Minister plans to restrict marriage migration

27th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

27 October 2005, BRUSSELS — The federal government has unveiled plans to restrict the number of foreigners entering Belgium for the purpose of marriage.

27 October 2005

BRUSSELS — The federal government has unveiled plans to restrict the number of foreigners entering Belgium for the purpose of marriage.

Starting from 2006, immigrants who enter Belgium for marriage will be obligated to take out health insurance. Assessment periods will also be lengthened.

The new measures unveiled by Interior Minister Patrick Dewael are designed to reduce sham marriages and restrict the number of marriage immigrants, Flemish daily newspaper 'De Morgen' reported on Thursday.

Dewael said the ministry had almost finished drawing up the rough draft of the legislation, which he promised will adhere to European Union guidelines.

He said for pragmatic reasons, the reforms to marriage unification legislation regulating unions between non-EU nationals and between EU nationals will be bundled together in one legislative proposal.

Several regulations which are now spelled out in various ministry memos and instructions will also be given an official legislative status.

The proposals will be discussed at a Cabinet meeting within the next few weeks before being lodged with the Council of State for assessment. Dewael said the legislation must be in place by the end of the year.

Dewael refused to reveal definite details of the plan, but said the "measures will allow action to be taken against abuses of the family unification procedure".

These measures will include compulsory health insurance for marriage immigrants and a longer period of assessment.

The Liberal VLD minister said legislation has already been lodged in Parliament aimed at making fake marriages criminally prosecutable. A ministerial memo also aims to regulate information exchange between population register public servants to combat 'marriage shopping'.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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