Starting in 2015, a step was added to the civic integration process: the ‘Orientation on the Dutch Labour Market’ (ONA) exam. The ONA exam is compulsory, also for those who have found employment in the Netherlands. Are you a highly skilled migrant and do you need to pass the Civic Integration Exam in order to obtain a permanent residence permit or become a Dutch citizen? Then you have to do the ONA exam too, even if you already have employment. Are you a highly skilled migrant and are you taking the State Examination NT2 (programme 1 or 2), then you don’t have to take the ONA exam.

The ONA exam is about working and finding work in the Netherlands. Personally, I (Annelies Braams) have my doubts about the effectiveness of the exam, especially for those who have already entered the Dutch labour market. Unfortunately, the exam is obligatory for most migrants.

Exemption for people with a job

People who have already found a job in the Netherlands may apply for an exemption for the ONA exam. You will be exempted if you have worked as a salaried employee for 48 hours a week for at least six months in the past 12 months.

What does the ONA exam entail?

A. The first part consists of assignments, which are made using results cards. In total, eight results cards are to be completed and sent to DUO. If the results cards are completely satisfactorily, this shows that you have sufficient knowledge of the Dutch labour market. The assignments include writing an application letter and a CV, searching for vacancies, and filling in job application forms. People who already have a job will need about a day to complete this part of the ONA exam.

B. The second part is the final interview about the results cards, or a 65-hour ONA course.

For up-to-date information about the ONA exam, see www.inburgeren.nl -> examen doen -> ONA

Unfortunately NedLes can’t help you with the preparation for the ONA exam.