Civic Integration Exam Abroad

Last update: 28 May 2022

Do you need a provisional residence permit? And do you want to live with your partner or work as a spiritual counsellor in the Netherlands? Then before you apply for the provisional residence permit (MVV), you must first pass the Civic Integration Exam Abroad. Find out more about the exam abroad and the exemptions and dispensations.

The Civic Integration Examination Abroad

The Civic Integration Exam Abroad (in Dutch: Basisexamen inburgering buitenland) is a test about Dutch language and culture. You take this exam abroad. Passing the Civic Integration Exam Abroad is a requirement for applying for a Provisional Residence Permit (in Dutch: Machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf, or MVV). You apply for the MVV and the residence permit at the same time.

Registration for the Civic Integration Exam Abroad

Process, costs and preparation

Do you want information about the content of the Civic Integration Exam Abroad? Or about the process, costs and preparation? You can take a look at the brochure Basic Civic Integration Examination Abroad of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW). Or visit the website www.naarnederland.nl/en.

Result of the Civic Integration Exam Abroad

You will receive the result from DUO within 8 weeks. You will receive an email with a PDF file. This file will show which sections you have passed.

Passed all sections

Enclose the PDF file with your MVV application.

Not all sections passed

Register again for the section you did not pass. You will, however, need to pay again for this section. Exam sections you passed will remain valid until you have passed the whole exam.

Apply for MVV within 1 year of result

The result of the Civic Integration Exam Abroad is valid for 1 year. Make sure you apply for the MVV within 1 year after you have passed the exam. Otherwise you must redo and pass the whole Civic Integration Exam Abroad.

Exemptions from the Civic Integration Exam Abroad

Sometimes you do not have to take the Civic Integration Exam Abroad. You are exempted from the exam if you meet one of these requirements:

  • You are under 18 years old.
  • You have reached the state pension age.
  • You have the nationality of an EU or EEA country, Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New-Zealand, Vatican City, United Kingdom, United States of America, South Korea or Switzerland.
  • You are a long-term EU resident in a different EU country.
  • You lived in the Netherlands for over 8 years when you were of compulsory school age
  • You have the Surinamese nationality and completed at least primary education in Dutch, in Surinam or in the Netherlands.
  • You are a spiritual counsellor, but you are not going offer your services to the public. You are going to work, for example as a monk, internal assistant or board member.

Exemption with regard to some applications

You are also exempted if you are going to submit one of these applications:

  • A residence permit with a temporary residence purpose.
  • A residence permit for residence with a family member or relative who has a residence permit for a temporary residence purpose.
  • A residence permit for residence with a family member or relative who has a permanent or temporary asylum residence permit.
  • Verification against EU law.
  • A different residence purpose if you already have a residence permit in the Netherlands.

Exemption due to diploma, certificate or degree certificate

You are also exempted if you have one of the following diplomas, certificates or degree certificates:

  • The Civic Integration Diploma within the meaning of the Dutch Civic Integration Act.
  • A State Examination diploma in Dutch as a Second Language (NT2), programme I or II.
  • A Dutch degree certificate of completion of university education, university of applied sciences education (HBO), vocational education (MBO, from level 2), pre-university secondary education (VWO), senior general secondary education (HAVO), junior general secondary education (MAVO) or preparatory secondary vocational education (VMBO). During this programme you have had lessons in Dutch.
  • Proof of completion of a programme comparable to a university, HBO, MBO (from level 2), VWO, HAVO, MAVO, or VMBO. You followed the programme in Dutch in either Belgium or Surinam. You passed the subject Dutch.
  • A diploma, certificate or other document in Dutch-language education on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius or Saba, Aruba, Curaçao or Sint Maarten. The diploma is from a programme designated by the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). You passed the subject Dutch.
  • A European Baccalaureate diploma from the European School. The baccalaureate diploma lists Dutch as the first or second language. You passed this subject.
  • An International Baccalaureate Middle Years Certificate, International General Certificate of Secondary Education or International Baccalaureate. You took a course in English-Dutch education or an International Baccalaureate course with the subject Dutch and you passed this subject.

Apply for exemption

This is how you apply for exemption:

  1. Fill in the following appendix: 
  2. Enclose the appendix and evidence with the MVV application.
  3. Enclose an ordinary or certified copy of the diplomas or certificates with your application. The certified copy must have a date, signature and stamp. With a certified copy, an authority can declare that the contents of the copy are identical to the original. Never send the original.

Dispensation from the Civic Integration Exam Abroad

Were you unable to pass the Civic Integration Exam Abroad because of medical circumstances? Or did you try to pass the exam or sections of it, but were unable to do so because of personal circumstances? Then you can apply for exemption. The IND will assess your application for exemption.

Apply for exemption

This is how you apply for exemption:

  1. Fill in the following appendix: 
  2. Collect items of evidence to show that you are unable to pass the Civic Integration Exam Abroad. 
  3. Enclose the appendix and evidence with the MVV application.
     

Exemption due to medical situation

This is how you apply for exemption due to your medical situation:

  1. First tell the Dutch embassy or consulate that you want to apply for exemption. 
  2. A doctor will be assigned to you who will examine you. You have to pay for this examination. 
  3. The doctor will fill in a medical questionnaire and send it to the IND via the Dutch embassy or consulate. You will receive a copy. 
  4. Enclose the copy of the medical questionnaire form together with the appendix with the MVV application. The medical form must not be more than 6 months old. 

Further integration in the Netherlands

If you have received your MVV and residence permit and you live in the Netherlands, you need to integrate further. For more information about integration in the Netherlands, visit www.inburgeren.nl/en. Or visit the web page Civic integration for more secure residence permit and naturalisation.