Do I have to comply with Dutch civic integration requirements?

Whether you need to comply with Dutch integration requirements depends on a number of factors, including your nationality. If you come from another part of the world, there is a significant likelihood that you will have comply with these requirements. In other words, this means that you must learn the Dutch language and familiarise yourself with Dutch society. The aim is for you to become self-reliant as quickly as possible. This is why you must pass a civic integration exam or the state exam in Dutch as a second language (NT2).

Exemption from civic integration requirement

You do not need to comply with Dutch civic integration requirements if you are a national of:

  • a European Union (EU) country
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Switzerland
  • Türkiye.

You are also exempt from civic integration requirements if you:

  • are younger than 18
  • have reached retirement age
  • lived in the Netherlands for at least 8 years when you were of compulsory school age
  • have degrees, diplomas, certificates or other evidence of having followed certain types of education and training at a Dutch institution taught in the Dutch language
  • are coming to the Netherlands temporarily to study or work. 

Civic integration requirements

In all other cases, you must comply with civic integration requirements. You will automatically receive a letter about this from the Education Executive Agency (DUO).

Civic integration course

If you wish, you can opt to follow a classroom-based civic integration course. You can, however, also choose to prepare independently. You will need to complete the process by sitting an exam.

Three years to complete civic integration

You have 3 years to complete the civic integration process after your arrival in the Netherlands. 

Comprehensive website about civic integration

You can find all the necessary information about civic integration on the website This includes information on:

  • choosing a language or civic integration course

  • the civic integration exam
  • exemption from the civic integration exam
  • adjusted civic integration exam for those with an illness or disability
  • taking out a loan to cover the costs of civic integration.