orientation year online. The IND strives to handle your online application in 2 weeks if it is complete. In general, you can collect your residence permit within a week after your application has been handled.

If you cannot wait 3 weeks, because you have already found a job and your employment contract starts within 3 weeks, you can get a (free) residence endorsement sticker in your passport at an IND desk. The sticker will be valid while your application is pending and states that you reside legally in the Netherlands and that you have free access to the Dutch labour market. This means you can start working immediately after you have collected the sticker. You do not have to wait for the residence permit itself.

If you apply online or by post and your application is complete, you can get the sticker after your application has been registered. If you apply at an IND desk, you can get the sticker immediately if you submit all requested documents with your application. You will have to make an appointment by phone if you want to submit your application at an IND desk.

You cannot get a residence endorsement sticker if you applied for an MVV abroad and that application is still pending.

What are other benefits of the orientation year?

You are granted free access to the Dutch labour market during the orientation year. This means that there is, apart from the Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act (WML), no salary criterion and that an employer does not have to apply for a work permit for you. Furthermore, the reduced salary criterion applies to you when you find a job as a highly skilled migrant. This may encourage an employer to hire you.

I already found a job as a highly skilled migrant without needing an orientation year first. Am I still eligible for the reduced salary criterion?

Yes, you are. If you qualify for the orientation year, but you do not apply for it because you already found a job as a highly skilled migrant, your employer can still make use of the reduced salary criterion.

I have had a residence permit for paid employment or for working as a highly skilled migrant, immediately after I had graduated or performed scientific research. Am I still eligible to apply for the orientation year?

Yes, that is possible. You can apply for the orientation year until 3 years after your graduation date or the expiry date of your residence permit for scientific research, regardless whether you have had a residence permit for paid employment or for working as a highly skilled migrant in the meantime or not.

I found a job as a highly skilled migrant during the orientation year. Does my employer have to apply for a new residence permit for me immediately?

No, that is not necessary. You have free access to the Dutch labour market during the orientation year, so your employer can wait until the end of your orientation year before he applies for a new residence permit for you.

Can I work in other Schengen member states with a Dutch residence permit for the orientation year?

No. A Dutch residence permit allows you to enter and exit the Netherlands and travel through the Schengen Area. However, a Dutch residence permit does not give you the right to work in other countries. If you want to work in another (Schengen member) state, you will have to apply for a residence permit and/or a work permit in that state.

Your stay in other Schengen member states is limited to a maximum of 90 days within a period of 180 days. If you intend to stay in another Schengen member state longer, you must comply with the immigration regulations of that country.

Can I use my residence permit for the orientation year to look for a job in the Netherlands while living abroad?

No. If you do not have and keep your main residence in the Netherlands during the orientation year, your residence permit can be revoked. Having main residence in the Netherlands is a key requirement to retain a Dutch residence permit.