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International students to get fast-track residence permits

30 December 2005, 12:13

International students who come to The Hague, Leiden or Delft to study will be able to apply for a residence permit this year through a simpler and faster procedure.

International students who come to The Hague, Leiden or Delft to study will be able to apply for a residence permit this year through a simpler and faster procedure.

In September and October, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) ran a pilot in the three cities. The IND’s case officers visited the cities and assessed the students’ application dossiers on site. If everything was found to be in order, all the students needed to do was visit the service counter at their local town hall, and the residence permit was issued within only a few weeks.

The procedure normally takes many months. “The new approach saves a lot of time,” explains Martin Bruinsma from the IND. The education institutions involved in the pilot were enthusiastic. “The partnership with the IND has gone rather well,” concludes Piet-Hein van der Ploeg from The Hague University of Professional Education. “We were able to deal with 150 student dossiers in one day, while normally we would refer only 20 students a week to the IND.”

If everyone considers the pilot a success, the IND will examine the possibility of expanding the scheme to other cities. When that decision will be taken is not yet known.

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