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‘Secret’ route for foreign partners into Holland

Published on 18/11/2005

18 November 2005

BRUSSELS — Dutch nationals who want to bring their foreign partner into the country are being advised by various websites to do so via Belgium.

The advice is based on the principle of the free movement of people within the European Union allowing EU nationals to settle with a non-EU family member anywhere they want.

But that’s not possible in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, you are considered as a Dutch person and not an EU national. Therefore, in the Netherlands, the Dutch immigration legislation applies,” one of the websites said.

The websites explain how Dutch people can get around the law via Belgium. They go into explicit detail about how people can settle in Belgium with advice about housing (including links to real estate sites) and police inspections.

They also warn for inspections aimed at uncovering fake marriages, Flemish daily newspaper ‘De Standaard’ reported on Friday.

After a stay of six months in Belgium, the Dutch nationals can move to the Netherlands with their partner, children and even their parents.

The Belgian route also offers other advantages, such as that indicated by the title of one of the websites: ‘Too young, too low a salary and a foreign partner’.

The Dutch government has recently sharpened its immigration laws. To bring a foreign partner into the Netherlands, Dutch nationals must now be at least 21 years old. In Belgium, the minimum age is 18.

And in the Netherlands, a net monthly income of EUR 1,300 is required, compared with EUR 800 in Belgium. In addition, the cost of paperwork in Belgium is cheaper than in the Netherlands.

The foreigners who use the Belgian route to the Netherlands primarily settle first in Antwerp and border municipalities such as Maasmechelen.

Flemish Christian Democrat CD&V Nahima Lanjri said Dutch nationals volunteer to help foreigners on a “daily” basis and urged for stricter family unification laws in Belgium.

“If they [regulations] become just as strict as in the Netherlands, this will solve itself,” Lanjri said.

The inner Cabinet of the Belgian federal government will discuss provisional proposals over family unification legislation next week.

The two websites are located at www.buitenlandsepartner.nl and www.opidiz.nl.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news