Saturday 01 April 2023

Going Dutch? The language test won’t be harder this year after all

Photo: Alex Nicholls-Lee

The government has postponed the introduction of tougher language tests for people who want to become Dutch because of the ‘complexity’ of the plans.

The coalition agreement includes a commitment to increase the language level to become Dutch from A2 to B1 from this year, but the plan has now been delayed and no new deadline has been set.

‘At the moment justice and social affairs ministry officials are working together to determine the best way to shape the increase in language requirements,’ a spokeswoman told Dutch News. ‘It is a complex process which involves changes to the law, systems and procedures.’

As soon as changes have been agreed, MPs will be informed, the spokeswoman said. According to the IND immigration service website, A2 will remain the level in 2023.

This means people who want to apply for permanent residency or to become a Dutch citizen can still use the old A2 level this year, said Bart Nawijn, of the BN Language Academy.

‘With A2 you have a basic foundation in Dutch language. You can express yourself understand simple familiar subjects but you are far from being independent in Dutch,’ he said.

‘With B1 you know most of the grammar and are able to express and understand a lot of things and manage in many common daily situations. B1 is also the level that is required for MBO studies.’

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