6 in 10 status holders pass civic integration exam

© Hollandse Hoogte / Marcel van den Bergh
Of the asylum seekers who obtained a residence permit in 2014 and were subject to the integration requirement, 58 percent had passed the civic integration exam on reference date 1 October 2018. Two percent of the status holders had exceeded the three-year integration term. The remaining share were granted extension or exemption from the integration obligation. This is evident from new figures which Statistics Netherlands (CBS) has released as part of a cohort study on asylum seekers who have entered the Netherlands since 2014. This study has been commissioned by the Dutch Ministries of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW), Justice and Security (JenV), Education, Culture and Science (OCW) and Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS).

(English subtitles available)

On reference date 1 October 2018, there were 12.9 thousand status holders in the Netherlands who had obtained an asylum residence permit in 2014 and were subject to the integration requirement: so far, 58 percent have passed the civic integration exam and 19 percent have been given exemption. Exemption from the integration requirement is granted, for instance, when someone is deemed unable to pass the civic integration exam due to psychological or physical limitations. Asylum seekers may also be exempted after having obtained a Dutch degree or diploma.

Twenty-one percent have not yet passed the integration exam, but have not yet exceeded the term or have been granted extension. This may occur in cases of enrolment in a literacy course, pregnancy or late registration for the exam, for example. Two percent of status holders have exceeded the civic integration period of three years. Status holders under the age of 18 or above retirement age are not subject to the integration requirement.

Integration of status holders from 2014, October 2018 (% of persons subject to the integration requirement)
 Obtained civic integration diploma (WI or NT2)ExemptedNeither obtained diploma nor exceeded termNot obtained diploma and exceeded term

Over 6 in 10 Syrian status holders have passed

Half of those who obtained an asylum residence permit in 2014 and are subject to the integration obligation are from Syria, while one-quarter come from Eritrea. In October 2018, 64 percent of Syrian status holders had passed the civic integration examination and 18 percent had been exempted. These percentages were lower among Eritreans: half of them had passed the exam and 16 percent were exempted. Among all nationalities, a small share had exceeded the integration term, ranging from around 1.5 percent of Syrian and Eritrean status holders to 5 percent of those from Iraq.

Integration of status holders by year of asylum residence permit, October 2018 (%)
 Obtained civic integration diploma (WI or NT2)ExemptedNeither obtained diploma nor exceeded termNot obtained diploma and exceeded term

One-quarter from 2015 passed or exempted

Of the group of asylum seekers who were granted a residence permit and were subject to the integration obligation in 2015, 1 in 5 had passed their exam in October 2018 and 4 percent had been given exemption. Three-quarters may still pass the exam within the period required and 0.3 percent have exceeded this term.

Of those who obtained their permit in 2016, 96 percent have not yet obtained their integration diploma. This group has not exceeded the civic integration term as yet, since the three-year period has not ended. 3.3 percent of status holders from 2016 have already passed the exam and 0.5 percent have been exempted from the integration requirement.

The annual report on Asylum and integration 2019 provides figures on the integration of asylum seekers who have come to the Netherlands since 2014, but also gives an account of how they have fared in the area of housing, labour, income and education. This third edition of the cohort study sheds light on the situation after three years for status holders from 2014.