At a Glance
Proposed legislation in the Netherlands that would become effective July 2020 would change the civic integration process which is mandatory for some foreign nationals, such as dependents of Dutch nationals, asylum seekers and foreign nationals who voluntarily choose to apply for Dutch nationality or long-term residence. Under the proposed rules, foreign nationals would need to complete one of three new integration routes based on their existing language and educational abilities. Fines would apply to foreign nationals who fail to meet the requirements where integration is mandatory, such as dependents of Dutch nationals or asylum seekers. This would not impact foreign nationals who are applying for temporary residence permits, for example permits based on employment, as Dutch immigration law exempts them from the civil integration requirement. The situation
Draft legislation has been introduced in the Netherlands that if enacted, would change the civic integration program required for applicants applying for permanent residence or Dutch nationality, dependents of Dutch nationals and asylum seekers starting July 2020.
A closer look
Under the proposed law, the following rules would be enacted:
Expanded municipal authority. Where integration is mandatory, municipalities would be granted authority to create an individualised integration plan for each applicant. Municipalities would be able to assign one of three new learning paths depending on the language and educational ability of the foreign national. Streamlined integration paths. Three paths would be available for foreign nationals: Path Details B1 path This is likely to be the most common path and is focused on foreign nationals learning to speak, listen, read and write in Dutch up to Level B1 Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), whereas currently the required level is A2. An exemption would be available for those who cannot meet the B1 requirement after sufficient efforts have been made. Educational path This path would be available to foreign nationals age 28 or under who are not expected to meet the B1 language requirement, for example asylum seekers. It is expected to involve approximately 1,000 hours of Dutch, combined with other classes to obtain the necessary skills to prepare for higher education and integrate into Dutch society via work and education. Z route This route would only be available to those who cannot meet the...