To integrate, you must learn Dutch. You must then learn how the Dutch people live and work. This is required by the government as indicated in the Civic Integration Act. You take the integration exams after you have learned enough Dutch.
If you settle in the Netherlands, you have a duty to integrate and must take a civic integration exam. Once you have done so, you will be able to take training courses and you will have a better chance of finding work.
Newcomers must know, for example:
- how to find work;
- how to make a hospital appointment;
- what kinds of school are available (if they have children).
Some newcomers are not required to take the civic integration exam, for example if they have a mental or physical disability.
The ‘Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs‘ of the Dutch Government will help you and provide you with the information needed to let you integrate.
You have 3 years to integrate. This is called the integration period. You must pass the integration exam within this period of time. You will receive a letter from DUO that says when your integration period starts.
School and learning
Going to school
You can take an integration course at a school. You will learn Dutch in the integration course. And, you will learn about living and working in the Netherlands. If you have learned enough then you can take the integration exam. Going to school is much better than learning by yourself. DUO does not have any books that you can study before the exam. DUO does have practice exams.
Choosing a school
Go to the site Blik op Werk if you want to select a school. The site has a list of good schools. Select a school from the list. This has advantages.
- You can only borrow from DUO if you attend one of these schools. You cannot borrow money from DUO for any other school.
- Anyone who does not complete their integration on time will be fined. The fine is lower for individuals who take their course at an approved school.
Integration exam or Dutch as a Second Language State Exam (staatsexamen NT2)
You can integrate in 2 different ways. Most people take the integration exams. Or, it is possible to take the Dutch as a Second Language State Exam (staatsexamen NT2).
If you must integrate then you will receive a letter from DUO. The letter will tell you what date you became obligated to integrate. It is important whether you became obligated to integrate before or after 1 January 2015. The letter will tell you that you have 3 years to integrate (the integration period).
Integrate by taking integration exam
Most people integrate by taking the integration exam.
Were you obliged to integrate before 2015? In this case, you need to take five integration exams. You must pass all five exams. If you must integrate after 1 January 2015 then you must take six exams. The additional exam you must take is the Orientation on the Dutch Labor Market exam.
|Before 2015||Starting 2015|
|Kennis Nederlandse Maatschappij (Knowledge of Dutch Society)||Kennis Nederlandse Maatschappij (Knowledge of Dutch Society)|
|Orientation on the Dutch Labor Market|
Integrate by taking the Second Language State Exam (Staatsexamen NT2)
It is also possible to integrate by taking the NT2 state exam. You take this exam when you want to study or pursue a vocational education program. Also, if you have a secondary or higher level education, you can take the NT2 state exam. In this case, you will learn Dutch at a higher level.
Were you obliged to integrate before 2015? In this case, you only have to take the Dutch as a Second Language State Exam (staatsexamen NT2). If you pass, you receive four certificates. You must exchange the certificates for the NT2 diploma. Do you have the NT2 diploma? In this case, you are integrated.
Are you obliged to integrate after 1 January 2015? In this case, in addition to taking the Dutch as a Second Language State Exam (staatsexamen NT2), you must also take another two exams. These are the Knowledge of Dutch Society exam and the Orientation on the Dutch Labor Market exam. If you pass these exams, you will receive both the NT2 diploma and the integration diploma.
|Before 2015||Starting 2015|
|NT2 State Exam||NT2 State Exam|
|Kennis Nederlandse Maatschappij (Knowledge of Dutch Society)|
|Orientation on the Dutch Labor Market|
Want to know more about the Dutch as a Second Language State Exam (Staatsexamen NT2)? Then, go to the site for DUO.
You must integrate. However, sometimes you do not have to take the exams. For example, you may have lived in the Netherlands for a long time. Or, you may have a diploma. Or, you might not be able to pass the integration exams.
Taking the exam
If you must integrate then you will receive a letter from DUO. The letter will tell you that you are obligated to integrate. The letter tells you how much time you have to integrate (integration period). You must pass your integration exam within this integration period.
Sometimes, it is not necessary to take the exam. This is called an exemption. Sometimes, you only have to take one exam or not do some of the exams. This is called an exemption. It is up to you to request these exemptions.
Do you already have a Dutch diploma? Or, are you in an academic program and studying it in Dutch? In this case, you may not have to take one or more exams. Do you want an exemption? In this case, submit the exemption form. DUO will decide whether you receive an exemption. The form is located below.
Exemption from the integration obligation
Do you want an exemption from your obligation to integrate? This is only possible six months before the deadline for your obligation to integrate.
There are three different ways to receive an exemption.
- You receive an exemption because you have done enough to integrate. This is called demonstrable proof of effort.
- You receive an exemption because you are sufficiently well integrated.
- You receive an exemption because of your medical circumstances.
Not completed on time?
You had three years to integrate. That is the integration obligation. Did you not integrate on time? Then you will be fined.
If it is determined you have not done enough, you will receive a letter from DUO. The letter will tell you that you are being fined. The fine can be up to a maximum of 1,250 euro. You will then have an additional two years to obtain your integration diploma.
Does DUO not yet have all the information it needs from you? Send the information to DUO. You might not have to pay all of the fine or might not have to pay it at all. What you can do is listed below.
Loan from DUO
Asylum migrants may borrow money for the course and the exams. It does not matter how much they earn. More: How much money can you borrow? Asylum migrants do not need to repay the loan in they integrate on time. More: Repayment