After five years of studying in the Netherlands, would I be eligible for citizenship?

October 6, 2022

After five years of studying in the Netherlands, would I be eligible for citizenship?

Planning to settle in the same country after accomplishing studies is a natural thought for every international student. We, thereby, endeavor to resolve most of the queries of overseas students by demonstrating the procedure of acquiring a work visa in the Netherlands or a permanent residence in the country.

Work Permits for Foreign Students

  • 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.

Significant for non-EU/EEA nationals, the orientation year visa is referred to international students who have completed graduation from their native university. Carrying a validity for one year allows fresh graduates to work in the Netherlands or Europe. You must pay € 285 application fee and the other required documents. However, the financial proof is not required to apply for an orientation year permit visa.


Search year permit (zoekjaar) for graduates of the Netherlands

This category is mainly meant for non-EU/EEA nationals because the abroad students have completed their post-graduation from any Dutch university. With a validity of one year, the search year permit or zoekjaar permit grants permission for a job search to its holder. To apply for the zoekjaar visa, the applicant has to visit the IND before the expiry of the Dutch student permit. International students, who have not availed of the search permit visa for the past three years, can apply for the Orientation visa for a job search.


Highly Skilled Migrant Permit

The highly skilled migrant permit is beneficial for both Dutch employers and non-native employees. Any Dutch employer must apply for this permit before employing a highly qualified professional of another nationality. Only the Dutch organizations registered in the Netherlands are eligible to apply under this category on behalf of overseas employees. The application is submitted at IND, sponsorship for the employee by his employer. The applicant should meet the criteria to apply for the highly skilled migrant


  • The applicant must have skills and experience that are unique in their field.
  • Minimum qualification is a bachelor’s degree, whereas Masters’s and Ph.D. candidates are preferred first.
  • Work experience for a few years is mandatory.
  • Specialization is necessary for high-demand professional fields such as IT, Engineering, or Science.


Conditions Applied on Highly Skilled Migrant Permits in the Netherlands

To get a highly skilled migrant permit, the employer must submit an employment contract or employment decision document to the IND. In case there is a branch office of any international company in the Netherlands, the internal transfer of staff is possible by providing the employer’s declaration at IND. Other necessary conditions of the highly skilled migrant permit are:

  • A valid passport
  • Health insurance in the Netherlands.
  • Legal stay in the country.
  • Do not provide any fake information regarding your identity or personal details
  • The Dutch employer should pay salary to the foreign national as per the minimum pay requirements set by the government. For the highly skilled migrant, the minimum payment
  • requirements are:
    • 1) € 4.500 per month for more than 30 years of Age
    • 2) € 3.229 per month for less than 30 years of Age
    • 3) € 2.364 per month for after graduation or after a job-seeking year for graduates / highly educated persons


  • If the Dutch Company applying for the highly skilled migrant permit is a recognized organization, the application will take 2-3 weeks for issuance. But, if it is not recognized, the application process will take more time for approval.
  • The highly skilled migrant permit of the Netherlands is valid for five years.
  • Countries other than Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Suriname, Switzerland, and the United States of America are liable to provide medical examination tests for Tuberculosis, confirming the applicant is free from the disease. While submitting to the IND, the test should not be older than three months.
  • The children and spouses of highly skilled migrant permit holders can also stay and work in the Netherlands.


Permanent Residency in the Netherlands

The non-EU/EEA or third-country nationals are entitled to apply for permanent residency in the Netherlands after a legal stay in the country for five successive years. Depending upon the former resident permit and visa conditions, the third-country nationals can either request a long-term resident-EC status or ‘regular’ Dutch permanent residency. Before applying for permanent residency in the Netherlands at the IND office, one should fulfill the following conditions:


  • Completion of five years of consecutive legal stay in the Netherlands
  • Carrying a valid resident permit or temporary stay permit at the time of applying for permanent residency in the Netherlands
  • Awareness of Dutch society
  • If you are an international student of the Netherlands, half of your education period will be counted; for instance, if you have studied for four years in the Netherlands, it will be counted as 2years to qualify for permanent residence in the Netherlands.
  • During the five years of stay in the Netherlands, if the validity of your resident permit or work permit card expires and you have renewed it for a certain amount of time, then the stay will not be considered five consecutive years.
  • Proof of valid and legit source of income. In the Netherlands, a single person should acquire EUR 1,152.60 gross per month salary to match the permanent residency eligibility criteria.
  • No criminal record during your stay in the Netherlands.
  • You must represent evidence showing you can speak the primary Dutch language and are well-integrated into Dutch society. You can read and write the Dutch language, which will be attested by civic integration exam or by providing comparable Dutch language speaking, writing, and reading diploma. In a few cases, the applicants are exempted from this examination.


Documents that need to be submitted are your

  • valid work permit or residence permit of the Netherlands
  • valid passport
  • official travel ID
  • proof of income (through bank statements).


The fee for permanent residency in the Netherlands is EUR 156 per adult and 57 Euros per child. The entire process might take up to 6 months, so while applying for permanent residency, make sure your current work permit or residence permit has at least six months of validity. The permanent residency card of the Netherlands is valid for five years; after that, the holder can renew it or apply for citizenship.


Citizenship of Netherlands

Applying for citizenship in the Netherlands will take ten years of legal stay.

To apply for Dutch citizenship, you must meet some conditions, including:

  • Your age should be 18 or more.
  • You should carry a permanent resident card or valid resident permit card, not for a temporary stay.
  • You must undertake a neutralization test to prove that you can read, write and speak the Dutch language and have adequate knowledge about Dutch society, law and culture.
  • You have not been charged with any criminal offense and have maintained character conduct during your earlier stay in the Netherlands.
  • The applicant’s spouse and children are also eligible to apply for citizenship in the Netherlands.
  • Once you take an oath as a Dutch citizen, your previous nationality will be renounced automatically.
  • After receiving Dutch citizenship, you can avail of various government-provided benefits and allowances, the right to vote, and freely move to other Schengen states without requiring any visa.