Search Year Visa
What is the Search Year Visa?
The Search Year visa is a residence permit that allows Master’s and PhD graduates from universities/subjects/faculties ranked in the global top 200 to live in the Netherlands for 12 months. With a Search Year visa you are allowed to work in the Netherlands, and you can travel throughout the entire Schengen area without the need of a visa. Transitions to other types of residence permits in the Netherlands are made easy for you, if you hold a Search Year visa.
What are the benefits of the Search Year Visa?
The Search Year Visa allows you to work with no restrictions for 12 months. You are more likely to be hired by Dutch employers as there are no legal barriers.
You can work part-time or freelance while looking for a full-time position.
You can work for any employer during the entire Search Year. Your employer needs not to act as your sponsor until the Search Year is expired.
You can easily change your Search Year Visa into a Highly Skilled Migrant Visa. While normally a Highly Skilled Migrant would have to earn a base salary of € 3,170.00 per month (under 30 years old) or € 4,324.00 per month (over 30 years old), the salary threshold for Search Year Visa holders is only € 2,272.00 per month.
You can start your own businesses. After the Search Year, there are excellent opportunities to change your residence permit into an Entrepreneur Visa or a Startup Visa.
The Search Year Visa allows you to travel through the Schengen area without a visa.
You can even bring your partner with you to the Netherlands. Your partner will also enjoy full access to the labor market during your Search Year. If you change your visa into a Highly Skilled Migrant visa, your partner will continue to have full access to the labor market.
What are the most important requirements?
To be eligible for a Search Year Visa, you must meet the following requirements:
You have obtained a Master’s or PhD degree or have completed a postdoc at any university or any faculty which ranks in the global top 200. Are you not sure whether your university or faculty is among the global top 200? Feel free to fill in this contact form to let our immigration specialists review all your information. If we conclude that you can apply for the Search Year visa, we will contact you by phone to discuss how we can help you arrange the visa. If we conclude that you cannot apply, we will let you know our conclusions by e-mail.
You must show your basic proficiency in the English language. If your university education was completed in English, then you automatically fulfil this requirement.
Your diploma must be recent (i.e. having been obtained for no longer than three years when you make your application).
What to do after the Search Year?
After the Search Year, you have a few career related options that allow you to remain in the Netherlands:
Highly Skilled Migrant Visa: This Dutch immigration policy encourages the knowledge economy by allowing companies to recruit highly skilled migrants and apply for combined residence and work authorisation in an expedited procedure.
Start-Up visa: A one-year residence permit can be obtained by foreign start-up entrepreneurs allowing them to start an innovative business. You must work together with an experienced, recognised, facilitator. After one year, you must pass the strict points-based system to qualify for the self-employed residence permit.
Self-Employed Visa: You can obtain a residence permit to work independently in the Netherlands provided that your business is of an added value and interest to the Dutch knowledge economy.
Are you interested in moving to the Netherlands? We are glad to hear that you do. You can leave us your information using this contact form. Our immigration specialists will review your information. If we conclude that you can apply for the Search Year Visa, we will contact you by phone to discuss how we can help you apply. If we conclude that you cannot apply, we will let you know our conclusions by e-mail.