THE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD – The residency requirement to become Dutch will not go up from five to seven years after senators on Tuesday rejected the draft legislation.
The plan, backed by the lower house in June, was rejected in the upper house by a narrow majority after the two senators for 50Plus voted against it. 50Plus had included a proposal to increase the residency requirement to 10 years in its election manifesto.
However, during last Tuesday’s debate on the issue, 50plus senator Jan Nagel said he was unconvinced of the value of increasing the time someone should live in the Netherlands before they can become Dutch, throwing the bill’s passage into doubt.
In the week running up to today’s vote, Dutch expats had also lobbied hard to persuade Nagel to reject the bill and over 600 had contacted him directly ahead of Tuesday’s key show of hands.
Although the increase was included in the previous coalition agreement, it is not supported by the Labour party, who voted against. The anti-immigration PVV, the right-wing VVD, the Christian Democrats and fundamentalist Protestant group SGP voted in favour of the change, taking 36 of the 75 senate votes.