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Pathway to Permanent Residency of Netherlands after Study for Foreign Students

how Pakistani students can apply for the citizenship of Netherlands

It is natural for foreign students to decide on settling in the country where they have completed a study abroad degree. You get familiar with surroundings, culture, traditions, and lifestyle; make new friends and most of all you plan to stay in your study abroad country in order to grasp over wider career opportunities. Netherlands is the 6th highest earning economy of Europe, it is a Schengen state and European Union member. Netherlands neighbors Germany and Belgium and also shares maritime borders with the UK and France, its geographical location allows foreigners to move about other European states in short travel time and search for career prospects. What is the procedure of getting work visa from Netherlands after study? Or can students later get permanent residency of Netherlands? We have explained this in the following section:


Types of Work Permits in the Netherlands 2020:

The foreign nationals who want to stay in the Netherlands after completing their studies will have to attain a work visa by getting employment. The process of getting work visa is as follows:

  • Orientation year (zoekjaar) permits for foreign graduates

  •  Search year permit (zoekjaar) for graduates in the Netherlands

  •  Work permit for entrepreneurs / self-employed in the Netherlands

  • GVVA or Single Permit

  • Highly Skilled Migrant Permit

  • EU Blue Card


Orientation Year (zoekjaar) Permits for Foreign Graduates

After completing a Masters Level or PhD level studies from any of world’s top 150 universities according to QS or ARWU from Jiao Tong Shanghai University, the foreign graduates can apply for Orientation year (zoekjaar) permit visa. The orientation year visa is for non-EU/EEA nationals who have studied from universities outside of the Netherlands. It will be valid for one year duration being granted to fresh graduates for job search in Netherlands or within Europe. The foreign graduates will have to pay € 285 application fee and submit other required documents. During this one year of visa, graduates can do work or internship to afford their daily expenses. Financial proof is not needed to apply for orientation visa.

Once the students get employment from within the Netherlands, they can convert their orientation visa to highly skilled migrant permit without needing to exit the country. The work permits in Netherlands are applied by hiring employers rather than employees. The employer hiring the foreign graduate will apply for highly skilled work permit on employee’s behalf. The fresh graduates granted highly skilled migrant permit after orientation visa are not required to fulfill minimum salary requirement of the former visa type. It must be noted here, the orientation visa will be granted only once for 1 year duration, no extension will be granted on it, if the graduates fail to find job in this duration, they will be bound to leave Netherlands territory within this time limit.


Search year permit (zoekjaar) for graduates in the Netherlands

The zoekjaar work permit is for non-EU/EEA national who have studied from any of the Dutch University at post graduate level. Once the foreign nationals have completed their degree from the Netherlands, they can apply for search year permit or zoekjaar permit which will be valid for one year duration for job search purpose. Once the foreign nationals have found employment during one year period of zoekjaar visa, the employer hiring them will apply for highly skilled migrant permit on behalf of the foreigner without them require leaving the country. To apply for zoekjaar visa, the fresh graduates can visit the IND office before their Dutch student permit expires. The foreign nationals who have completed their studies from the Netherlands but did not availed zoekjaar visa within past three years; they can apply for orientation visa for job search.


Work permit for entrepreneurs / self-employed in the Netherlands

The students who want to set up their own business in the Netherlands can apply for Work permit for entrepreneurs / self-employed in the Netherlands. To be eligible for this type of work permit, the individuals will need to provide details of their business, performance of their business/company and proof that their business can offer substantial benefit to economy of the Netherlands. The application for self employment and entrepreneurs will be attested by the Ministry of Economic Affairs Netherlands for approval. The ministry will consider following factors for approval of your application:

  • Personal experience, training, work experience, entrepreneurship.

  • Market analysis of business of the applicant, price of product and services, organization details, financing proof

  • Potential of business in adding value to Netherlands investments, economy, employment creation and innovation.


GVVA or Single Permit

The GVVA or Single permit is for non-EU/EEA nationals who want to work in the Netherlands for more than three months. Like other work permits, GVVA is applied by the employer who is hiring a foreign national. The employer will prove to o the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Department (IND), that he/she has made efforts in finding suitable employee from the European Union and Netherlands before hiring the third country national. If the employer is able to prove then the application for GVVA work permit will be approved. The employer will file application and other required documents for GVVA/Single Permit work visa at the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Department (IND) along with certain fee. The IND will send application after attestation to the UWV (Dutch social security agency) for further process and ask advice for approval. The UWV will consider the application on the rules of Aliens Employment Act (Wav). Once the UWV approves, the IND will issue GVVA to the employer.


Highly Skilled Migrant Permit

The highly skilled migrant permit was introduced for the benefit of both the Dutch employers and foreign employees. If the Dutch employer wants to hire a capable and efficient highly qualified professional from outside European Union countries, they can apply for highly skilled migrant permit. For applying highly skilled migrant permit, the employers do not need to prove the IND that they have searched for the employee in European Union and Netherlands first. The applicant for highly skilled migrant permit must meet following eligibility criterion:

  • The applicant must have skills and experience that is scarce and unique in its own field

  • The applicant must have done Bachelors degree at least (Masters and PhD candidates ate preferred first)

  • Work experience of some years is necessary

  • The applicant must have done specialization in high demand professional fields such as (IT, Engineering, Science).

