Flanders approves new paid ‘buddy’ system for integration
Sunday, 20 December 2020
Bart Somers. Credit: Belga
The Flemish government on Saturday approved a new pathway to integration for newly arrived immigrants that includes requirements such as paying a fee and being sponsored by a Flemish “buddy.”
The new system, one of the components of the Flemish government agreement, will take effect from 1 January 2022 if approved by the Council of State.
Applicants will have to satisfy four requirements. They need to learn Dutch, they must become economically independent as soon as possible and, thirdly, they need to learn how Flemish society functions as well as its values, Flemish Interior Minister Bart Somers explained.
Lastly, a type of sponsorship will be instituted with the aim of providing new arrivals with a network and increasing their chances of landing jobs or finding lodging, Somers said.
At the end of the integration course, applicants will be required to take an exam.