BREAKING: Internationals must soon pass intense test to stay in the Netherlands, cabinet leak reveals

Is that even legal?!

Update:Een april, kikker in je bil (April 1, frog in your butt)! Alright, the Dutch expression doesn’t quite work in English, but yes, April Fools!

As talks for the new Dutch cabinet continue, leaks about new anti-immigration measures are coming from the negotiation table in The Hague. 

Ever since Wilders’ PVV became the biggest party in the elections, it’s been clear that harsh measures to reduce the number of internationals in the Netherlands would come our way. 

At the end of last year, for example, matters such as the 30% tax ruling were on the table, and last week Amsterdam suggested an integration course for expats

Now, as insider sources from the Hague have reported, the government plans to introduce a harsh test that immigrants must pass to stay in the Netherlands.

You pass, you stay

The proposed geschiktheidstest voor verblijf (test of fitness for residency) is one of the harsher measures the cabinet is introducing — all in the name of keeping “Nederland voor Nederlanders” (The Netherlands for Dutch people).

According to the leaks, this will be a mandatory exam for internationals aged 18 and over to determine whether they are allowed to stay in the Netherlands. 

Anyone who is not of Dutch nationality must take the test within one year of moving to the country.

Three categories of knowledge and culture 

To satisfy Geert Wilders’ radical wishes, the proposed test will be drastically different from the traditional Dutch citizenship test. 

It focuses on three categories said to determine internationals’ “fitness for residency”: language, cultural awareness, and cuisine.

Each category will be graded on a pass/fail basis. To pass the test and be allowed to stay in the Netherlands, internationals need to pass two out of three categories. Here’s what you can expect.


If you want to stay in the Netherlands, you’ll need to brush up on your Dutch, ASAP. You will have to demonstrate the following abilities:

  • Properly saying the G sound (an exception will be made for people living in Limburg), 
  • Pronouncing the word rijbewijsverlengingsaanvraagformulier (driver’s license renewal application form),
  • Being able to have a full conversation using only two-syllable Dutch words


In the cuisine category, internationals will need to demonstrate abilities in prepping and eating Dutch food. Tasks will include:

  • Preparing a traditional Dutch dish without using any spices (rumour has it it will be stamppot),
  • Eating a bitterbal and not burning your mouth from the heat (you won’t be allowed to open your mouth),
  • Eating herring in the correct manner (without throwing up).

It’s unclear if the new cabinet will also set up a vegetarian version of the test, as the BBB heavily lobbies for more meat in everything as a hallmark of Dutch culture.

Cultural awareness

Lastly, internationals must also demonstrate knowledge about how to conduct themselves when living in the Netherlands. Potential tests include: 

  • Predicting how long the NS train will be delayed from Amsterdam to Rotterdam on the day of the test, 
  • Biking through Amsterdam on a bakfiets full of glasses of milk without spilling them, 
  • Making someone cry by giving them direct, harsh criticism.

A continuation of measures

The harsh test is seen as a continuation of earlier plans and measures introduced to reduce the influx of internationals, such as fewer English-taught university courses and the bike license for internationals (both of which were announced last year).

The parties hope to implement the exam by 2025 but with the Dutch cabinets’ history of taking months to form and collapsing after less than two years, who knows when this plan will come into effect? 

Experts suspect it could be delayed for years, as there is no workforce to implement it. It is not unlikely that the government will have to employ highly skilled migrants to make it happen by 2028.

Do you think you could pass the Dutchification test? Share your thoughts (or concerns) in the comments!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Abuzer van Leeuwen 🇳🇱
Abuzer van Leeuwen 🇳🇱
Abuzer founded DutchReview a decade ago because he thought expats needed it and wanted to make amends for the Dutch cuisine. He has a Masters in Political Science and IT but somewhere always wanted to study history or good old football. He also a mortgage in the Netherlands and will happily tell you too how to get one. Born and raised in Rotterdam, Abuzer now lives in Leiden but is always longing back to his own international year in Italy.


  1. Is this an April Fools joke?
    Harsh test to manage for both Government and Potential Immigrants 😜

    • right !! 😂 also because probably not even all dutch people knows the “dutch cuisine” I mean don’t get me wrong but what is there to learn about “ frikandelbroodje” 🥲 I work with Dutch people (born here, schooled here) and sometimes they have trouble writing and spelling each others names (?) 😂😂😂 if they do this, then dutch people will also leave because they won’t have a positive result

  2. As Mark Twain once said, ““Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”

    Despite being an article with a humourous slant, there is still quite a bit of truth in it. I was born a raised a Canadian but with two Dutch parents who had many Dutch friends so I inherited a great deal of the Dutch culture. When I discover that colleagues of mine are going into their first meeting with Dutch counterparts, I always warn them about the quirky Dutch humour, food, and the bluntness that they will encounter. I am almost always guaranteed that after this first encounter my colleagues will tell me, “You could have warned me that it would be that bad!” I just shake my head and tell them that I did told you and apparently you weren’t taking me seriously enough. Strangely enough, they always seemed to be better prepared for their 2nd encounter with the “Dutch”.


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