The period in which use can be made of the search year has been extended from 1 year to three years after graduation. Under the old system, the search year had to be started within 1 year of obtaining the diploma, while under the new regime, the search year could be started even 2 years after graduation. This gives the graduate the opportunity to return to the country of origin after completing the study and then return to the Netherlands (whereby the residence permit must be applied for from abroad before the start of the search year). The search year is issued for a maximum of 1 year.
During the search year an employer is not obliged to apply for a work permit. If the graduate finds a job as a highly skilled migrant during the search year, then a reduced salary standard applies. For 2016 this standard is set at € 2,228 excl. Holiday allowance per month.