What level do you need for your Inburgering exam?

What level do you need for your Inburgering exam?

June 2, 2021
As you might have heard, there is a chance that the present Inburgering Exam at level A2 might not be valid for you if you are aiming for permanent residency or naturalisation after January 1st, 2022. 


What is the problem?

  1. You can only apply for permanent residency or naturalisation after you have been living in this country for five years or more. Not earlier.
  2. For this application you will have to have a valid diploma to show that you passed your Inburgering Exam.
  3. We do not know whether an Inburgering diploma on A2 level is still acceptable after January 1st 2022 or if an Inburgering diploma on B1 level is required.


The last change to the  Law on Inburgering was in 2013. DUO informed us that in several cases people with an ‘old’ inburgering exam (before 2013) were excluded from rights that could be obtained by people that passed the ‘new’ exam. This means that many people did not have the right to permanent residency or naturalisation with the exam that they took. That might happen again, though if it will, we do not know yet.

We have been trying to obtain the relevant information from DUO and IND – and they can’t  tell us. This is not as astonishing as it seems, because this whole operation has its roots in three Ministries:

  • Het Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid (final responsibility)
  • Het Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken (IND)
  • Het Ministerie van Onderwijs (DUO)


Now, what to do? You really would like to obtain permanent residency or naturalisation. What  possibities do you have? There are several scenarios, but the main question is: how many years do you still have on your temporary permit? Remember: usually you can apply for a new permit only once you pass the five year limit. We cannot guarantee that the A2 level exam that you do this year will still be valid when you need it.


Here are the different scenarios. To find out which one applies to you, call DUO or the IND and find out about your specific case!
  1. You have been living here for five years or more with any kind of official temporary permit and you are studying for your inburgering exams at A2 level.
    Advice: finish you inburgering exams as quickly as possible and apply straight away for permanent residency or naturalisation, preferably before the end of this year.
  2. Take a chance and assume that official institutions are not known for their quick response to changes. It might take several months before the relevant civil servants are informed about the changes. In the meantime you finish your A2 exams, wait until your 5 years’ limit passes and then apply for a permanent residency. Time is on your side.
    Advice: this is risky. Be careful.
  3. You realise that you will never be able to do whatever is necessary before the end of this year. You still have a few years to go before you reach your five years’ limit and you don’t speak Dutch at all. So sorry, but it will be B1 for you.
    Advice: Don’t worry. Kickstart School is already organising Inburgering Exam preparation courses at the B1 level.
  4. For all of you who hurried to pass their A2 exams this year and now are confronted with all kinds of possible changes: We do not know for sure what is going to happen – these are only possibilities. Nothing is certain. Your safest bet is to inform yourself, contact DUO and/or IND and see what they say about your case.


We will keep you posted as soon as we get more information!