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Already in February 2018, the minister of Social Affairs and Employment suggested to exempt candidates with a job from the ONA test, the 'Orientation on the Dutch labor market' component of the civic integration exam.

This exemption was first intended to take effect per 1 January 2019, then per 1 April 2019, but these deadlines could not be met because the amendments to the legislation are not yet final.

However, from 1 April 2019 it is already possible to apply for the exemption, in anticipation of the new, definitive Civic integration Decree.

Conditions are:

  • You work in paid employment and
  • you have worked at least 6 months out of the previous 12 months and
  • you have worked at least 48 hours per month in those 6 months.

The reasoning behind the ONA exemption is that immigrants with a salaried job are already capable of functioning independently on the Dutch labor market.

The way it looks now, the exemption will only be applicable to employees. We don't know yet whether self-employed persons will be exempted. This, and other details of the new rules, will only become clear when the definitive Civic integration Decree has been published.

Meanwhile, Everaert Advocaten fully supports the argument of the Dutch Bar Association to equally exempt self-employed/entrepreneurs.

For more information, please contact Elles Besselsen.

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