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MVV and inburgeringsexamen
This article only applies to the mixed couple that want to move to the Netherlands for a longer duration. It will talk about the requirements and procedures of applying for a special long-stay visa for the Netherlands called the "MVV" (machtiging voorlopig verblijf). Since a couple of years foreigners have to pass a special exam about the Netherlands and about the Dutch language before they can apply for this visa.


The MVV is a special visa to stay for an extended duration in the Netherlands. You need this visa if you want to stay longer than 3 months continuously in the Netherlands, for example because you and your wife want to live there. There are a couple of requirements you need to pass before the Dutch government (actually an agency called the IND) will give this visum. The two most important ones are:
  • the Dutch partner needs to have a certain minimum income
  • the foreign partner needs to pass the Dutch exam in his/her own country.

Inburgeringsexamen (integration exam)

This exam consists of two parts: first part is about Dutch society and will ask you questions related to history, politics, customs and geography. Quite useful and not so difficult to pass if you watch the video a few times. You can find this video (with Chinese voice-over) on Youku:

The second part of the exam will test your understanding of the Dutch language. You need to repeat sentences, complete sentences, give opposites of words and answer some simple questions. Repeating long sentences is the most difficult part of the exam in our opinion. You need to pass a minimum score for both the first and second part of the exam.

There are various websites that will help you prepare for the exam. The official study guide is called "Naar Nederland". On the Naar Nederland website you can order the material for 110 euro (too expensive!). We also found that the Helanbbs website offers lots of good study material and tips.

Currently my wife is studying for the exam. We hope she can take the exam after 2 months of study. I will update this post as we find out more. We bought the "Naar Nederland" series second-hand. We think it is more convenient to have an actual book for practise, instead of only a collection of digital materials.

Making an appointment for the exam

You need to mail the Dutch consulate or embassy in China to make an appointment for the exam. There is currently no waiting list and there is an exam-slot every working day. You will first need to pay for the exam though (350 euro). After you pass the exam you are basically ready to apply for the MVV. This application will take another 3 months though and during this time it is not allowed to be in the Netherlands! Thanks again to the Dutch government...

Avoiding the MVV (and exam)

You can avoid the MVV if you make use of European regulations which guarantee the right to live anywhere in the EU. Dutch regulations do not apply in countries such as Germany and Belgium so if you first live there, you don't need an MVV. After about a year you can then freely move to the Netherlands, again due to EU regulations. Disadvantage is obvious: you need to live in Belgium for an extended period of time.

Another way to avoid the MVV-troubles is working in the Netherlands under the special program for highly-skilled workers (kennismigranten). The Chinese partner then needs to get a job-offer from a company in the Netherlands which is at least at HBO level.

Finally there was a European judge who decided that under specific circumstances the foreign parents of a Dutch European citizen have the right to stay in the EU, because the child has the right to stay in the EU and depends on his/her parents to do so. This so called "Zambrano arrest". The Dutch government obviously was not happy with this, so they have narrowed the results down as much as possible. In short: if one of the parents is Dutch, this ruling probably does not apply to you. If the Dutch child has only a Chinese parent, then it should apply though, but you might be in for an extended legal battle. MVV is probably much easier and cheaper.

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r  - Same here...   | |2012-02-13 16:12:28
I wa on your blog and found the Youku video, very nice! Me and my girlfriend are currently in the same fase... its a hard time!

Anyway good luck!
r  - Same here...   | |2012-02-13 16:12:46
I wa on your blog and found the Youku video, very nice! Me and my girlfriend are currently in the same fase... its a hard time!

Anyway good luck!

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 25 October 2011 )
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