Coronavirus and staying in the Netherlands after graduation

Vacancies and networking opportunities are in decline for international graduates due to the corona crisis. So graduates started a petition to extend the search year. Minister Koolmees for Social Affairs couldn't give them exactly this, but did make an important concession.

Afstuderen, graduation ceremony

Petition to extend search year

In April a group of international graduates started a petition to extend the search year to accommodate the decline in vacancies and networking opportunity. In a written response to questions from the Dutch Parliament, Minister Koolmees for Social Affairs and Employment explains that it is not possible to extend the search year. This is because the conditions for this residence permit are entrenched in law, and changing them is an uncertain and lengthy process.


Because the government values the contribution of international students and highly skilled migrants greatly, they decided to organize an alternative. They extended the period for which graduates are eligible for a highly-skilled migrant residence permit with a lower salary criterium.

More information

In the attached flyer you can find more information about the search year and other residence permits that can facilitate your stay in the Netherlands after graduation. 

In closing we would like to remind you that where-ever your road will take you, the Netherlands wants to keep in touch with you. Don’t forget to register on the Holland Alumni network and let us know about your interests and expertise, so that we can keep talking.