The Dutch Citizenship Test

Last January, I mentioned the test that would-be immigrants to the Netherlands would have to take. It went live last week. There’s an article on the Radio Netherlands web site describing the procedure. I certainly don’t share the journalist’s touching belief that the voice-recognition system used in the test (there are no human examiners involved) is "foolproof". Pull the other one – it’s got bells on it. It turns out that entrants will need to buy the exam materials, which contain all 100 questions and their authorised answers. Then in the exam, 30 questions, selected from the 100, will be given. My hunch is that the entrant will have to parrot back exactly the words and intonation used in the authorised answer to have any hope of passing the voice-recognition system. So the Dutch want parrots, not citizens…
The procedure is described on the Ministry for Justice web site. While I see that EU citizens are exempt from having to take the test, I did notice in the fine print on this page the statement: "As newcomers these people will, however, usually be required to follow the integration programme once in the Netherlands".
"Required", eh? That doesn’t sound like an exemption to me.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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2 Responses to The Dutch Citizenship Test

  1. Gelert says:

    Heck, and what happens if you fail? Over here now, all you have to know is what a doner kebab is, and how much a helping of chips costs.

  2. Geoff says:

    Um, I don’t know what happens to someone who’s already here… If I were outside the EU and failed the test, I’d merely be eligible to pay another 350 euros for the privilege of taking the test again…

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