MPs demand passports for 'latent' Dutch
14 September 2006, AMSTERDAM — Children born to a Dutch mother and a foreign father before 1985 should still be eligible for Dutch citizenship, parliament is set to tell Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk.
14 September 2006
AMSTERDAM — Children born to a Dutch mother and a foreign father before 1985 should still be eligible for Dutch citizenship, parliament is set to tell Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk.
MPs of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democrats (CDA) have indicated they will join the opposition parties Labour (PvdA), D66 and ChristenUnie in supporting an amendment to this effect during a debate next week.
Until 1985 only Dutch men could pass on their citizenship. Children born to a Dutch mother and foreign father were not entitled to Dutch citizenship.
The law was equalised in the mid 1980s and there was a three-year grace period to allow children born to a Dutch mother and foreign father prior to 1985 to apply for citizenship.
Amsterdam-based immigration lawyers Everaert Advocaten represents 300 adult children who claim they did not know about the grace period because it was not properly advertised abroad by the Dutch authorities.
Last month, Minister Verdonk refused to reopen the issue as many people availed of the scheme from 1985 to 1988. Everaert threatened to take legal action to force the government to grant passports to these 'latent' Dutch citizens.
A majority of MPs accepts the argument that the scheme was not properly advertised, resulting in hundreds missing out on a Dutch passport. These people often feel Dutch but can face problems when they want to visit family here or relocate to the Netherlands.
Lawyer Stans Goudsmit of Everaert expressed delight that MPs are to table an amendment next week. "Finally, the distinction between men and women in citizenship law will be definitely removed," she said.
CDA MPs will also ask Verdonk to allow newcomers who provide praiseworthy service to society, such as serving as a volunteer firefighter, to apply for Dutch citizenship a year earlier than normal.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news