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Dutch News
More naturalisation requests 3/16/2007
AMSTERDAM – There was an increase in the number of migrants applying for Dutch nationality last year. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) received 28,200 requests, 6,900 more than in 2005. The request is granted in 83 percent of cases.

This emerged from the IND''s annual report which was published today. Most migrants surrender their previous nationality when becoming Dutch. This is a requirement, though there are a few exceptions to the rule.

Since April 2003 migrants are also required to take a naturalisation exam testing their knowledge of the Dutch language and society. An immigrant may apply for naturalisation after he/she has lived here legally on a regular residence permit for five years.

The number of migrants who came to the Netherlands to join family or a prospective marriage partner fell by 20 percent (from about 30,000 in 2005 to just over 23,000 last year) since the introduction of a compulsory assimilation test.

Since 15 March 2006 non-western immigrants wishing to come to the Netherlands to live must first successfully pass a test on basic Dutch language skills and society at the Dutch embassy in their home countries before being admitted to the Netherlands.

The number of knowledge migrants doubled thanks to a relaxation of admission regulations.

The IND largely worked away its backlog of applications for residence permits last year. The service also managed to decide on time more frequently on new applications. The number of complaints about the IND fell by a quarter, from 13,216 in 2005 to 9,842 last year. The service was also more easily accessible by telephone.

The general audit chamber ascertained in September 2005 that there was too much going wrong internally at the IND. This led to excessive waiting times for foreigners who had applied for permits to work, study or join family in the Netherlands. The IND introduced a reform plan in response to the audit chamber''s findings. This plan is now producing results, the IND says.

In total the IND produced more than 250,000 permits for foreigners. About 66,000 of these were issued to people with permanent residency in the Netherlands. That was 55,500 more than in 2005. Most of these involved the renewal of residence permits issued between 2001 and 2003. The permits are valid for five years.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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