A change in permit rules in the Netherlands will give international students an extended period of time to apply for year-long residence though the Orientation Year permit, following graduation, it has been announced.
Under the new rules, which are set to be implemented soon, graduates will be allowed to apply for the permit within three years of graduation from a Dutch or top international institution, instead of just one year as it stands currently.
The policy change will also make it easier for master’s and PhD students to work without a permit during their Orientation Year.
“The international student doesn’t have to decide directly after he or she finalises the study”
Floor van Donselaar from EP-Nuffic, who works to overcome mobility obstacles for foreign students and graduates, told The PIE News that the extended time to apply for the permit is a great benefit for international students.
“The international student doesn’t have to decide directly after he or she finalises the study, but has time to travel back home for example.”
The Orientation Year permit currently exists in two streams: one for graduates of master’s or PhD programmes in the Netherlands or from top ranked universities abroad, and another for those graduating with any degree from Dutch universities.
These streams will be merged as a result of the changes, and new groups will be eligible including scientists who conducted research in the Netherlands; graduates of master’s programmes from the Erasmus Mundus Course; graduates of cultural studies within the frames of the Cultural Policy Act; and graduates educated through the Dutch Foreign Affairs development aid programme.
Also as part of the new regulations, it will no longer be necessary for graduates of master’s a doctoral degrees to apply for a work permit during this Orientation Year.
“Until now the students had to look for a job without a work permit which made it harder to find a job,” explained van Donselaar.
“From now on this work permit is no longer necessary. And since you are able to use the search [Orientation] year for an internship or temporary job as well, we think more graduates will use this opportunity.”
According to van Donselaar, EP-Nuffic also worked closely with the Immigration and Naturalisation Service and the Ministry of Security and Justice in implementing these regulations.
“From now on this work permit is no longer necessary”
“They really see the value of connecting the international students to the Netherlands as well and we are really happy it worked out in this new set of regulations,” she said.
Van Donselaar expects the changes will help attract international students to study in the country.
“The information is spread abroad by the Netherlands Education Support Offices and the alumni and career officers. They are really enthusiastic about the new possibilities,” she said.
“That is a good prediction of the response of the future international students coming to the Netherlands and the students thinking of starting their career in our country.”