Dutch civic integration exam exemption

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Dutch civic integration exam exemption

Employees are exempted from the Orientation on the Dutch labour market exam (ONA)

Since April 20th 2019, applicants for Dutch permanent residence or naturalization are exempted from the ONA if they are already employed within the Netherlands.

What is the change?

As of April 20th 2019, ONA as part of the Dutch civic integration examination, may be exempted for those that are completing the exams and are already employed within the Netherlands. The Dutch civic integration exam needs to be completed by most applicants for permanent residence and naturalization. The civic integration exam consists of six exams, of which four exams test the Dutch language skills of the applicant. The fifth exam is on Dutch identity and society and the ONA is the sixth exam. Through the ONA exam the participants are to acquaint themselves with the Dutch labour market.

What is the change?

As of April 20th 2019, ONA as part of the Dutch civic integration examination, may be exempted for those that are completing the exams and are already employed within the Netherlands. The Dutch civic integration exam needs to be completed by most applicants for permanent residence and naturalization. The civic integration exam consists of six exams, of which four exams test the Dutch language skills of the applicant. The fifth exam is on Dutch identity and society and the ONA is the sixth exam. Through the ONA exam the participants are to acquaint themselves with the Dutch labour market.

What does it mean?

Participants in the Dutch civic integration examination that are already employed in the Netherlands can now submit an exemption request for the ONA part of the exam. To qualify they must meet the following requirements:

  • Being employed / salaried worker;
  • Being employed for a minimum of 6 months now of submitting the exemption request;
  • Having worked a minimum of 48 hours a month during those 6 months.

It should be noted that now this exemption is not yet granted for those that are working as a self-employed.

Background

In 2016-2017 there was a rapid increase in the number of immigrants coming to the Netherlands. Due to the high number of applicants, there is a severe backlog in the processing of the Dutch civic integration examination, causing the waiting times for the final interview of the ONA to increase. Nowadays applicants must wait approximately 15 weeks to be able to finish the ONA.

In February 2018, the Dutch Minister of Social Affairs and Labor has announced that employed applicants for permanent residence should be exempted from this part of the exam because they are already orientated on the Dutch Labor Market. As of April 20th 2019, the formal waiver requests can be applied for.

Deloitte’s View

The applicable waiver for the ONA part of the Dutch civic integration examination is a welcome measure to increase the efficient processing and completion of the Dutch civic integration exam. The executive authority for the civic integration examination (being DUO) does have a reasonable efficient processing about the remaining 5 exams that still need to be completed regardless of whether the applicant is employed or not. As such the overall process for the civic integration examination will considerably shortened by the ONA waiver.

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