What is: Basisexamen Inburgering buitenland?

Maybe you have taken the step to move to the Netherlands. Or maybe your partner is already living in the Netherlands and you want to join him or her. You might have read about the things you must do to get here.

One of those things is the exam: ‘Het Basisexamen Inburgering Buitenland’ (The Basic Civic Integration Examination Abroad).

In this blog I will tell you all about this Basisexamen Inburgering Buitenland.  

When do I need to do the Basisexamen Inburgering Buitenland?

If you want to move to the Netherlands, there are several steps you have to take. The first step is that you need an authorization for temporary stay. This is called a MVV (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf). The MVV is a provisional residence permit that allows you to enter the Netherlands as a potential resident rather than a tourist.

Also, if you want to join your partner who lives in the Netherlands, you have to get an MVV.  

And in order to get this MVV you must have succeeded in passing the Basisexamen Inburgering Buitenland. So you take the exam in your home country before you move to the Netherlands.

Find out if you need to get the MVV and whether you have to do the Basisexamen Inburgering Buitenland

Be sure to take a look at the website of the IND (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst, Immigration and Naturalisation Service). Here you can find out whether you have to do this exam or whether you are exempt.

For example, people from countries from the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) are not required to do this.

Have you checked if you have to get a MVV and if you have to do the exam? And the answer is yes? Then it’s time for the next step. Let’s see what you can expect from this exam.

The Basisexamen Inburgering Buitenland

The Basisexamen Inburgering Buitenland consists of three parts:  reading, speaking and knowledge of Dutch society.

Where do I take the exam?

There are two places where you can take the exam: at a Dutch embassy or at a Dutch consulate. Here you must take the exam on a computer.

So what sort of questions can you expect?

  1. Het Basisexamen Inburgering Buitenland: reading

In this part of the exam you will get two kinds of questions. In the first part you will hear a word, a number or a sentence.

In the second part of the exam you get 6 texts. Every text has 2 questions to which you have to choose the right answer.

In this blog you can learn all about it!

  1. Het Basisexamen Inburgering Buitenland: speaking

Like the reading part, the speaking part of the exam consists of two parts. In part one you have to watch a video in which someone speaks to you and asks a question.

In part two of the exam you have to respond to a sentence. You will hear a sentence, at the same time you can read it on the computer, and you have to say a correct answer.

Here are some tips that can help you with the preparations.

  1. Het Basisexamen Inburgering buitenland: Knowledge of Dutch Society

The Knowledge of Dutch Society (Kennis Nederlandse Maatschappij examen) part of the exam is about how people in the Netherlands interact with each other and what the rules are in the Netherlands.

Here my blog about this part.


You have decided to do the exam. Now it’s time for the preparations. In my series of blogs (1, 2 and 3) you can read how to best to prepare.

More information

You can find more information on the Basisexamen Inburgering Buitenland on the official website of the IND (ind.nl) and government.

Bart de Pau
online Dutch teacher & founder of the Dutch Summer School & Dutch Winter School