CNaVT - Dutch as a Foreign Language Certificate

CNaVT - Dutch as a Foreign Language Certificate

The Dutch as a Foreign Language Certificate or CNaVT (Certificate Nederlands als Vreemde Taal) is the certificate for people outside the Netherlands who wish to learn Dutch. This certificate may be required in order to apply for a Dutch residence permit or Dutch citizenship.

CNaVT programmes

There are five different levels of exams, all suitable for different purposes.


PTIT (Profiel Toeristische en Informele Taalvaardigheid) or tourist and informal language proficiency is an A2 level course for those wanting to speak some Dutch, travel in a Dutch-speaking area or communicate with Dutch-speaking tourists in a non-professional context in their own country.


PMT (Profiel Maatschappelijke Taalvaardigheid) or societal language proficiency is a B1 level course for those with an interest in the Dutch language and culture or who want to live in the Netherlands or Belgium for an extended period of time.


PPT (Profiel Professionele Taalvaardigheid) or professional language proficiency is a B2 level certificate for those who would like to work in an administrative or service-oriented profession in Dutch.


PTHO (Profiel Taalvaardigheid Hoger Onderwijs) or language proficiency higher education is a B2 level course for those who would like to study at a Dutch-speaking institute of higher education (hogescholen or research university).


PAT (Profiel Academische Taalvaardigheid) or academic language proficiency is a C1 level certificate for those who have neared completion of their education in Dutch as a foreign language or for those who would like to teach Dutch as a foreign language. PAT is also for people who want to work in Dutch-speaking academia.

The CNaVT is awarded jointly by the Dutch Language Union, the University of Leuven and Fontys University of Applied Sciences.

CNaVT Exams

The CNaVT is an annual exam given in the first half of May. The examiner (usually the student’s Dutch teacher) facilitates the exam in the candidate’s own country. Candidates need to register with the examiner who sends the registration forms to the CNaVT-secretariat before March 20.

The CNaVT exam consists of three parts:

  • Part A, where the tasks are based on audio fragments.
  • Part B, which tests reading and writing proficiency.
  • Part C, which is an oral test based on a one-to-one conversation between teacher and student.

All the exams are sent to the University of Leuven where trained examiners mark them in June. Candidates are informed of the results in July and receive a certificate if they have passed.

It is also possible to take Dutch courses online. For more information and for sample exams visit the CNaVT website (in Dutch).

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