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Plans to extend eligibility time for Dutch citizenship27 December 2013, by Alexandra Gowling
The Dutch government has proposed to extend to seven years the time foreigners must wait to qualify for Dutch citizenship. Currently, residents can apply for citizenship after five years.
This proposal to amend the Law on Dutch nationality has been agreed upon by Coalition government and the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which includes ministers from Curaçao, Sint Maarten and Aruba.
It also comes just days after the government announced it was proceeding with a trial to have newcomers sign a "participation declaration," to help them better understand their rights and obligations in the Netherlands.
Reasons for the change
The government believes that with seven years, instead of five, more justice is done to the principal that a person should have lived for a substantial amount of time in the Netherlands before being able to acquire a Dutch passport.
Research shows that the chances of someone obtaining paid work and following an educational pathway increases the longer someone lives in the Netherlands.
Currently, the government says that it is common for immigrants, even after fulfilling their civic integration obligations, to not fully participate in society.
Other obligations for citizenship
Further, they must have passed the civic integration exams (inburgeringsexamen) and not present a threat to public order.
The bill now goes to the House of Representatives and the seven-year period will enter into force after the proposal has been accepted by the Senate.
Source: Government of the Netherlands