Between 2,000 and 3,000 foreigners have been exempted from taking the Dutch integration exams – although they should have done them – thanks to mistakes at the IND immigration service, reports ANP.
The foreigners have temporary permits to stay and should have taken the Dutch inburgering exams in language and culture because of tighter rules around exemptions from 2015.
But Klaas Dijkhoff, junior security and justice minister, said on Thursday that the IND had failed to apply the more stringent requirements. Regrettably, he added, their residency status cannot now be changed.
Application forms and the IND website have, however, been updated while employees have received written instructions on the rules about who is legitimately exempt.
But the PVV said the mess-up was effectively giving “gifts” to foreigners and questioned why it took two years to emerge. The party called to withdraw these abnormal residency permits.
The exams – much discussed in expat circles – involve Dutch proficiency tests, a grilling on the whys and wherefores of Dutch society and the labour market. People who do not pass within three years can be fined and have their permit to stay rescinded.
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