Integration and examinations
Many people who emigrate to the Netherlands must take one or more exams. Some people have to do this in their home country, and others take an exam when they are in the Netherlands. What exams are there? When is which exam required? And how can you best prepare for these exams?
Basic integration exam abroad: A1 level
If you want to live with your partner or spouse in the Netherlands or if you are a spiritual minister, you must successfully complete the basic integration exam abroad in your home country to obtain a residence permit. This exam tests your knowledge of Dutch society and your skills in speaking and reading Dutch. You must be able to speak and read Dutch at language level A1. To prepare for this exam, you can use the package Naar Nederland. This package is available in 34 languages and is specially developed to prepare you well for the basic integration exam abroad.
Integration exam: A2 level
People who come from outside the European Union, Iceland, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and come to live in the Netherlands for an extended period are required by law to learn the Dutch language and to learn how Dutch society and the labour market work. This is called integration. To demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge of Dutch language and society, you must pass an exam. Most people do the integration exam. This exam tests whether you can read, listen, write and speak at the A2 level in Dutch. In addition, the exam includes sections on Knowledge of Dutch Society (Kennis van de Nederlandse Maatschappij, KNM) and Orientation on the Labour Market (Oriëntatie op de Nederlandse Arbeidsmarkt, ONA). If you became subject to the integration requirement after 1 October 2017, signing a participation declaration is a compulsory part of the exam. You take the exam in the Netherlands.
State Examination NT2 (Staatsexamen NT2) Programme I and II (B1 level and B2 level)
By successfully passing the State Examination NT2 (Staatsexamen NT2), you can demonstrate that you have sufficient mastery of the Dutch language to follow education or to work. You can also take the State Examination NT2 if you have an integration requirement, instead of taking the integration exam. There are two levels: for the State Examination NT2 Programme I, you must master the Dutch language at the B1 level; for Programme II, you must have the B2 level. It depends on your situation, your goal and your Dutch language proficiency which exam program you choose. You take these exams in Netherlands.
Knowlegde of Dutch society: the KNM exam and the ONA exam
Everyone who has an integration requirement must, in addition to the exam sections on Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking also take the Knowledge of Dutch Society exam. This exam consists of two parts: the Knowledge of Dutch Society (Kennis van de Nederlandse Maatschappij, KNM) exam and the Orientation on the Dutch Labour Market (Oriëntatie op de Nederlandse Arbeidsmarkt, ONA) exam. These exams are an integral part of the integration exam. If you are going to do one of the two State Examination Programmes to comply with your integration requirement, you must take the KNM exam and the ONA exam separately; these exams are not a part of the State Examination NT2. You take these exams in Netherlands.
New component of the integration exam: the participation declaration
For people who became subject to the integration requirement after 1 October 2017, the integration examination includes an extra component: the participation declaration. With the participation declaration, you indicate that you understand which values are important in the Netherlands. You prepare yourself for signing the participation declaration during a workshop of 1 or more days. These workshops are organized by the municipality in which you live.