All you need to know about 'Oriëntatie op de Nederlandse arbeidsmarkt' or 'ONA' for the Dutch civic integration exam.


1. Wat is Oriëntatie op de Nederlandse arbeidsmarkt?

This part of the 'inburgeringsexamen' is all about employement in the Netherlands. Unlike the other exams in this series, you are not expected to complete questions and answers but rather compile and submit a proffessional portfolio. The portfolio will contain your CV as well as any other information about your employment history that you can provide such as application letters, industry experience, suitible vacancies etc.
Once compiled you will inteviewed by two DUO examiners about the content and your portfolio and the interview lasts around 40 minutes. This part of the integration exam is to test how saleable you are to the job market as well as if you can navigate the processes invoiving finding employment in the Netherlands.

2. Exemption from ONA exam

This part of the exam is not compulsory for everybody. You can apply for an exemption if the following applies to you:
You either already have, or have had, employment in the Netherlands in the year before making your application for the 'inburgeringsexamen'. The employment duration needs to have lasted at least 6 months with a minimum of 48 working hours per month. Independent contractors however can not get an exemption and the exemption only counts for formal employees of a company registered in the Netherlands.
If you meet the previous conditions, then you can apply your exemption by completing the following.
Alternatively, you can register or log into: with your eID, and complete your request via the site.

3. What do you need to do to pass this exam?

First you will need to compile your portfolio about your employment and/or your search for employment in the Netherlands. To make it easier a portfolio layout can be downloaded here , to quide you through this. 

Each chapter in the form, handles diffirent related topics to jobs and job searches and it is compulory to complete each form entirely.

Where required, add your CV and application letter, written according to Dutch norm standards. It is important to research this as the wrong format could cause rejection of  your portfolio, wich will make your inburgerings process even longer. Make sure that the lay-out, content and relevant information is compiled accordingly with supporting documents.

After completing the portfolio, you add all the requested attachments and send them to DUO for review and you can expect a response about 6 weeks after submission. It is best to be patient and take the time neccessary to compile a thourough and descriptive portfolio. Trying to rush it usually ends up in having to do the whole portfolio again, with another 6 week waiting time. 
Make sure all information requested is given in detail and with the documentation stipulated. Once you have completed the portfolio, do an indepth review and make corrections as needed, as the entire process can take up to 4 months to complete per application. Once you get a green light from DUO you can prepare for the interview phase.

The interview phase, starts with a formal appointment with DUO that you need to initiate. Approach this in a professional manner as you would in a proffesional environment. While waiting for your interview, remember to thoughrougly prepare for it by studying your portfolio by heart. On your interview date you will meet up with 2 examiners from DUO who will question you in detail on your portfolio, your vocation, current employment, and your experience in job hunting and appllications in the Netherlands.

For this exam it is important to know the Dutch standards for CV's and application letters. In our courses  we have an entire chapter devoted to CV's, application letters and the following interview.

If you have any difficulty our trainers can help you to fill out the portfolio. As our goal is to educate you in Dutch, we don't complete the tasks for you but rather assist in guide you in the completion theirof.