Federal accord on asylum and immigration
Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy's cabinet has reached agreement on the tightening up rules and regulations regarding acquiring Belgian nationality and immigration based on family reunification.
During the summer federal ministers reached an accord regarding the regularisation procedure for refugees and immigrants in Belgium who meet certain conditions, a critical part of the government's programme for Francophone Socialists and Christian Democrats.
On Friday, ministers of the inner cabinet agreed on a number of stipulations and restrictions on asylum and immigration, amendments sought by Flemish liberals.
The fast-track legislation to acquire Belgian nationality will be made stricter. So-called "integration criteria" will become a requirement for the acquisition of the Belgian nationality. Knowledge of one of the official languages of Belgium is included in the criteria.
There will be stricter control of so-called "marriages of convenience" that give one of the partners access to residential papers in Belgium.
Further, bringing family members to Belgium from abroad will also be more difficult. Anyone wanting to bring family over under family unification regulations will have to prove that he or she has a basic source of income.