Civic integration examination abroad
FAQs about the civic integration examination abroad
For an authorisation for temporary stay (MVV). On this page, you will find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the civic integration examination abroad. Note: If you want to take the civic integration examination for the purpose of naturalisation, click on the link ‘naturalisation exam’ to the right (under ‘See also’).
On this page:
- What is the civic integration examination?
- Who has to take the civic integration examination?
- How can I prepare for the exam?
- How do I register for the exam?
- How do I pay for the exam?
- Where can I take the exam?
- How long is the exam result valid?
- The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations
- Where can I find more information on civic integration?
What is the civic integration examination?
The civic integration exam is a test designed to assess basic knowledge of the Dutch language and Dutch society. You take the exam in Dutch, at Dutch embassies and consulates-general in your country of origin or habitual residence, i.e. the country in which you are entitled to reside for longer than three months, for instance on the basis of a residence permit. You have to take the exam before you travel to the Netherlands.
The exam is in three parts – part 3 is new, as from 1 April 2011.
Part 1 tests knowledge of Dutch society. With the help of a booklet with pictures, you answer a number of questions about the Netherlands’ history and political system by phone.
In part 2, which tests knowledge of the Dutch language, you repeat sentences and answer brief questions.
Part 3 (Reading and Comprehension Skills) tests how well you can read and understand Dutch. You have to read Dutch words and sentences aloud from a test booklet, add the words missing from some of the sentences, and answer questions about short texts. You do not have to write anything down.
Who has to take the civic integration examination?
The exam must be taken by foreign nationals between the ages of 18 and 65 wishing to remain in the Netherlands if they come from countries whose residents require an authorisation for temporary stay (MVV). In most cases they want to come to the Netherlands to form a family with someone already living here, or to join their family in the Netherlands. The exam also must be taken by clergy, such as imams or ministers, who intend to work in the Netherlands.
Please note: The minimum age for obtaining an MVV for anyone wishing to come to the Netherlands for family formation or reunification is 21. The partner in the Netherlands must also be 21. Do not register a candidate for the exam unless he/she turns 21 within a year of taking it, because the results are only valid for a year.
You can find detailed information about the civic integration examination and the conditions for exemption on the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) ( http://english.ind.nl/residencewizard/ ).
How can I prepare for the exam?
If you prepare well, you will pass the exam. You are free to choose your own method of study. The embassy does not provide study aids. The exam pass score was raised on 1 April 2011, so a new self-study package has been produced, which you can use for practising all three parts of the exam. The package, which is available from Dutch bookshops and online retailers, also contains telephone access codes (TIN-codes, test identification numbers) which allow you to take two mock exams on the telephone in Spoken Dutch and Reading and Comprehension Skills. You can find full details about preparing for the exam at http://www.naarnederland.nl/en/ .
How do I register for the exam?
You will need to do the following:
- Complete the online registration form (available in Dutch or English), selecting the embassy/consulate-general where you want to take the exam (see ‘Where can I take the exam?’ below)
- Send the completed form to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Ministry will send you an email confirming receipt of your form. This email is very important: it will be used to check the email address entered by you or your referee.
When you have received the email from the Ministry, use the link to confirm that the address is correct. If you do not confirm the email, your application will not be dealt with.
How do I pay for the exam?
The information on your form will be checked, and within two days the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will send you an email containing a unique reference number, and information on how to pay the €350 examination fee. When paying the fee, make sure you state the reference number, since this shows what the payment is for and on whose behalf it is being made. Failure to do so will make it very difficult to process your payment. It may even be impossible to find any record of your payment, in which case you might have to pay again. This will create a long delay, since no date can be set for the exam until your payment has been received and processed. So always state your reference number when paying.
Around five working days after you have transferred the examination fee, you will receive confirmation of payment, by email, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If after a week you have not received confirmation, please call the Ministry’s Consular Service Centre (+31 (0) 70 348 4844).
Once you have received confirmation of payment from the Ministry, you can make an appointment with your embassy or consulate-general to sit the exam. You can find the relevant contact information on our Dutch missions abroad page .
Where can I take the exam?
In principle you can only take the exam in the country of which you are a legal resident (e.g. because you have a residence permit). The registration form contains the field ‘Select embassy or consulate-general’, which allows you to select from a list of all the Dutch missions where the exam is held.
If there is no Dutch mission in your country where you can take the exam, you may take it at the nearest Dutch mission abroad. The same applies if an embassy is temporarily closed, owing to political instability or other emergencies. You can find more information about this on the embassy’s own website.
Remember that you must apply for/collect your authorisation for temporary stay (MVV) from the same Dutch embassy or consulate-general where you took the civic integration exam.
How long is the exam result valid?
The exam result is valid for one year. So you must apply for your MVV within a year of passing the exam. You can find more information about this on the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)
The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations
The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations is responsible for policy on civic integration. For the latest information on the civic integration examination, go to http://english.minbzk.nl/ .
Where can I find more information on civic integration?
If you have any questions about registering for the civic integration examination abroad, please contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Consular Service Centre. The Centre will also be able to tell you more about paying for the examination, making an appointment at the mission, and so on.
You may email your questions to ExamenInburgering@minbuza.nl . If you are unable or unwilling to ask your question by email, you can call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Consular Service Centre (+31 (0) 70 348 4844). It is open between 09.00 and 12.30 and from 13.30 to 16.30 every day from Monday to Friday.