The Hague may ease family reunion criteria

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Tighter requirements regarding family reunions and the forming of new families may no longer be introduced by the outgoing Dutch government, the foreign ministry says.

As of 1 July, the cabinet had intended to require couples to be married in order for one partner to be allowed to immigrate to join the other in the Netherlands. A number of parliamentary parties, however, have placed the matter on the list of “controversial issues.” This means it is no longer clear whether the measure will be implemented or whether it will be left for the next government to decide. The foreign ministry says it expects to know more soon.

The outgoing VVD and CDA parties had agreed with Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party that family reunions and the formation of new families would only be possible as of 1 July 2012 on condition that the partners were married. Exceptions would be made in a number of cases, such as people who cannot marry in their country of origin, for example, because they are homosexual.

Now that Mr Wilders and his Freedom Party have withdrawn their support for the minority cabinet, political observers expect the matter to be put on hold for the foreseeable future.


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