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How to apply for the orientation year

As of 1 March 2016, the orientation year can be applied for up to three years after graduation, and can be applied for from abroad.

Apply during your stay in the Netherlands

To apply for the orientation year permit, you need to submit the following documents to the IND:

  • 'Application residence permit or change to restriction without MVV'. You can find this form on the IND website
  • A copy of your UvA Bachelor's or Master's diploma. You can have a certified copy made at the desk of the Student Service Desk of the UvA. Make sure to bring your original diploma. If you have not yet received your diploma when you visit the IND, you need to submit a Declaration Completion Study/Deregistration Student.
  • This is a declaration of graduation. The form has to be filled out by you and the Student Administration of the UvA.
  • It states the name of your programme, your graduation date and the date on which you will receive your diploma. You can find this form below.

Central Student Service Desk

When you have applied for your diploma and are ready to fill in the forms, please go to the Central Student Service Desk to have them signed.
After that, you can make an appointment at the IND to complete the application. 

Central Student Service Desk (contact page)


You have to make an appointment to submit 'Application residence permit or change to restriction without MVV' in person at the IND Front Office on Stadhouderskade 85. The IND can then immediately check whether your forms are filled in correctly. You can make an appointment by calling 0900-123 4561. Make sure you have an appointment before your current residence permit expires, and book the appointment early, at least three weeks in advance, because the IND can be quite busy.

Processing time

  • In theory, the IND can take six months to process your request. In practice, they almost always decide faster. During the waiting time, you are in the Netherlands legally. However, you are not allowed to work without a work permit. Because you don’t have the residence permit pass yet (just a stamp in your passport stating you are here legally) many employers could be hesitant to hire you, despite the fact that this is possible.
  • Also, when you start working you will need to take out basic Dutch healthcare insurance. See this page for more information.
  • The good news? When the IND approves your application, you can work freely. 

Please note: Students with a Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) scholarship are not eligible for an orientation year residence permit.

Will your current residence permit expire before you graduate?

If so, please contact the UvA's Immigration Officer for advice at

Working after graduation - Nuffic website

Apply while being abroad

If you are living abroad and your previous residence permit has expired, you will need to start the procedure for Entry and Residence. In this procedure you apply for a provisional residence permit, i.e. your entry visa, and a residence permit simultaneously. You can contact the Dutch embassy or consulate in your country of residence for more information.

Dutch embassies and consulates