Work permit and recognition of a foreign degree

Dutch Residence Permit (Verblijfsvergunning)

Every non-EEA national who wishes to stay longer than three months in the Netherlands will need to apply for a valid Dutch Residence permit. EEA stands for European Economic Area. This area contains all the countries of the European Union and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
To qualify for a Dutch Residence Permit, you need an MVV. An MVV ( Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf) is an authorisation for temporary stay. Non-EEA nationals have to apply for an MVV at the Dutch embassy or consulate of their home country.
Only nationals of the following countries do not need an MVV; Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, Vatican City

More information can be found on the following websites:


Work Permit for graduates

After graduation at a University or University of Applied Sciences (hogeschool) in the Netherlands, foreign students have the possibility to extend their stay for a period of one year to search for a job. During this ‘search period’  you have free access to the Dutch labour market. However you do need to readjust your Dutch Residence Permit and apply for the status of  “verblijf gedurende zoekjaar afgestudeerde” (seeking work after graduation). This document is meant to be used by students that are looking for jobs as a “highly skilled migrant”, but you are also allowed to look for a job as a regular ‘labour migrant’

  • More information about the procedures concerning work permits for skilled migrants can be found on the Nuffic website, or at (Dutch)


Psychologists working in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands psychology is a free profession. Anyone is entitled to appoint themselves a psychologist and in that capacity is allowed to -practise psychology.

However, the professional is bound by their professional responsibility towards the client and the high ethical standards of the NIP. Specific professional expertise of psychologists is made evident by the bearing of a title. This title is made clear to the public as well as to clients and other professionals in the field of the Individual Health Care and proves the appropriate professional competence.

The professional has to abide by the norms and standards of the professional group. This includes the entire set of legal regulations, relevant guidelines and applied ethical and professional codes of conduct.

Also, the profession of ‘Healthcare Psychologists’ is a legal regulated profession and therefore/ as such has a protected statutory status. Healthcare Psychologists are obliged to be registered on the governmental BIG-register. In order to get registered with the BIG register you need to have gained a post-master’s degree.


Recognition of foreign degree

When you are planning to work in the Netherlands as a psychologist it is advisable to submit your foreign degree(s) to find out what the Dutch equivalent is of your diploma. This document is also required for becoming a member of NIP. Without this we can not complete your NIP-membership.

In the Netherlands there are two designated competent authorities specialised in International Credential Evaluation; the Nuffic in The Hague and IDW which is based in Zoetermeer. The Nuffic does evaluations of qualifications at primary and (basic) secondary education level and at higher education level. IDW evaluates qualifications at vocational education level.

General information can be obtained from their joint information desk; Informatiecentrum Diplomawaardering (IcDW). You can contact the IDW at Postbox 7338, 2701 AH Zoetermeer. Call them at +31 (0)79 321 79 30 or visit the website.


General information on titles and degrees

The Higher Education and Academic Research Act (Wet hoger onderwijs en wetenschappelijk onderzoek, ‘WHW’) has been altered in 2002 in order to enclose the new bachelor/master’s structure.

In the Netherlands the bachelor part of the academic training program in psychology takes three years and leads to the title Bachelor of Science (BSc). The subsequent master’s training takes one or two (research) years and leads to the title Master of Science, MSc (but some universities use the title Master of Arts). The ‘old’ doctorandus (drs.) title, roughly the equivalent of a Master’s degree, will also be maintained. All the mentioned titles have statutory protection under the WHW Act. Only holders of one of these degrees may legally use them. With a foreign degree, you may use the appropriate foreign title, where applicable.


Use of Dutch title

If you wish to use the Dutch academic titles BSc, MSc, MA or drs. in psychology you can ask the Degree Assessment Department of DUO to investigate the possibilities.  If you believe that you meet the general conditions, we recommend you to ask for an application form from DUO, at the adress below. Since this document does not give information about the field of study, this document can not be used by our membership administration to make you a member. For this we need a document of recognition of foreign degree by IDW/ NUffic, as described above, under ‘Recognition of foreign degree’.

DUO (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs)
afdeling Diplomawaardering
Postbus 30157
T +31(0)50 599 80 36