Government makes immigration test harder

1st April 2011, Comments 8 comments

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.  

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

8 Comments To This Article

  • Canucky Woman posted:

    on 5th April 2011, 10:30:11 - Reply

    Adeline, as an immigrant married to a Dutch person who didn't have to take a test to enter the country, I ask you, what is the point of this particular test? Why can't ALL of us learn once we live in this country? Why are some of us more "special" than others?
  • mikael posted:

    on 2nd April 2011, 17:10:07 - Reply

    i'm always amazed at europe's inability to learn from it's own history.
    given the not all that recent pass the amount of pure hatred in nl is amazing.
    that families are being seperated, that people are veiwed as less than dirt due to colour, how they speak or any other excuse the dutch come up with is breathtaking.
    on some level i just can not get my head around an entire culture with sense of ethics whatsoever.
    sadly it can
  • adeline_tan posted:

    on 2nd April 2011, 15:50:09 - Reply

    I'm sure you've all got good reasons for your comments. But on the other side of the fence, as a British national living in NL without knowing the language, I can safely say that it is close to impossible to get a job here if you don't know the language. What would the government do with immigrants then? Raise our taxes even more so they can go on the dole? Ugh!
  • zara posted:

    on 2nd April 2011, 14:13:17 - Reply

    Dutch is a horrible language and not universal - even Dutch people I have met spend most of the time convincing foreigners not to learn their horrible language

    Netherlands are a small country that NEED to trade with other "foreign countries for their economy. I think the rest of their foreign trading partners should decide whether they need to trade with immoral, discriminative governments to earn their honest livings - probably not!
    History will confirm - greedy country wants to take from other countries and not share anything with anyone else
  • FrenchMan posted:

    on 2nd April 2011, 12:59:45 - Reply

    Netherlands is doing what the others countries did but comparing to France, the new comers after obtaining their resident permit have one year and more than 200 hours of French lessons to skill up their "french" and it is organised by the French government. Once they are working, no need to pass any test to renew the resident permit.
    In Netherlands, according to what I heard, you have to find yourself the way that you want to skill up your dutch and some more you have to pay all the lessons. And there is "so-said" teachers who get advantage of this situation.
  • Khalid Ahmed Chaudry posted:

    on 2nd April 2011, 11:28:22 - Reply

    @DonRickles, you are a true global citizen, I fully agree with your comments. This is the worst law/rule in the present history of the Netherlands which have legalized discrimination and xenophobia(as you very well said). It's violation of the universal charter of human rights and a slap at the face of democratic values,freedom and civic liberty!!

    I hope Dutch people would rise against this 'black law' (as the majority of Dutch public is against and are the owner's of good and positive heart).
  • DonRickles posted:

    on 1st April 2011, 20:42:22 - Reply

    I can't wait to see when countries start requiring Dutch citizens to be fluent in their languages before they can move. Imagine all the whining and complaining that we'll here then. It does really show, though, that none of this so-called pre-arrival preparation is about making (unsuitable, in the minds of Dutch politicians) people more prepared for NL. It's about discrimination and xenophobia pure and simple. It's amazing that a country which so often goes and tells other people what to do has these kinds of policies which try to control the free choices of the citizens of a (so-called) European democracy. I can't decide if it's reached the point of eugenics yet.... enh, give it another year or two.
  • Canucky Woman posted:

    on 1st April 2011, 17:16:36 - Reply

    Only "some" immigrants with the "wrong" passport. The rest of us can get in regardless of our Dutch skills. Now that's fair...not.