Immigration rose in 2008, reversing trend

The number of immigrants settling in the Netherlands last year reached 140,000, the first rise in years, the Volkskrant reported on Wednesday, quoting integration minister Eberhard van der Laan.

Since 2003, more people have left the country than arrived but that trend ended last year, according to justice ministry figures.
The figure includes a growing number of ‘imported brides’, women brought into the Netherlands to marry first or second generaton immigrants, the paper said, without quoting figures.
New measures
Measures introduced in 2004 to reduce the number of women coming to Holland to marry men from Morocco and Turkey had been working, the minister said. But their effect was being offset by new arrivals from Iran, Somalia and Afghanistan who ‘did not always come to marry the most emancipated men’, the Volkskrant quoted the minister as saying.
The Telegraaf puts the number of imported brides at 15,330 last year, a 32% increase on 2007. The minister is considering taking further steps to limit their number, the paper says.

Integration tests

Since 2004, brides brought in from abroad must be at least 21-years-old and their partner’s income must be 120% times the minimum wage. Compulsory integration tests for people from outside the EU were launched in 2007. These should be taken in the country of origin.
‘At last the government is recognising the relationship between too much immigration and integration gone wrong,’ VVD MP Paul de Krom told the Telegraaf.
According to the national statistics office CBS, 54,000 of the 140,000 arrivals last year come from other EU countries and 27,000 are Dutch nationals returning home. Some 20,000 come from Asia.

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