International graduates ask for visa extension as job opportunities disappear

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, international students from non-EU countries would like to extend their residence permits in order to have sufficient time to find a job.

After having completed their studies at a Dutch university, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) grants foreign students one year in the Netherlands to find a job. This is called a zoekjaar. If they are successful, they are permitted to stay in the country.

However, due to the coronavirus crisis, hundreds of them have expressed that there is not enough time, as businesses are not exactly looking to hire, NOS reports. 

A larger financial investment for internationals

International students pay a tuition fee that exceeds by far the Dutch or EU/EEA fee and often need to borrow large sums in order to finance their studies. Often this investment is worth it, especially if these students can find a job. However, this has been called into question with the coronavirus crisis.

NOS reports that students such as Jeevan Kumar, borrowed a sum of €50,000 from an Indian bank to study at TU Delft. Kumar has been searching now for several months. However, all of his job interviews have been postponed, meaning that he must rely on his parents’ finances. But because of a hefty interest rate, this becomes problematic.

The Ministry of Security and Justice has announced that it will not extend the zoekjaar.

For internationals still studying

For students coming from abroad who now have to resort to online classes, the hefty investment also becomes questionable. Thousands have signed a petition for a tuition fee reduction. 

Many of these students also experience serious financial difficulties (partly they can no longer work part-time jobs) and are having issues paying their tuition fees. Consequently, they risk losing their residence permit. These issues are being discussed with educational institutions as well as the Ministry of Education.

Are you an international graduate or student living in the Netherlands? Have you experienced difficulties due to coronavirus? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Feature Image: DutchReview/Canva

Vedika Luthra
Vedika was born in India, raised in Poland and moved to the Netherlands to study. Like her nationality, she’s confused about what she likes most, which is why her bachelor’s degree was in liberal arts and sciences. She enjoys writing about all things food-related but likes to mix it up every now and then.


  1. Yes these students have spent so much money and time and dutch government must help them by extending visa. They are not asking money and asking some help in this moment of global crisis. Thanks Dutchreview & Vedika for taking this cause.


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