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New Coronavirus adjustments to the Search Year (Zoekjaar) Permit

Posted on: July 21, 2020

Everyone that completes a university degree or piece of research in the Netherlands is eligible to take a Zoekjaar or ‘Search Year’ Permit, which grants the holder the right to live and work in the Netherlands for one year with no restrictions (on hours/earnings/number of jobs, and so on). It is hoped that by the end of that year, graduates will have been able to find a job to continue with in the Netherlands.

However due to the economic downturn caused by the Coronavirus outbreak, job searching may be difficult in the coming year. One of the advantages of the Search Year Permit is that an employer can hire you as a ‘Highly Skilled Migrant’ at a much lower salary level than if you had been recruited from overseas.

This lower salary level limit has now been extended to 3 years after graduation: so, if you find a job in the Netherlands at any time in the 3 years after you graduate you can be hired as easily as a Dutch citizen.

If you’d prefer to wait to take your search year, the eligibility period has also been extended to 3 years: so upon graduation you could claim your Search Year permit either immediately, or at any time in the following 3 years.

All those on a search year permit can now sign up with the UWV (Dutch employment agency) and receive job placement assistance in the same way as a Dutch citizen could.

For more information about how the Search Year Permit works, check out our webinar on the subject. The Start-Up Permit and Highly Skilled Migrant webinars may also be useful for you.

Source: Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland/ Immigratie- en Natualisatiedienst / Holland Alumni Network