Leiden University Career Zone

LU Career Zone Labour Market


Working in the Netherlands after your studies

Does this apply to me? 
If you are an international student receiving a Bachelor or Master’s degree at Leiden University, you can apply to stay in the Netherlands to find work during an Orientation Year for Highly Educated Persons (2019). 
Do I need to apply for my orientation year upon graduation? 
No – you can apply for it within 3 years upon graduation. Within those 3 years, you can apply to stay on other grounds (e.g. for a next studies or with a partner) or you can leave the country to travel, study or abroad. 
Would an employer need a work permit while residing in the Netherlands on a search year permit? 
No- your residence card mentions “arbeid vrij”- which means that you are free to accept any work in the Netherlands and no separate work permit will have to be obtained. 
My orientation year will expire. Can I apply to extend it?
No – you can only enjoy the orientation period for one year. Your eligibility to stay in the Netherlands onwards will depend on whether you meet the requirements for another type of residence permits. The most common schemes are mentioned below.
Highly Skilled Migration: what is the salary threshold for recent graduates?
You can apply for employment under the Highly-skilled migrant scheme by any company with recognised sponsor status . If you are employed within your orientation year or while still being eligible for an orientation year, your salary threshold is € 2,314 gross per month excluding 8% holiday allowance. This is certainly an advantage if you consider that other applicants must earn €3 229 or even € 4,404 if they are 30 or older.  Another advantage is that you remain eligible under this salary threshold even if you reach the age of 30 or change jobs. You lose entitlement to the lower threshold if your legal residence is interrupted, for example due to late filing. A highly-skilled migrant residence permit allows self-employment as a side activity. 
Are there other forms of employment? 
You can find employment under the European Blue Card Scheme by any company, including companies without recognized sponsor status. You job offer has to entitle you to 12 months of employment and your salary will have to be € 5,160 exclusive 8% holiday allowance. You’ll have to show that your Bachelor’s or Master’s after a studies that took a minimum of 3 fulltime years. 
Are there any opportunities for self-employmen?
You can apply to be self-employment under the scheme for start-up visa  if you have found a facilitator
What is a residence gap? 
A permit holder, you can be eligible for permanent residence or Dutch nationality after a continuous residence of at least 5 years, without interruptions. Interruptions may occur if you file your extension applications too late or without the required support materials and we typically refer to this as a ‘residence gap’. So if you want to either extend your student permit or change it to any other category you must make the application 3-6 months prior to the end date of your permit, to avoid any residence gaps from happening. 
Written by:
Thomas van Houwelingen / lawyer - Everaert advocaten - immigration lawyers
For further information, visit the Career Services or the International Student Advisors.