Integration in the Netherlands

Are you going to stay in The Netherlands for a longer period or permanently and do you come from another country? It would be nice for you as a newcomer to be able to participate in the Dutch community as soon as you move to the Netherlands? Do you have a residence permit? If so, integration is mandatory.

The government therefore thinks it is quite important that you will learn the Dutch language and customs. That is what we call integration. In that way you feel at home sooner and will be able to find a job more easy.

Mandatory integration

Are you obliged to follow an integration course? In that case you will receive a letter from the Education Executive Agency of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (DUO). In the letter you will find the date from which you will have to start integrating. You will have 3 years time to integrate. This is the integration period.

The municipality will support you during your integration. You will get a permanent contact who will help you during your integration period.

For whom is integration not mandatory?

Integration is required, but not for every newcomer.

Integration is not required when you have the nationality of:

  • A country in the European Union (EU)
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Switzerland

Integration is also not required if you are:

  • Under the age of 16.
  • Older than the date at which you are entitled to receive your state pension.
  • Living in the Netherlands for 8 years or longer when you were of school age.
  • Temporarily staying in the Netherlands for a study or work (for instance as an expat).
  • If you have Dutch diplomas, certificates or other evidence of a certain course/training in the Dutch language.


Integration costs money. You will have to pay for your integration. You can borrow money from DUO for your integration.

Are you an asylum seeker (refugee)? In that case your integration will be paid by the municipality.