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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.

Benefits of the Search Year Visa

Work Eligibility

The Search Year Visa allows you to work with no restrictions for 12 months. This means you can work for any employer with no minimum hour requirement. When you have a visa, 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.


Travel Flexibility

With a Search Year visa, you can travel throughout the Schengen area without a visa.


Family Friendly

You may be eligible to 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.


Options to Extend Your Stay

After your visa expires, you have a few career related options that allow you to remain in the Netherlands. You can apply for a Highly Skilled Migrant visa, start-up visa, or self-employed visa. Learn more.

Application Requirements


You have obtained a Master’s or PhD degree or have completed a Post Doc at any university or any faculty which ranks in the global top 200. 


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 have been obtained recently and in any case no longer than three years prior to the day you apply for the Search Year Visa.


Fill out the contact form now.

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