Belgium suffering from Dutch "family reunification" tourism

The tough immigration laws in the Netherlands are bringing many Dutch to use the Belgian Route. The Belgians are much more accommodating then their Dutch neighbors when it comes to immigration and family reunification. The Belgian wanting to bring in family members needs to show a lower salary than his Dutch counterpart, can do so at on earlier age and pays much less for the permits needed. Belgian law doesn't require the incoming family members to pass an integration course as they would need to do in Holland. EU laws allow for the Dutch to move to Belgium, bring in their family members under the Belgian family reunification laws and after a 6 month stay, move anywhere else in the EU.

The total number of Dutch in Belgium is constantly rising, from 11,381 in 2002 to 22,000 in 2004. In 2005 there will be 37,000 Dutch registered in Belgium

Belgium is preparing to strengthen its own immigration laws, but calls for an encompassing European solution.

Source: De Morgen (Dutch)

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