close

Dutch language certification

main image

There are different kinds of certification for the Dutch language, depending on whether the student is already in the Netherlands or still in a foreign country.

Kinds on certification for the Dutch language

Dutch language certification is sometimes necessary if you want to study in the Netherlands, or if you want to apply for Dutch citizenship or permanent residence.

Staatsexamen NT2

For people who have moved to the Netherlands, certification in Dutch is via the State exams for Dutch as a second language (Staatsexamen Nederlands als Tweede Taal), the Staatsexamen NT2.

CNaVT

For those living abroad, certification in Dutch language is available via the Dutch as a Foreign Language Certificate (Certificate Nederlands als Vreemde Taal), the CNaVT.

Inburgeringsexamen

For migrants to the Netherlands from outside the EU there is the Inburgeringsexamen (civic integration exams). Note that immigrants may choose to do the Staatsexamen NT2 programmes instead.

Dutch language proficiency levels

Both the NT2 and CNaVT certificates teach to levels specified in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR):

Level A (Basic User)

A1: Beginner | A2: Elementary

Level B (Independent User)

B1: Intermediate | B2: Upper intermediate

Level C (Proficient User)

C1: Advanced | C2: Proficient (near native)

Necessary hours of study per level

The hours of guided study (classes and homework) needed to attain different levels of proficiencies will vary person to person, especially if the student’s native language is very different to Dutch. Nevertheless there are general guides as to how long it takes to progress, according to Alliance Français and Cambridge ESOL estimates:

  • A1 proficiency: 60-100 hours
  • A2 proficiency: 180-200 hours
  • B1 proficiency: 350-400 hours
  • B2 proficiency: 500-650 hours
  • C1 proficiency: 700-900 hours
  • C2 proficiency: 1.000-1.200 hours

Dutch courses & certification

There are many Dutch language courses in the Netherlands that prepare students for the Staatsexamen NT2 (and Inburgeringsexamen).

For students who are abroad and want to undertake a CNaVT course, here is a list by country of institutions that hold the exams.

Read also

  • Dutch courses

    Dutch courses

    Want to learn Dutch? Here’s a list of Dutch language courses all over the Netherlands.
    read more
  • Lawyers & Legal services

    Lawyers & Legal services

    Looking for legal advice or services in English? Here is a list of expat-friendly Dutch and international law firms, lawyers and advisors in the Netherlands.
    read more
  • Staatsexamen NT2

    Staatsexamen NT2

    Information and tips about the Staatsexamen NT2 Programma I
 and I
I, including exams, marking and results.
    read more
  • Inburgeringsexamen - Civic Integration Exam

    Inburgeringsexamen - Civic Integration Exam

    Information and links about the Inburgeringsexamen, the Civic Integration Exam.
    read more
  • CNaVT - Dutch as a Foreign Language Certificate

    CNaVT - Dutch as a Foreign Language Certificate

    Learn more about the CNaVT (Certificate Nederlands als Vreemde Taal), its exams and programmes for foreigners.
    read more
  • Residence permit

    Residence permit

    A guide to residence permits in the Netherlands including requirements, application procedure, documents, costs, the MVV, rejection, extension and more.
    read more
  • Work permit

    Work permit

    Here's information about the work permit in the Netherlands including types and requirements.
    read more
  • Dutch citizenship

    Dutch citizenship

    Information about Dutch citizenship including naturalisation, dual nationality, requirements, benefits, costs, how to apply and permanent residency.
    read more
  • The Dutch passport

    The Dutch passport

    Find out how to apply for a Dutch passport, its requirements, fees, validity and more.
    read more
  • Studying in the Netherlands

    Studying in the Netherlands

    Are you planning to study in the Netherlands? Learn everything you need to know about Dutch higher education and universities in the Netherlands.
    read more
  • Working in the Netherlands

    Working in the Netherlands

    Are you working or moving to the Netherlands to find a job? Here's what expats need to know about working as employees for international or Dutch companies.
    read more
  • Official issues

    Official issues

    There are some issues expats in the Netherlands need to deal with e.g. permits, visas, citizenship, passport, registration, BSN, DigiD, banking and more.
    read more
  • Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)

    Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)

    IND (Immigration & Naturalisation Service) contact details and offices all over the Netherlands.
    read more