If you will be living in the Netherlands for an extended period, then it is important for you to integrate into society. You will learn how to read and write in Dutch, and how people in the Netherlands live and work. If you come from a country outside the European Union, integration is actually required by law. In that case, you will receive a letter from DUO (Implementation of Education Service).
What you need to know
If you have a residence permit, the moment you received the permit determines whether the municipality will arrange your integration process.
When you have to arrange and pay for integration yourself
- You came to the Netherlands to unite with your partner (the law considers you a family migrant)
- You received your residence permit between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2021
- For more information about arranging your integration process yourself, please visit the DUO website
When the municipality arranges and pays for your integration
- You received your residence permit on or after 1 January 2022
- Leidschendam-Voorburg also supervises the integration of residents of Wassenaar and Voorschoten.
Civic integration exam
You must complete your integration process within 3 years. Depending on your situation, you may be required to pass an exam for your integration. You must also abide by the participation statement. You will become acquainted with the Netherlands’ rules, and how you must follow these rules.
If the municipality arranges your integration
- You will receive an invitation for an introduction interview, and you will take a test to determine what you are already able to do
- This is also known as the ‘learning potential test’
- We will then draw up a plan for your integration together. This is known as the Plan Inburgering en Participatie (Civic Integration and Participation Plan or PIP). The plan explains what you need to do to integrate into Dutch society. It also states whether you need to take exams, and which exams you need to take
- The municipality will supervise and pay for your integration process, for example by paying for language lessons, arranging volunteer work, or assisting you in finding a job
- We and our local partners will also support you with practical issues, such as finding a doctor or a school for your children
For family migrants
If you came to the Netherlands to unite with your partner living in the Netherlands, the law considers you a ‘family migrant’. In that case, you are responsible for arranging and paying for your integration yourself. However, the municipality will help you draw up a Civic Integration and Participation Plan (PIP), which explains what you can do and which language lessons you can take. Then your integration period begins. You will receive a letter from DUO with more information. You are free to choose whether or not to sign up for integration courses. You may take out a student loan from DUO to pay for the courses if necessary. The municipality consultant will assist you with the integration process.
Moving from abroad
Have you requested a residence permit while living in another country? If so, then you must pass the basic civic integration exam in your country of residence. If you pass the exam, you will be allowed to come to the Netherlands. Contact the Dutch embassy for more information.