Foreign students are entitled to a search year permit after obtaining a degree in The Netherlands. Also, graduates from top universities from other countries are entitled to the search year permit. The criteria for the search year have been renewed as of 1 March 2016 and as a result have become more flexible. The new search year permit can be requested within three years after graduation, either from a Dutch university or a top university abroad. Also, scientific researchers are entitled to this new permit. The permit gives free access to the Dutch labour market for one year, enabling graduates to work in The Netherlands, find a long term job as a highly skilled migrant, or start their own company.