Civic Integration Act (Wet Inburgering)
Between 10–15% of the Dutch population is made up of people from other countries. To be able to integrate into the Netherlands, it is essential that everybody understands and speaks elementary Dutch and has some understanding of Dutch society. For this reason, the Civic Integration Act that came into force in the Netherlands on 1 January 2007 obliges those who seek permanent residence in the Netherlands to speak the Dutch language and have elementary knowledge of Dutch culture and society.
Immigrants who are required to follow this process are subject to civic integration and must pass the Civic Integration Examination. In some cases, the immigrant may be exempted from the civic integration requirement under the Civic Integration Act, but must still pass the Civic Integration Examination to obtain a certain type of permanent residence permit or qualify for continued residence.
The main exemption is for EU citizens and their partners, as well as Swiss and EEA nationals, and people under 18 and over 65. Knowledge migrants and those in the Netherlands for work/study purposes are exempted while on temporary residence permits.
The local authorities can inform you whether you must undergo civic integration and what you must do to obtain the civic integration certificate.
Visit www.hetbegintmettaal.nl for more details or contact your municipality of residence.