The government’s long awaited law came into effect with the new year, I am now charmingly classified as an “oldcomer”, and could be required to go through the integration training and exam. I would definitely need to do it before getting any payment from the government.
According to the official site
Integration means that you [the immigrant]
– Can speak, read and write Dutch
– Can understand spoke Dutch
– Know how we live together in the Netherlands
The last one is related to Dutch norms and values, except that they’ve had a hard time coming up with what Dutch norms and values are. Eventually a series of questions were compiled into this test by a Dutch TV station, who then ran the test on TV. Unsurprisingly people, regular Dutch people and celebrities, failed. Apparently migrants have to be better than the locals.
Under the current rules it’s up to the Gemeente (city council) to administer the courses and the test. I have heard one rumour that Amsterdam’s not in a big hurry to implement it in a widespread way. With maybe 200,000 people falling into this category in Amsterdam it’s not surprising.