Naturalisation requests up in 2006

The number of applications for Dutch nationality rose by nearly 7,000 to 28,200 last year, according to the immigration service IND annual report published on Wednesday.

The long waiting list for residency permits has almost disappeared and the number of complaints about the IND fell by 25% to just under 10,000, the report said.
In 2005, the government’s audit office was highly critical of the IND’s level of service, saying foreign students and workers were having to wait far too long for their residency applications to be dealt with.
In total the IND granted 250,000 permits last year. Of these 66,000 went to people with permanent residency cards.
Meanwhile the Volkskrant reports that the number of people coming to the Netherlands to get married fell by 20% to 23,000 last year according to the IND report.
The decrease follows the introduction in March last year of the integration test which non-Western immigrants have to pass in their home country before being allowed to live in the Netherlands.
The paper also reports that the number of asylum seekers whose first port of call was the Netherlands rose from 4,550 to 5,850. Some 2,450 failed asylum seekers were deported.

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