The Dutch language is no longer considered a necessity for foreigners who come to live in the Netherlands.
I predicted this eventuality several days ago, after Dutch language lessons at the Netherlands’ embassy in Pakistan had to be cancelled. Because their safety could no longer be guaranteed, embassy personnel had been withdrawn, leaving aspiring Pakistani immigrants in the lurch.
Here’s what I said:
The next step will be to waive the Dutch language requirements for Pakistani immigrants. We wouldn’t want to discriminate against them, would we?
Besides, they have no need for the Dutch language in the Netherlands. Not anymore.
I was only half-kidding, and now my dysphoric fantasy has become reality. According to NIS:
Court Bans Dutch Language Requirement for Family Reunification
AMSTERDAM, 17/07/08 — The Netherlands can no longer require family reunification immigrants to take an exam in the Dutch language in their country of origin.
Migrants from countries outside the EU, with the exception of a number of Western countries, who want to come to the Netherlands have since 2005 had to do an exam in the Dutch language and culture at the Dutch embassy in their country. For immigrants who want to come to the Netherlands under the terms of family reunification, this is no longer allowed, a district court in Amsterdam has ruled.
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The ruling concerned a Moroccan woman, who had applied for a provisional residence permit (MVV) to come and live with her husband in the Netherlands. Her application was turned down by the government because she had failed the integration exam in Morocco. She appealed against this decision to the Amsterdam court.
The court has now ruled that the application was wrongly refused. “The legislator has omitted to give the minister the authority to refuse a MVV” in cases of family reunification. “It is beyond the role of the judge to remedy this,” according to the judge.
The ruling does not mean that aliens who want to come to the Netherlands for family reunification can now await the procedure for awarding the residence permit in the Netherlands. They must still apply for a MVV in the country of origin. But it is no longer necessary to do an integration exam there first for this. They can do this in the Netherlands.
For aliens who want to come to the Netherlands for reasons other than family reunification, passing the integration exam in the country of origin does remain a requirement. The government can appeal against the Amsterdam district court ruling to the Council of State within four weeks.
Hat tip: TB.