Government makes immigration test harder
The Dutch government is making it harder for prospective immigrants to pass the mandatory integration examination, especially regarding literacy, following a near-unanimous vote in parliament. Some foreigners who passed the existing test, research is said to show, were not able to communicate adequately in Dutch.
From now on immigrants will have to get 26 instead of 16 out of 80 points for their spoken Dutch test. Fewer applicants are expected to pass the test as a result. Until now, an average five percent failed the exam.
Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam Freedom Party voiced satisfaction at the move, saying it will help keep foreigners outside the country. The governing conservative VVD and Christian Democrat CDA parties, as well as the opposition Labour party, argue that the stricter requirements will help immigrants do better in the Netherlands.
The requirements have also been stepped up by adding a literacy and reading comprehension test. The opposition democrat party D66 has denounced the additional test as a concession to Mr Wilders’ calls to make it harder for foreigners to immigrate.
Recently, a Dutchman and his Thai wife moved to Bolivia after she failed the language test, even though she is fluent in English.
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© Radio Netherlands Worldwide