Aliens Act of 2000
In 2001 the Aliens Act of 2000 (Vreemdelingenwet 2000, Vw 2000), came into effect. This law brought about major changes in refugee and asylum procedures (Interner Link: see below). During the 1990s politicians had become increasingly concerned with the large numbers of migrants arriving for the purpose of family formation. Some of these marriages were "fake"; contracted for no other purpose than to obtain a visa. There were also concerns about the high share of children of – particularly Turkish and Moroccan - immigrants marrying partners from the origin countries of their parents. Since these marriage migrants were often low-skilled there were fears that they would lead to a continuation of socio-economic marginality into the next generation. The law therefore raised the bar for marriage migration.
The minimum income that a Dutch citizen or resident must have in order to sponsor a family migrant was raised to at least 100 percent of the minimum family income (or 120 percent in case of non-permanent residents).
Law on Civic Integration Abroad
In 2006 the law on "civic integration abroad" (Wet Inburgering Buitenland, Wib) came into force.
As part of the study material, applicants can buy a video entitled "Coming to the Netherlands". This video, which includes images of gay men kissing and topless women lying on the beach, was very controversial when it was introduced, because it seemed designed to provoke Muslim migrants and not everybody considers homosexuality and topless sunbathing to be core Dutch values.
After restrictions on family migration were implemented, numbers initially dropped significantly.
Attracting Highly-Qualified Migrants
The government has been working to improve access for highly skilled workers. Special entry regulations for knowledge workers were introduced in 2004. Employees of companies who have signed an agreement with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) qualify for fast-track admission. Knowledge workers are exempted from the civic integration requirement. Since 2006 academic researchers and medical doctors training to specialize do not need to meet an income requirement; it is sufficient to show they have means of subsistence and work at a recognized institution. In 2007 the income requirement for foreigners with a degree from a Dutch university who find high-skilled employment was lowered.
This text is part of the Interner Link: country profile Netherlands.