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- I am new to Holland and want to know what Search Year is.
The Search Year (“Zoekjaar” in Dutch) in the Netherlands, also known as the “job seeking year”, is a one-year temporary residence permit applicable to:
- Students who have finished bachelor’s or master's degree in the Netherlands
- Researchers or those who have obtained post-doctoral degrees
- Graduates holding master’s or doctoral degrees conferred by the top 200 non-Netherlands universities in the world
You may refer to the following rankings for world’s top 200 non-Netherlands universities:
- When is it better to start applying for Search Year?
According to the new policy, the application time for Search Year is extended from upon graduation to three years after graduation. This means that the applicants who meet the application requirements can apply for their Search Year immediately or in three years after graduation or after research is finished. If you don’t want your legal residence period being interrupted, you have to apply for Search Year before the end of your existing residence permit.
- I have officially graduated but haven’t got my diploma, can I apply for Search Year?
Of course, you can! If you do not get a diploma immediately after graduation, you can apply for a “Statement on completion of study” from your school as your graduation certificate to apply for Search Year at IND - the Dutch Immigration Department.
- Can I continue to apply for Search Year if I return to my home country after graduation?
You can apply for a Search Year visa in your home country as long as it’s within 3 years after graduation! The first thing to prepare is an MVV visa (generally speaking an MVV visa is valid for 90 days), as it is important to ensure that you have a permit to enter the country. If you apply in your home country, we suggest that you contact the Visa Office of the Dutch Embassy and apply for both the MVV and Search Year visas via the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV procedure) at the same time. Usually, the validity period of Search Year is calculated from the time of receiving the MVV visa. In case of special circumstances, you can inform them of your exact entry time so as to have a longer period of effective Search Year residency.
- Where exactly can I apply for Search Year?
There are three ways to apply for Search Year – mail you application documents to IND the Dutch Immigration Office, apply at the IND counter, or directly apply online. We highly recommend online application! The advantage of online application is that the application process is short and simple. It well deserves to be the quickest way to apply for Search Year. The application URL is http://ind.nl/searchyear and requires a DigiD account to log in.
- What do I need to prepare to apply for Search Year?
If you are applying for Search Year in your home country, you will get a list of application forms and materials when you contact the TEV procedure of the Dutch Embassy; if you apply in the Netherlands, you need to download the application forms from the IND website (http://ind.nl/searchyear). In addition to the application form, you also need to prepare:
- Copy of the personal information page and the visa page of your passport
- Diploma or graduation certificate
- Photo (electronic version/print version of passport format photo)
- Appointment confirmation from IND (if you choose to apply at the counter)
- DigiD (for log in online application)
- Bank card (cash is acceptable for applying at the counter)
- What is the cost of applying for Search Year?
In May 2018, the Dutch Immigration Bureau IND significantly reduced the cost of applying for residence permits. We were moved to tears: the application fee for Search Year plummeted from 641 EUR to 285 EUR! Isn’t it a bargain?! Applying for Search Year online requires payment through iDEAL immediately after uploading the materials. Here’s a friendly reminder from us: it cannot be paid by credit card.
- How long does it usually take to apply for Search Year?
Generally speaking, whether you apply for Search Year in the Netherlands or in another country, the application period is 90 days. As mentioned above, online application is the quickest way. When all required application materials are submitted, the IND can complete the application process within two weeks, and the residence card can be obtained in the third week. We really think that the efficiency of the Dutch office is taking off.
The Netherlands have gradually relaxed their Search Year policy, providing more job opportunities for seniors and graduates
Do not miss such a good education environment and job opportunities!
Of course, if you have any questions about Search Year or need any help,
HoiTalent shall answer your questions professionally
You can click here to learn more about the package for Search Year application