Foreign partner age restriction is ‘too soft’
17 March 2004
AMSTERDAM — The introduction of a minimum age on foreign marriages will only have a limited effect on the number of new immigrant arrivals in the Netherlands, two Amsterdam University researchers claimed on Wednesday.
Researchers Joop Hartog and Aslan Zorlu said only 10 percent of the foreign partners of Dutch nationals are younger than 21. They based their research on figures from 2001, news agency ANP reported.
Placing a minimum age on family unification migrants meant that there would only be 2,000 fewer migrants entering the Netherlands. About 700 of those would come from Turkey and 400 from Morocco.
The Cabinet resolved last month that in future, if Dutch nationals wish to bring a foreign partner into the country, both of them should be aged at least 21.
The proposal has been submitted to the Council of State — which advises the government on its legislation — and must still be approved by Parliament before coming into force.
The coalition Christian Democrat CDA, Liberal VVD and Democrat D66 cabinet also decided that the Dutch partners must earn at least 120 percent of the minimum income. The university researchers did not study the effects of that pre-condition.
Meanwhile, the researchers said restrictive measures should be imposed on family migration because these people were often in a “weak social position”.
They also said the situation would only worsen because family migration continues even at times when the Netherlands is experiencing an economic downturn. Migrants will thus encounter greater difficulties in times of economic stagnation.
The Dutch government is contemplating a vast array of immigration legislation to reduce the number of new arrivals and is also planning to force non-European Union foreign partners to complete integration courses in their country of origin prior to their arrival in the Netherlands.
Nationals from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan are exempted from such courses in their home country due to treaties of exclusion signed with Dutch authorities.
In principle, all non-EU new arrivals who wish to settle permanently in the Netherlands are required to do integration course after entering the country.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news