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Refugees to get grants to pay for integration courses

Thursday 03 January 2013

Asylum seekers with a residency permit for the Netherlands can get a grant of up to €10,000 to pay for their compulsory integration course, social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher has announced.

Since January 1, refugees have to organise their own courses but will be able to borrow the funds from education funding group DUO, the same body that organises student grants.

‘That amount is sufficient to allow an illiterate asylum seeker to complete the course,’ Asscher said in a briefing to MPs.

DUO will pay the money directly to the course organisers. If the refugee passes the course, the loan will not have to be repaid.

If they fail because they did not work hard enough, they will have to repay the loan over a 10-year-period at a low rate of interest, Asscher said. Personal circumstances, such as long-term illness, will be taken into account.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

So what about someone who wants to live in Nederlands from Europe ?. Will they get an integration grant as well ?.

By Karl H | 3 January 2013 10:48 AM

Funny how all the asylum seekers I ever met were highly educated. The stereotypes astound me...

By CW | 3 January 2013 1:02 PM

Karl, obviously no. An illiterate asylum seeker starts from a deeper hole and has more challenges than the average European who will have already had some western education. You suggest there should be monetary fairness, but you don't seem to weigh other factors -- like employability. Europeans already have the advantage there due to EU rules! They also arrive speaking at least one EU language, often have a degree, and generally don't need that much help getting started in NL beyond the usual moving advice.

By J. | 3 January 2013 1:52 PM

In Sweden courses are voluntary and free. Many folks get a bonus when they pass the course. Nuff said.

By Husserl | 3 January 2013 2:39 PM

Karl H: the grant is only for those who are obliged to do this. EU and EEA citizens do not need to do any integration course unless they wish to do so.

By the_expat | 3 January 2013 2:58 PM

Karl: An EU citizen (or the partner of a non-Dutch EU citizen) has absolutely no requirement to complete the compulsory integration course, and as such, it isn't offered (except by the most incompetent of gemeente staff). He/she is allowed to live here under European law.

Only people here for Dutch partners from outside the EU, or those wanting Dutch citizenship, must complete it.

By osita | 3 January 2013 5:56 PM

Right, that is it, I am not going to do this. My time expired last year I think, or maybe it is this year....anyway sod them.

By David | 3 January 2013 6:30 PM

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