MPs approve hi-tech test for would-be migrants
20 January 2006
AMSTERDAM – Migrants who want to come to the Netherlands will from March be obliged to take an inburgering (acclimatization) test in the country they are applying from.
A majority of the Tweede Kamer supported the plan of immigration minister Rita Verdonk when it was presented on Thursday, provided that candidates are not punished for any teething troubles with its implementation.
By setting out clear guidelines for would be migrants (joining families or coming for marriage, for instance), it is hoped the compulsory test will force migrants to be better prepared for life in Dutch society before they arrive.
Candidates must take the exam – in Dutch – at an embassy or consulate. It will test their knowledge of the language and culture and be taken over the phone, verbally, using a PC with speech recognition software.
There have been some doubts expressed as to the quality and reliability of the new technology (the ‘phonepass system’), but on advice from the government research institute TNO, Verdonk believes the trial can go ahead.
To prevent unmerited failure, the results of the first 500 candidates will be carefully checked by four examiners. Candidates experiencing technical trouble can re-do the test for free, and an independent commission will follow the whole process and examine the results
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news