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The new integration act

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Immigration and integration is such a big thing in The Netherlands at the moment. Still, many people are lost as to how this works. I chanced upon this article over the internet. This might prove useful to all new inburgeraars out there.

In January 2007 the new law on integration came into effect. It is a law for everyone who does not have the Dutch nationality, does not speak Dutch well enough and does not have enough knowledge of the Netherlands. What exactly is this law? How does it affect you and what can you do to integrate?

“Inburgering”
This Dutch word is used a lot lately. You read it in the papers and hear it on television. Politicians use it, but what exactly does it mean?

The best translation for this notion really is: to strike roots.

This word is used nowadays in connection with people who have come to live in The Netherlands. They have to learn not only the Dutch language but about Dutch customs and Dutch society as well.

The government makes new legislation for all those people whose knowledge of these things is not sufficient yet.

One can make a distinction between two groups:

“oudkomers ”, i.e. people who have already been here for a couple of years and
“ newcomers ”.
First the “oudkomers”. They are people of eighteen years or older, who have already lived in The Netherlands for a couple of years, but who haven’t completely integrated/participated in Dutch society, due to their insufficient knowledge of the Dutch language and society. In their early years in The Netherlands they have learnt little or no Dutch. Now they will have to make up arrears. Soon they will get a summons for an interview from the local council, to assess their level of language skills. (= intake interview).

Two groups come first:

People who receive a grant and have to be available for the labour market, i.e. people who receive a “WWB grant” (wet werk en bijstand) and have to apply for a job.
Women who have an educational task. (women with children).
Going to this intake interview is compulsory as is participating in a course . The council offers a course but one is also free to find one oneself. Within 3 years this course must be closed with an examination on A2 level. On passing this examination one gets a certificate on A2 level.

The examination consists of two parts:

a practical test, the candidate shows to have functional language skills and is able to use these in practical situations.
practical situations in the field of “labour, health care and education.”
The candidate is tested in speaking, listening, reading, writing and conversational skills.

In case one doesn’t pass the complete test but only certain parts, then part- certificates are awarded. When all parts have been passed, these part-certificates are changed into a complete certificate.

There may be some people for whom it is impossible to pass level 2 of the written test, they are allowed to go up for level 1.

Nieuwkomers – Newcomers

Now about “nieuwkomers”. These newcomers are people who want to come to The Netherlands to marry a Dutch inhabitant or they who come to this country in connection with a family reunion.

They must start their “inburgering”in their own country. This means for Turkish and Moroccan people especially, that they have to follow a basic course to get familiar with the Dutch language and the Dutch society in their own country. The Dutch government has developed lessons that can be bought at the Dutch embassies. Books and a CD are also available. People have to undergo an examination at the embassy. They must prove to have a basic oral command of Dutch, and have a basic knowledge of Dutch society.

When they have passed this test the result stands valid for one year.

In case one has failed, one can try again a number of times.

It is the “newcomer’s” own responsibility to apply for the course and he/she has to pay for it him/herself.

Once one has passed the examination there are a number of other conditions one has to meet.

In The Netherlands there have to be fitting housing conditions and the person one is going to live with has to earn 125% of the minimum income.

When these obligations are met one can apply for an “mvv”: authorization for a provisional stay.

But once a person has been admitted into The Netherlands he or she has once again a duty to “inburgeren”. One has to follow another course to expand their knowledge of Dutch and undergo another examination in listening, speaking, reading and writing and knowledge of the Dutch society.

This time on level A2, one has to pass this exam in three years.

“Inburgerings” course

The “inburgerings” course in your own country has two levels: A1 and A2.

It’s important for you to know where you can buy the course materials: at the Dutch embassy in your own country. A manual, in which you find instructions how to study the lessons, is included. The most important element is listening.

The pronunciation must be studied carefully, then repeat the sentences aloud.

The price of the course materials is € 64,50. A manual, a book with pictures, a CD with 100 questions and answers and exercises are included.

Part of the curriculum is knowledge of Dutch society. With a special view to show what daily life in The Netherlands looks like. You get information about Dutch economy, history, culture and art. Examples from daily life are discussed.

You have to go to the Dutch embassy to go up for your examination. You are examined by telephone. Thirty questions are asked and 29 of them must be correctly answered in order to pass the exam. Should you fail to do so, then you may try again a number of times till you have passed.

Once you have passed the exam you will get an “mvv”: authorization for a provisional stay.

You will have to follow a second “inburgerings”course, for which you have to pay yourself, after you have finally arrived in The Netherlands. You must pass this exam within three years. Then your authorization for a provisional stay will become a permanent one.

On the internet are several test exams. Click here to get an impression.

There you will find questions ( sometimes accompanied by pictures) and their answers that can be asked at the examination.

