I was granted a residence status in the Netherlands on or after 1 January 2022

If you obtained your residence status on or after 1 January 2022, new rules apply: the new Wet Inburgering (Civic Integration Act). The new Act aims to enable people integrating to learn the Dutch language as fast and effectively as possible. It should also allow people to take part independently in Dutch society as quickly as possible, preferably through paid work. The municipality handles the implementation of the Act. Sociale Zaken (Social Affairs) Maastricht Heuvelland is implementing the Act for people integrating in the municipality of Gulpen-Wittem, Maastricht, Meerssen, Vaals and Valkenburg aan de Geul.

When should I start civic integration?

Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (Education Executive Agency) will inform the municipality that your civic integration can start. Your Sociale Zaken (Social Affairs) consultant will invite you for an interview: de brede intake (the broad intake). In this interview we will explain the role of the municipality in your civic integration, and we will advise you on how to build up an independent life in the Netherlands as quickly and effectively as possible. Before your civic integration starts, you must take a learnability test. The test results decide at what level you will learn the Dutch language. The municipality will make an appointment with you to take the test.

After the brede intake, you and your consultant will jointly draw up a personal plan for you: the Plan Inburgering en Participatie (Civic Integration and Participation Plan). The plan states where your civic integration will take place and what it will look like. You must pass your civic integration exam within 3 years. Your consultant will guide you through the integration process. He/she will help you build a network of people for support and find work or education.

Civic integration animation video

The following video shows you what to expect: https://youtu.be/tY2vbmuIuGU (in Dutch)

You can also watch the video in other languages. Click on your language to watch the video: English, Spanish, Farsi, Tigrinya, Somali, Arabic, Dari and Pashto.


If you have any questions, you can contact Sociale Zaken Maastricht Heuvelland. Call 14 043 or send an email to Post-SocialeZaken [at] maastricht.nl.

Learn more

You can find more information on:

  • You are on the waiting list for a house in the municipality of Gulpen-Wittem, Maastricht, Meerssen, Vaals or Valkenburg aan de Geul. As soon as a home is available, you will receive an invitation letter from Sociale Zaken Maastricht Heuvelland for a house viewing. On the day you receive the key, Vluchtelingenwerk will go with you to the house and you will sign the rental contract.

    After signing the rental contract, you and the counsellor from Vluchtelingenwerk will go Sociale Zaken Maastricht Heuvelland to apply for benefits. Vluchtelingenwerk will help you sort out practical issues. You can telll your Vluchtelingenwerk counsellor what you would like help with.

  • If you do not yet have a job, you will receive a living allowance from the municipality. This is laid down in the Participatiewet (Participation Act). The Participatiewet includes agreements that you must adhere to. These agreements will be explained to you during conversations with your consultant at Sociale Zaken.

  • The Participatiewet stipulates that you must do your best to find work. Working during your civic integration not only enables you to earn money yourself, but also to practice speaking Dutch, allowing you to learn the language faster. Working together with colleagues will help you understand how people in the Netherlands interact. The steps you take to find work are described in your Plan Inburgering en Participatie. Your consultant will help you achieve your goals.