Dutch government tightens regulation on foreign marriages

The Dutch government plans to introduce measures to stem the influx of foreign brides and grooms. Would-be marriage migrants will have to be at least 18, and marriages between cousins, aunts and uncles will no longer be allowed.

The measures are aimed at marriages between Dutch residents of foreign origin – particularly from Turkey and Morocco, but increasingly also Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia – and people from their respective countries. There are concerns that such marriages are an obstacle to the integration of ethnic minorities into Dutch society, Radio Netherlands reports.

Dutch justice minister, Ernst Hirsch Ballin stated that “the new rules are meant to protect the Dutch society and the women themselves”.

The civic integration exam, which would-be marriage migrants have to pass before being admitted to the Netherlands, is to be made more difficult. Under the new system, potential import brides and grooms will have to meet higher Dutch language criteria. They will also have to participate in job training upon arrival.