The New Integration Act

In January 2007 the new law on integration came into effect. It is a law for everyone who does not have the Dutch nationality, does not speak Dutch well enough and does not have enough knowledge of the Netherlands . What exactly is this law? How does it affect you and what can you do to integrate?

Integration

When you live in the Netherlands it is very important that you can speak, read and write Dutch. For instance if you go to see the doctor, you must be able to explain what your problem is. Or you must be able to talk with the school teacher about your child. And it is important that you can talk with neighbours and read the letters that arrive in your mailbox.

It is not only important that you know the Dutch language. You must also know how the Dutch society is organised. If you become seriously ill, do you know who to turn to? And if you lose your job, do you know what to do? To what school will you send your children and how do you pay for tuition?

Learning the Dutch language and learning about the Dutch society, that is what we call integration!

A Short Outline of the New Integration Act

You do not have the Dutch nationality.

You are living in the Netherlands or going to live in the Netherlands .

Then you probably have the duty to integrate. This is called ‘ inburgeringsplich
t’. If this is your situation you must take an integration examination, the ‘inburgeringsexamen’.

When you do not have the duty to take the ‘inburgeringsexamen’, you can choose to do so anyway. This is called voluntary integration. For instance when you do not speak Dutch very well.

In order to pass this exam you can first follow a course. In this course you learn the Dutch language and you get lessons about the structure of the Dutch society. For some people part of the cost of the course is paid by the municipality. Other people have to pay for it themselves. They can, however, get a loan to pay for the course.

If you do not pass the ‘inburgeringsexamen’ you have another chance. As often as you need until you have passed! But you have to pay each time! So it is very important to prepare well. And when you have passed you are ‘ingeburgerd’!

Information

Do you have questions now or do you wish to start now? Go to the ‘Activerium’ and ask for the ‘inburgeringsloket’. Address: Deventerstraat 46, Apeldoorn . Telephone: 055-5802000. And on the internet: www.hoemoetikinburgeren.nl .

New Integration Act and ‘nieuwkomers’

A ‘nieuwkomer’ in the Netherlands is almost always obliged to follow an integration program

You are a nieuwkomer when:

You do not have a Dutch passsport
Your are between 16 and 65 of age
You have come to live in the Netherlands after January 1 st 2007
If you are a nieuwkomer from before December 31 st 2006 , you fall within the old Integration Act. Your integration program probably started in 2006.

There are some people who do not have the duty to integrate. This is the case for you when:

You are under sixteen of age
You are older than 65
Between your 5 th and 17 th year you went to school in the Netherlands for a period of at least 8 years
You have a diploma or certificate which shows that you have sufficient knowledge of the Netherlands and the Dutch language.
You are from a country within the European Union.
If you want to know whether you have to integrate you can look at www.hoemoetikinburgeren.nl .

Interview with the local authorities

When you are a nieuwkomer you will receive an invitation for an interview from the local authorities. They will tell you what the integration means. They will also find out if you need to integrate (or inburgeren). Do you already know quite a lot about the Netherlands and of the Dutch language? Perhaps you only need to do part of the integration exam.

After this interview the authorities have two options:

• They offer you integration lessons. This means that the authorities tell you which course you must follow. They pay for the course and the exam is free (only the first time).

• They do not offer you integration lessons. This means that you have to find out for yourself which course you will follow to prepare for the exam. The authorities do not pay for the course. It is possible to get a loan.

If the Apeldoorn local authorities do not pay for your integration lessons, you can borrow money from the IB-group (Informatie Beheer Groep). The money is not paid into your account; the IB-group pays the bill for you.

When is borrowing money possible?

You can borrow money when you follow the integration course. Also you can borrow money for the course and the integration exam together. If you only take the exam and not the course, it is not possible to borrow the money. You can, however, borrow money for a NT2-course that trains for the Staatsexamen NT2 (Dutch language level 2).

How to apply for the loan

You can apply for the loan by filling in a form. This form can be found on the internet www.inburgeren.nl . You can also obtain it at the IB-group desk in the public library. The address is CODA Bibliotheek, Vosselmanstraat 299. Fill in the form (please, don’t forget your signature) and send it to the IB-group. You will then receive the request from the IB-group to send the bill (the invoice)of the integration course to them. You must send the original real bills, not copies! The IB-group then pays the bill for you. As you see, the money will not be paid into your account!

Repaying the loan

Six months after you have passed the integration exam you must start repaying. This is a fully automated proces. The IB-group takes an amount out of your account until the loan has been paid back.

If you have passed, however, you don’t have to repay the whole amount. Everyone who passes the exam receives a minimum return amount of € 650,- as an allowance. The maximum return amount is € 3000,-.

Official school / institute

The only way to apply for a loan and receive an allowance is when your lessons / exams are at an official institute (school). In Apeldoorn it is: ROC Aventus, sector Educatie www.aventus.nl , telephone 055-5269900. Address Molendwarsstraat 40. #

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