You can now apply for exemption from the Dutch labour market orientation exam
Many migrants to the Netherlands are required to take the Civic Integration Exam (inburgeringsexamen) in order to obtain Dutch citizenship or a Dutch residence permit. The exam consists of six parts, including speaking, reading, writing, listening, knowledge of the Dutch society and orientation of the Dutch labour market. However, some exemptions may be possible.
New regulations not ready
Last year, the State Secretary announced intent to introduce an exemption from the Dutch Labour Market Orientation exam (ONA) for those in employment, having worked at least 48 hours per month for six months in the 12 months prior to their exemption request.
The Dutch government website stated that the new rules regarding exemption from the ONA exam for those in employment would be implemented per April 1, 2019. Unfortunately, this is not the case and the regulations will be put in place at a later date.
Despite this, applications for the exemption can still be filed. This was possible from April 1. The DUO website does warn, however, that the new regulations for exemption are not definitive and can therefore still change.
How do you apply for an exemption?
To file for an exemption from the ONA exam, you need to meet two conditions, namely:
- You are in paid employment. (freelancers do not qualify)
- In the 12 months previous to your exemption request, you have worked at least 48 hours per month for six months.
If you meet these conditions, you can download a form from the DUO website, print, fill it in and then send it to the address specified on the form. The form is in Dutch but is quite straight forward, only asking for your basic personal information.