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Basic Civic Integration Examination Abroad

Before you come to the Netherlands, you must first take the civic integration examination abroad. This examination tests the Dutch language and society.

Who has to take the civic integration examination abroad?

You must take the exam, if you wish to live with your partner or spouse in the Netherlands. Also if your are a spiritual counsellor, you have to take this exam.

Where do I take the civic integration examination abroad?

You take this exam at the Dutch representation in the country where you live or the country of continuous residence. In case there is no Dutch representation in the country where you live or the country of the continuous residence, you take the exam in a neighbouring country or another country close to the country where you live. You will need to contact the Dutch representation yourself. This is also the country where you collect the provisional residence permit (mvv).

When do I not have to take the exam?

You do not have to take the exam in one of the following situations:

  • You are under 18 or you have reached your AOW pension age. The AOW pension age differs for persons.
  • You have a valid residence permit, you want to change the purpose of stay.
  • You have lived in the Netherlands for at least 8 years during the compulsory school age.
  • You have the nationality of an EU/EEA country, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Vatican City, United States of America, South Korea or Switzerland.
  • You have the Turkish nationality or you are a family member of a Turkish national. Family members are understood to be:
    • The married/registered partner;
    • The children and (great) grandchildren of the Turkish foreign national and his married/registered partner who are younger than 21 or who depend on them.
    • The parents and (great) grandparents of the Turkish foreign national and his married/registered partner who depend on them.
  • You have the status of a long-term resident EC in another EU country.
  • You intend to apply for a residence permit for a temporary purpose of stay.
  • You are going to live with a family member who has a residence permit for a temporary purpose of stay.
  • You are going to live with a person who has a temporary or permanent asylum residence permit.
  • You have the Surinamese nationality and have at least attended primary school in the Dutch language in Surinam or the Netherlands.
  • You are going to work only as a contemplative, internal officer or member of the board of a religious or ideological organisation.
  • You have one of the following diplomas, certificates or documents:
    • A diploma or certificate of a university, professional or vocational education (HBO/MBO level 2 or higher) or secondary education (VWO/HAVO/VMBO). The education was taught in Dutch or you have taken and passed the subject of Dutch language.
    • A diploma, certificate or document as set out above, taught in Dutch in Belgium or Surinam. You passed the subject of Dutch language.
    • A diploma, certificate or other document, of the Dutch-speaking education system attended in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The diploma was obtained at a course designated by the Dutch Minister of OCW (Education, Culture and Science). You passed the subject of Dutch language.
    • A diploma State Exam Dutch as a second language (NT2), level I or II.
    • A diploma of the European Baccalaureate awarded by the European School. The diploma (baccalaureate) consists of the subject of Dutch as a first or second language and you must have passed this subject.
    • An International Baccalaureate Middle Years Certificate, an International General Certificate of Secondary Education or an International Baccalaureate. As part of the education you attended an English-Dutch language course or a course International Baccalaureate including the subject of Dutch with you passed.

Are you sending the application by post? Please then enclose a regular copy or a certified copy of the diplomas or certificates. Never send the original by post. Are you going to visit an IND Desk? Please then bring the original diploma/certificate or a certified copy with you.

What can I do if I am not capable of taking the exam?

In special situations you can be granted exemption from taking (part of) the exam. This means that you do not have to take (part of) the exam.

If you think you are unable to pass the exam due to very special individual circumstances, you state this in the form. You use the Appendix Civic Integration Examination Abroad (of the application form). You have to attach documentary evidence showing you are unable to pass the exam.

If you think that you are permanently not able to take the exam due to mental or physical circumstances, you report this to the Dutch representation. The Dutch representation will appoint a medical examiner who will conduct a medical examination. This examination costs money. The physician also fills in a medical questionnaire. He sends the form to the IND. You will receive a copy of this. You attach this copy to your application form. The medical questionnaire may not be older than 6 months upon submitting the application.

Were you unable to take the civic integration exam for a 3-year period due to physical or mental circumstances? You then can be granted exemption for taking (part of) the exam.
Do you not meet this requirement, but you do have a physical or mental impairment? In assessing your application for exemption, the IND will then also take in account other individual special circumstances.

Costs and preparation

The civic integration examination abroad costs €150. There is a self-study pack available that you can purchase to prepare yourself for the exam. You are not obligated to make use of the self-study pack. Further information on how to prepare yourself for the exam, can be found on the website Naar Nederland.

Register

You may register for the civic integration examination abroad yourself, for your partner or for someone else. You can register for all 3 parts of the exams or just for one part. To register, you complete the digital registration form.

The results

The results will be known within 8 weeks. DUO sends the results by email. The email includes a PDF file with the results. In the PDF file you can read which parts of the exam you have passed. You have passed the basic civic integration examination when the PDF file states you have passed all 3 parts of the exam. You can include this PDF file to your application for the mvv. You will not receive a certificate from DUO.

If you fail (part of) the examination, you may register again. You have to pay the costs again. Parts of the exam that you did pass stay valid until you have all 3 parts of the exam.

How long is the passed civic integration examination abroad valid?

The passed civic integration examination abroad is valid for 1 year from datum afgifte (issue date) of the result. You can find the datum afgifte of the result in the PDF file that you received by email from DUO. Did you pass the examination and is the datum afgifte more than 1 year ago? You then have to take the examination again.

Passed the examination. Now what?

Having passed the examination, you may now submit the application. You make a copy/printout of the letter informing you that you passed the examination. You attach this to the application to be sent to the IND.

 
 

Country of continuous residence

​A country of continuous residence is a country (other than the country of origin) where you may lawfully live for more than 3 months. This means you have a valid residence permit for that country. Or that you are waiting for your application for a residence permit to be aproved.

Are you in a country in your free term? Of with a visa for short stay (maximum of 3 months)? This is not continuous residence.

Provisional residence permit (mvv)

​The provisional residence permit (mvv) is a visa you need if you wish to stay in the Netherlands for more than 90 days.

Compulsory school age

​This is from the age of 5 until the end of the school year in which the child becomes 16 year old.

Kingdom of the Netherlands

The Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of The Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. And 3 special municipalities: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba.