I am Ghanaian married to a Dutch woman for the past 6 years. We are currently living in the UK (since September, 2013) and so have successfully passed the test of 3 years continuous living together that is required in order for me to apply for the Dutch nationality. The only outstanding issue on the checklist is that of having evidence of Civic integration diploma or other proof of civic integration. Since we are living in the UK, I can only sit for the Civic Integration Exams abroad at the Dutch embassy in London. When I tried to register for this exams, it states that

It is NOT the exam you need to do in order to apply for Dutch nationality

I am now at a loss since the other civic integration exam can only be taken within the Netherlands. What are my options? Should I just go ahead with the exams here in the UK and submit it as "other proof of civic integration". Has anyone ever applied for the Dutch nationality through this route before? Any pointers will be really appreciated. I have been calling the Dutch immigration service number but I get no response.

  • Could one option be to follow a course or pass an exam in the Netherlands? It's highly impractical but does not seem forbidden.
    – Gala
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 12:07
  • It seems to me that you might more easily acquire British citizenship, since youlive in the UK.
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 14:06
  • @Gala that is indeed an option. However, the requirement is that we are living together for at least 3 years without breaks so to move to the Netherlands even briefly means messing up the 3 years continuous living together. The other option is to take the exams at the Dutch Embassy in London which I will be pursuing Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 10:59
  • @phoog I doubt that it is easier to acquire a British citizenship given the uncertainties around BREXIT. My 5 year EU partner permit is valid until 2020 at which point I may be able to get an indefinite leave to remain - all things being equal. British citizenship is thus some 8 years away for me. Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 11:01
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    Shakestycoon if you move together to the Netherlands it won't interrupt the three years of living together. Also, a visit to the Netherlands without your spouse while you maintain your residence together in the UK should not interrupt the three-year period.
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 11:34

2 Answers 2


We finally got a response back from the Dutch embassy in London after over 2 weeks. The answer is this (I used Google translate as the response is in Dutch):

Thanks for your email of July 25, 2017. It is indeed confusing because there are two different exams are: the civic integration examination abroad and the integration examination for naturalization. The first should be completed when applying for a MVV, the second when one wants to apply for Dutch citizenship. The required level for the integration examination for naturalization (A2) is therefore higher than that of the basic integration examination (A1).

The civic integration examination for naturalization can be taken both at the embassy in the Netherlands. If your husband wants to take the civic integration examination in the Netherlands, you can at the Office of Education website (DUO) find more information about this exam, costs and exam locations ( www.inburgeren.nl ).

The exam will be taken at the embassy described in the brochure you consulted on the IND website, provided that the Spoken Dutch now called Fluency. For this exam is not learning package provided by the government. Books and other materials can be found at www.nt2.nl . Make sure you search for material at A2 level.

If your husband wants to take the civic integration examination for naturalization at the embassy, he must subscribe to it personally at the embassy. The cost of the exam is € 350.00. This amount must be paid at registration.

Upon registration, he must submit a valid passport with a valid British residency. The passport must be valid at least six months after the date of notification. The notification is sent to the Education Executive Agency (DUO). DUO is responsible for making the appointment with the candidate. With an eye to the message was received on a possible change in the law by January 1, 2018 DUO that you must register before October 21, 2017 if you wish to take examination abroad.

I hope this information has clarified the situation.

The original response from the Embassy in Dutch:

Dank voor uw email van 25 juli 2017. Het is inderdaad verwarrend omdat er twee verschillende examens zijn: het basisexamen inburgering en het inburgeringsexamen voor naturalisatie. De eerste moet worden afgelegd wanneer men een MVV aanvraagt, de tweede wanneer men de Nederlandse nationaliteit wil aanvragen. Het benodigde niveau voor het inburgeringsexamen voor naturalisatie (A2) is dan ook hoger dan voor het basisexamen inburgering (A1).

Het inburgeringsexamen voor naturalisatie kan zowel op de ambassade als in Nederland worden afgelegd. Als uw man het inburgeringsexamen in Nederland wil afleggen, dan kunt u op de website van de Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO) meer informatie vinden over dit examen, de kosten en de examenlocaties (www.inburgeren.nl).

Het examen dat op de ambassade wordt afgenomen wordt beschreven in de door u geraadpleegde brochure op de website van de IND, met dien verstande dat de Toets Gesproken Nederlands nu Spreekvaardigheid wordt genoemd. Voor dit examen is geen leerpakket ter beschikking gesteld door de overheid. Boeken en andere materialen kunt u vinden op www.nt2.nl. Zorg ervoor dat u zoekt naar materiaal op A2 niveau.

Als uw man het inburgeringsexamen voor naturalisatie op de ambassade wil afleggen moet hij zich hiervoor persoonlijk bij de ambassade aanmelden. De kosten van het examen bedragen €350,00. Dit bedrag moet bij de aanmelding worden voldaan. Bij de aanmelding moet hij een geldig paspoort met een geldige Britse verblijfsvergunning overleggen. Het paspoort moet tenminste geldig zijn tot zes maanden na de datum van aanmelding. De aanmelding wordt doorgestuurd naar de Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO). DUO is verantwoordelijk voor het maken van de afspraak met de kandidaat.

Met oog het op een mogelijke wetswijziging per 1 januari 2018 werd bericht ontvangen van DUO dat men zich vóór 21 oktober 2017 moet aanmelden als men examen in het buitenland wil afleggen.

Ik hoop dat deze informatie de situatie heeft verduidelijkt.

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    +1, thanks for answering your own question. Maybe you could also provide the original response in Dutch, as it may be helpful to many others and is more authoritative as a reference.
    – mts
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 11:01

By my reading of the requirements, your three-year marriage excuses you from the requirement to have lived in the Netherlands for five years, but it does not excuse you from the requirement to hold a valid Dutch residence permit at the time of your application for naturalization. In other words, you cannot take the integration test outside the Netherlands because you cannot be naturalized outside the Netherlands. (The only exception I can see to that appears to apply to citizens of Suriname.)

You should be able to establish Dutch residency with your wife and then immediately apply for naturalization. I haven't thought that through, however, so I have no idea what complications might arise if you intend to move back to the UK immediately.

Rather than calling the Dutch immigration service, you should try the Dutch consulate responsible for your place of residence. If I'm wrong, and you are able to apply for naturalization while abroad, the consulate would be the office responsible for accepting the application. They will therefore know what options are available to you.

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