Dutch court overturns another immigration law

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A Dutch court overturns a law which requires its citizens wanting to bring a spouse to the Netherlands to earn at least 120 percent of the minimum wage.

22 July 2008

For the second time in a week, a Dutch court has overturned a law which makes it difficult for newlyweds from – mostly poor – countries to immigrate to the Netherlands.

De Volkskrant writes that a court in the city of Roermond has overturned a law requiring Dutch citizens who want to bring a spouse to the Netherlands to earn at least 120 percent of the minimum wage.

The case had been brought by a Sri Lankan man who was refused entry even though his handicapped wife earned enough to meet the requirements for family reunification, but not enough to meet the 120 percent norm for what is known as ‘family formation’.
In an attempt to stem the influx of - for the most part - Turkish and Moroccan brides and grooms, the Dutch cabinet decided in 2004 to create a special category of rules for brides and grooms who want to immigrate to the Netherlands to join a partner who was already settled in the country.

This kind of immigration was labelled ‘family formation’ and the Dutch partner was required to earn 120 percent of the minimum wage.

The requirement does not apply to the reunification of couples or families who were married before one of the partners settled in the Netherlands.
The court in Roermond ruled that the family formation requirements are contrary to European law, which does not recognise different categories and obligations for immigrating family members.

A week ago, an Amsterdam court overturned a law requiring immigrants to take a test on knowledge of Dutch language and culture in  their home countries before they can be reunited with their families.

An illiterate Moroccan woman who had been refused permission to join her husband in the Netherlands had taken the State to court. The court ruled that the naturalisation test requirement, which had been in force since 2005, could not serve as a reason for denying an application for family reunification.
[Radio Netherlands / Frank Scimone / Expatica]

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