Only the Dutch organizations which are registered and recognized in Netherlands can apply for highly skilled migration permit on behalf of foreign employee. The application for highly skilled migrant permit is submitted at IND, the Dutch Organization hiring foreign employee will serve as a sponsor for the employee.


Conditions Applied on Highly Skilled Migrant Permit in the Netherlands

For the purpose of applying for the highly skilled migrant permit, first of all the employer will provide an employment contract or employment decision document to the IND. If any international company which has a branch office in the Netherlands, the internal transfer of employees can be made by submitting employer’s declaration at IND. Other conditions of highly skilled migrant permit are as follows:

  • The applicant must have valid passport

  • The applicant has to purchase or must already have health insurance in the Netherlands if currently residing in the country.

  • The applicant must not have lived in the Netherlands illegally previously.

  • The applicant must not provide any faker information about his identity or personal details, must not withheld information on previous Netherlands visa applications.

  • The employer of Dutch Company will have to pay salary to the foreign national according to minimum pay requirements set by Government for highly skilled migrant permit.  The minimum pay requirement for highly skilled migrant is:

  • Older Than 30 years of Age: € 4.500 per month, Younger Than 30 years of Age: € 3.229 per month, Subsequent to graduation or after job-seeking year for graduates / highly educated persons: € 2.364 per month

  • If the applicant meets aforementioned criterion and the Dutch Company hiring the employee is recognized organization, the application for highly skilled migrant permit shall take two to three weeks for issuance. If the Dutch company applying for highly skilled migrant permit is not recognized, the application process will take longer period for approval.

  • The Netherlands’s highly skilled migrant permit has five years validity.

The Dutch Company hiring a foreign national as a highly skilled worker from countries other than Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Suriname, Switzerland and the United States of America will also provide medical examination test proving the applicant is not suffering from TB.  The TB test should not be older than three months on the time of submitting it to IND for work permit. The partners, children and spouses of the highly skilled migrant permit holders will also be allowed to stay in the Netherlands and work.


EU Blue Card:

The EU Blue Card is a resident permit card to third country nationals who are highly qualified. The third country national who finds an employment contract or binding job year of one year duration from any European Union Country including Netherlands, can apply for EU Blue Card if the job he/she has found offers minimum € 5.272 per month salary.

The conditions for EU Blue Card are same as highly skilled migrant permit. The EU Blue card holders can apply for a higher salary job within European Union Countries and move to that country on the same EU Blue Card without requiring any further permits. But the highly skilled migrant permit holder is restricted to work within Netherlands and find new jobs within its territory. The highly skilled migrant permit holder however has permission to convert his/her visa to EU Blue Card. The EU Blue card is issued for 4 years duration.


Permanent Residency of the Netherlands

After residing in the Netherlands legally for 5 consecutive years, the third country nationals or non-EU/EEA nationals can apply for permanent residency of Netherlands. Based on conditions of their previous resident permit and visa, the third country nationals can either apply for long-term resident-EC status or ‘regular’ Dutch permanent residency. To apply for permanent residency of Netherlands you have to meet following conditions:

  • You must have completed your five years of consecutive legal stay in the Netherlands

  • You must have a valid resident permit or temporary stay permit on the time of applying for permanent residency of Netherlands

  • You have knowledge about Dutch society

  • If you have studied in the Netherlands, your study period will be counted half meaning if you have studied for four years then it will be counted two years to be eligible for permanent residence of the Netherlands.

  • In your 5 years duration of stay in Netherlands, if your resident permit or work permit card expired and you sis nit extend for a certain amount of time, then your 5 years of stay will not be considered as consecutive.

  • You must prove you have valid and legit source of income. That source provides you sufficient salary for you and your family’s stay in the Netherlands. For example, for a single person EUR 1,152.60 gross per month salary is required for permanent residency eligibility.

  • There must not be any criminal record during your stay of 5 years in Netherlands.

  • You must prove you can speak basic Dutch language, you must prove you have integrated in Dutch society, you must be able to read and write Dutch language which will be attested by civic integration exam or you can prove it by showing comparable Dutch language speaking, writing and reading diploma. In some cases, the applicants are exempted from giving this examination.

  • You will apply for permanent residency at IND office.

  • You will submit your valid work permit or resident permit of Netherlands, valid passport, official travel ID, proof of income (through bank statements).

  • You will pay fee of EUR 156 for one adult and 57 Euro for one child.

  • The application time might take up to 6 months, so make sure to apply for permanent residency of Netherlands when your current work permit or resident permit has 6 months validity duration at least.

  • The permanent residency card of Netherlands will be valid for 5 years, after that an individual can renew it or apply for citizenship.


Citizenship of Netherlands 2020

You can apply for citizenship of Netherlands after 10 years of legal stay in the country. You can apply for the Dutch citizenship if you meet the following conditions:

  • If your age is eighteen or over eighteen.

  • If you have permanent resident card or valid resident permit card which is not for temporary stay.

  • If you are able to read, write and speak Dutch language and have sufficient knowledge about the Dutch culture, society and law. To prove this you will undertake a neutralization test.

  • In your previous years of stay, you have not been charged with any criminal offence and have maintained a conduct of character.

  • The spouse and children of applicant can also apply for citizenship of the Netherlands.

  • Once you take oath as a Dutch citizen, your previous nationality will automatically be removed.

  • You will have right to vote, avail government provided benefits and allowances and freely move to other Schengen states with requiring any visa after getting Dutch citizenship.

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