Dutch cabinet to ban foreign polygamists
Dutch government will close a loophole in the law that allows immigrants with more than one wife to obtain Dutch citizenship.25 September 2008
THE HAGUE -- The Dutch government is going to close a loophole in the law that currently allows immigrants with more than one wife to obtain Dutch citizenship if they have lived here for more than 15 years.
Justice Minister Nebahat Albayrak stressed that polygamy is not only banned in the Netherlands but is also morally unacceptable.
The move comes after mayors of the four largest Dutch cities have urged the Justice Ministry to close a loophole in the law that allows certain men to gain Dutch citizenship, despite having concluded polygamous marriages abroad, it was reported Friday.
The law in question applies to men of foreign origin who were born in the Netherlands and returned to their country of origin, where they concluded the marriages, and then returned to the Netherlands.
Amsterdam has long sought to have the loophole closed, and was now being joined by The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht, all cities with a population of whom approximately one third are Muslims.
Amsterdam has 173 persons registered as having more than one wife. Thirty-one of them are Dutch nationals.
In general, the Dutch authorities regard polygamous unions as disqualifying an applicant for naturalisation.
The legal loophole occurs in the case of men born in the Netherlands. In this case, the mayor's office decides on naturalisation applications.
Applicants must have no criminal record, must have been born on Dutch territory and must have resided in the Netherlands for a certain uninterrupted period.
[Radio Netherlands / dpa / Expatica]