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Integration Act and consequences for immigration status

In this 2014, project financed by the City of Amsterdam, Professor of European Migration Law Betty de Hart studied the possible consequences of the Integration Act (Wet Inburgering) on the legal residence of migrants.

What is the impact on  the integration, emancipation and belonging of migrants and their families, if they have no right to a permanent residence permit, or even lose their legal residence? 

Since 2010 migrants can be denied permanent residence or continued residence as a consequence of not meeting the requirements of the Integration Act. Through interviews with migrants, the study aimed to assess the impact of immigration law on their everyday lives. The research team, consisting of junior researcher Elles Besselsen and Professor De Hart, was interested in the impact of these consequences of immigration law for migrants and their families on: 

  • integration: e.g access to the labor market, mortgage and education? 
  • emancipation: the influence on independency, self-determination and gender relations in families and relationships 
  • belonging: impact on emotional attachment and feeling ‘at home’? 

Their findings were presented on 28 January 2015 in a public meeting and published in a final report (in Dutch).

The interviews showed that not all migrants are aware of the requirements of the Integration Act and the fact that failing to pass the Civic Integration Exam might adversely affect their legal status. Respondents not having (yet) passed the exam fail to do so because of a combination of factors in their personal lives such as difficulties with learning Dutch, lack of time, financial issues, bad health or family and work duties.