Afghan mother must leave baby, take integration exam in Iran

A young mother in Dordrecht has been told she has to go back to Afghanistan to apply for an integration test to live in the Netherlands and then go to Iran to actually take and pass the exam, the AD reports.

Friends and family are now campaigning to try and change junior justice minister Fred Teeven’s mind, so mother Toktam, 31, can take the test in the Netherlands itself. Hundreds of people have signed a petition calling for a rethink.

Her husband, toddler son and baby daughter all have Dutch nationality and can stay. ‘The Netherlands wants to send a young mother back to such an unsafe place?’ neighbour Henk Beks, who has been collecting signatures, told the AD. ‘Then you see how low we have sunk.’

Toktam is not a refugee and came legally to Belgium in 2012 and then moved to the Netherlands with Sharif who earns enough to support the family under Dutch law.

However, because she cannot prove that she lived first with Sharif in Belgium for three months, she has to go back to Afghanistan and start the application process again.

Sharif has now written to king Willem-Alexander urging him to intervene. ‘I can’t take care of my children because I have to work and she can’t take two children to Afghanistan,’ he wrote. ‘Please help us to get out of this difficult situation.’

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