Main Dutch Immigration Law > Graduated Students
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Students and graduates from outside the EU in the Netherlands (Holland)

The student’s residence permit is intended for the foreign nationals who wish to study in the Netherlands (Holland) for more than 3 months. Before applying for this residence permit, a student has to receive a Dutch (Netherlands) MVV visa, unless he falls under exemption. An educational institution must forward an application for Dutch (Netherlands) MVV at the IND. If the IND will issue a positive decision, then a student has to collect it in the embassy or consulate of his own country. Only then he is allowed to come to the Netherlands (Holland).

The student’s residence permit is intended for the foreign nationals who wish to study in the Netherlands (Holland) for more than 3 months. Before applying for this residence permit, a student has to receive a Dutch (Netherlands) MVV visa, unless he falls under an exemption. An educational institution must forward an application for Dutch (Netherlands) MVV at the IND. If the IND will issue a positive decision, then a student has to collect it in the embassy or consulate of his own country. Only then he is allowed to come to the Netherlands (Holland).

After coming to the Netherlands (Holland), an educational institution will assist the student in the preparation of the documents for the residence permit and have to submit an application on behalf of the student to the IND within five days since arrival of the student. The whole procedure takes approximately 3 months.

General conditions for the candidates:

  • Valid passport;
  • Health insurance;
  • Absence of criminal record;
  • Proof of registration at the Dutch (Netherlands) educational institution;
  • Tuberculosis certificate;
  • Sufficient financial means;
  • Declaration of awareness, by which a student expresses compliance with the conditions he must meet and that he has to leave the country at a specific point of time in the future.

A student’s Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit is valid for one academic year (until the 1st of September). However, it is possible to extend it. During or after the study the student may change the purpose of stay. Then under certain conditions he can get a new residence permit.

After receiving a diploma, students may apply for the so called "search year” if they want to stay longer in the Netherlands (Holland). This right is intended to give an opportunity to find a job after the graduation. The student does not need a Dutch (Netherlands) work permit in this case. Within this period a job-seeking undergraduate does not have a right to apply for the state benefits and has to pay the living costs himself. He may search for a job exclusively in the Netherlands (Holland). After the end of one year there are 2 possible outcomes: a job-seeker has to leave the country or has to change the purpose of stay. A Dutch (Netherlands) search year work permit is granted only once and cannot be extended. This means that if an undergraduate once in his life has already used this possibility, he may never use it again.

Another opportunity is to file an application for the knowledge migrant. It can be filed within 3 years after graduation. If a person wants to come to the Netherlands (Holland) as a knowledge migrant, the first what he must do is to get a permission by the Dutch Immigration Authority (IND).

To be eligible for this residence permit, a candidate has to gain enough points in a special points system:
Master Degree-25 points; PhD Degree- 30 points; aged between 21 and 40- 5 points.

Additional points may be gained for: if candidate received a degree in the country, which is a party to Bologna declaration; candidate speaks Dutch/English or has previously stayed in the Netherlands (Holland) for study or work purposes.

The candidate has to score at least 35 points to be eligible for a residence permit. Such resident permit is granted for 1 year and cannot be extended. After 1 year the applicant must change the purpose of stay or leave the country.

Moreover, there are many other legal grounds for students to stay in the Netherlands (Holland) after graduation. Such grounds include family re-unification or formation, working and continuation of studying. For more information, please, see the corresponding sections.

Special categories of students:

  1. A Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit for the students, preparing for enrolment is valid for a maximum period of 1 year without possibility of extension.
  2. A Dutch (Netherlands) student doing a traineeship may get a residence permit for a maximum of 12 months without the possibility of extension.
  3. An undergraduate who stayed for a "searching year” may receive a Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit for a period of 1 year without the possibility of extension.
  4. Foreign graduates of Dutch (Netherlands) educational institutions may submit an application for a residence permit "knowledge migrant” within 3 years after graduation.

Students from outside of the EU will need a Dutch (Netherlands) work permit in order to work in the Netherlands (Holland). This procedure is very simple for the employer. In this case a student must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Valid residence permit with a purpose of studying in the Netherlands;
  • Student may work no more than 10 hours per week throughout the year;
  • Student may work in months June, July and August without time restriction.

The following changes are expected to be enforced with the adoption of Modern Migration Policy Act:

  • Combined procedure for MVV and residence permit applications;
  • Study permit will be granted for a complete period of study;
  • In case of changing the university, there is no need to apply for a change in a purpose of a Dutch (Netherlands) visa;
  • The university must be an approved sponsor by the Dutch (Netherlands) IND;

Study progress will be under supervision.

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