What is civic integration and who must integrate?

What is civic integration?

People who come to live in the Netherlands for a long period of time from outside the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland are legally obliged to learn the Dutch language and to learn how Dutch society and the Dutch labour market work. This is called civic integration.

 

The goal of civic integration is for you to participate quickly and fully in Dutch society, preferably in paid work. A personal Civic Integration and Participation Plan (PIP) is drawn up together with the municipality where you live. This determines what you have to do to integrate.

 

Would you like to know more about the personal Civic Integration and Participation Plan (PIP)? Click here.

 

Who must integrate?

Not everyone who moves to the Netherlands has to integrate. You are only required to integrate if the following points apply to you (you have a 'civic integration requirement'):

  • You are coming to the Netherlands for a long period of time
  • You are not from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland
  • You are not from a European Union (EU) member country
  • You are older than 16 years and younger than pension age (67 in 2020)
  • You have a residence permit


Are you from Turkey and do you not yet have a family in the Netherlands? According to the new Civic Integration Act (effective from 1 January 2022) you are required to integrate.

 

How soon do you need t o integrate?

People who have to integrate receive a letter from the municipality where they are going to live. This is an invitation to attend a comprehensive intake interview. This is used to draw up a personal Civic Integration and Participation Plan (PIP). From then on you have three years to integrate.

 

Civic integration in the Netherlands or abroad?

Are you coming to the Netherlands as the family member of someone who has a residence permit for the Netherlands? Then you must start the civic integration process before coming to the Netherlands. In this case you have to do the 'Basic civic integration exam abroad'.