- Integration law for new immigrants to the Netherlands
POV|date=December 2007In 1998, the
Dutch parliamentagreed with legislation called, Wet Inburgering Nieuwkomers, translated, new immigrants’ integration law. This law basically outlines the intent and procedures to force the new immigrants to integrate into the Dutch society. Within the program set up by this law are several courses contracted out to certain vocational schools, depending on the jurisdiction, and the immigrants themselves must first pay for the courses. The fees and tuitions they pay are supposed to be refunded upon their successful completion of the courses and passing the tests at the end. The immigrants are required to sign a contract to these terms.
The citizens of the
European Unionare exempt from this “integration” requirement. A member of the Dutch parliament has expressed his concern that according to EU rules immigrants from new EU members states like Poland, Bulgaria, and Romenia cannot be forced to integrate. [citeweb |title=Tweede Kamer: Polen moeten ook inburgeren: Arbeidsmigranten moeten ook op integratiecursus |url=http://www.dag.nl/Nieuws/Artikelpagina-Nieuws/Tweede-Kamer-Polen-moeten-ook-inburgeren.htm] Apart from EU citizens, there are also other several other exceptions. One is the category called, “knowledge immigrant.” What this means is that you have a certain level of education and qualification that you could offer to the Dutch society. The main condition of this category is however defined by the income. In 2006, in order to qualify as a knowledge immigrant, one must earn from one employer more than € 45,495,- (and € 33,363,- if you are under the age of 30) [" Kennismigrant" [http://www.dialogistiek.nl/ind/buttons/kennismigrantprocedure.htm Link] ] . You are considered to possess certain knowledge useful to the Dutch national interests, so as to override the integration law’s requirements, if you earn more than this amount. This led to the unintended consequencethat foreign employed prostitutes were considered knowledge immigrants under this law.
The second exception is for the students. If you come to the Netherlands to study or for your
Ph.D., then you are also not compelled to learn the Dutch language and culture, either. This is because in master’s degree programs most courses are offered in English and if you work on your Ph.D. dissertation as it is supposed to be for a larger international academic community. It is generally accepted that the Dutch languageand Dutch cultureare in essence of no importance on an international level in general, but if you come to live there, the government will force you to integrate, especially if you are considered to have come from those countries that are underdeveloped and poor.
The then minister of immigration,
Rita Verdonktook an initiative to produce educational materials as a part of this integration process. Under this, new immigrants were required to purchase for € 63,- a DVDor a video explaining how the Dutch society works. The controversy with this was that in the video material was a clip of a young topless blond woman enjoying swimming at a beach. Obviously one can easily understand how well this was accepted by Muslims (for them a censored version is available).
Beginning March 2006, everyone who applies for a longer stay visa (called MVV) is required to take tests of very basic Dutch and basic knowledge of Dutch society (using the above mentioned DVD), before they were granted one, in a new program, called "
Inburgering Buitenland" (Integration Abroad). In other words, the prospective immigrant should learn Dutch while still abroad. Of course the exceptions already mentioned apply and in addition, if you are a citizen of a “developed” country, such as the US, Canada, Japan, South Korea,Australia, etc. then again you are not compelled to participate in this so-called, “Integration Abroad” (Inburgering Buitenland) program.
Recently, the Dutch Department of Immigration and Naturalization (IND) (http://www.ind.nl) also attempted to impose this integration law on Dutch citizens who were born and raised outside the Netherlands. Many of the current hard-line anti-immigration policies were initiated by
Rita Verdonkwho was the minister of immigration. It should also be mentioned that until 1985 the Netherlands did not recognize the maternal citizenship: Women of Dutch nationality with foreign partners could not have their children recognized as Dutch citizens.
according to the verdict of a lately closed court case in Amsterdam, the requirement of passing the basic dutch language test abroad is not legal in case of "family reunion".while for other MVV applicants, this heavily criticized policy stays.link : http://www.nrc.nl/binnenland/article1171243.ece/Rechter_verbiedt_taaleis_voor_gezinshereniging
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.