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Posted: 3/15/2006 11:02:40 AM EDT

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (March 15) - The camera focuses on two gay men kissing in a park. Later, a topless woman emerges from the sea and walks onto a crowded beach. For would-be immigrants to the Netherlands, this film is a test of their readiness to participate in the liberal Dutch culture.

If they can't stomach it, no need to apply.

Despite whether they find the film offensive, applicants must buy a copy and watch it if they hope to pass the Netherlands' new entrance examination.

The test - the first of its kind in the world - became compulsory Wednesday, and was made available at 138 Dutch embassies.

Taking the exam costs $420. The price for a preparation package that includes the film, a CD ROM and a picture album of famous Dutch people is $75.

"As of today, immigrants wishing to settle in the Netherlands for, in particular, the purposes of marrying or forming a relationship will be required to take the civic integration examination abroad," the Immigration Ministry said in a statement.

The test is part of a broader crackdown on immigration that has been gathering momentum in the Netherlands since 2001.

Anti-immigration sentiment peaked with filmmaker Theo van Gogh's murder by a Dutch national of Moroccan descent in November 2004.

Both praise and scorn have been poured on Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk, the architect of the new test and other policies that have reduced immigration by at least a third.

"If you pass, you're more than welcome," Verdonk said. "It is in the interest of Dutch society and those concerned."

Not everyone is happy with the new test.

"Today is a black day for the people intending to bring their partners to Holland," said Buitenlandse Partner, a lobbying group for mixed Dutch/immigrant couples.

Dutch theologian Karel Steenbrink criticized the 105-minute movie, saying it would be offensive to some Muslims.

"It is not a prudent way of welcoming people to the Netherlands," said Steenbrink, a professor at the University of Utrecht. "Minister Verdonk has radical ideas."

But Mohammed Sini, the chairman of Islam and Citizenship, a national Muslim organization, defended the film, saying that homosexuality is "a reality."

Sini urged all immigrants "to embrace modernity."

A censored version with no homosexual and nude material had been prepared because it is illegal to show such images in Iran and some other countries, filmmaker Walter Goverde said.

"With all the respect I have for all religions, I think people need to understand that Holland has its own liberal side as well," he said.

After viewing the film, which is available in most languages, applicants are then quizzed on important Dutch factoids such as the number of provinces that make up the Netherlands; the role played by William of Orange in the country's history; and Queen Beatrix's monarchial functions.

There are some major exemptions. EU nationals, asylum-seekers and skilled workers who earn more than $54,000 per year will not be required to take the 30-minute computerized exam.

Also, citizens of the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan and Switzerland are exempt.



news.aol.com/topnews/articles?id=n20060315134709990008&cid=774
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 11:04:13 AM EDT
If potential immigrants have to pony up $420 to even apply to immigrate, well, shit, that solves the problem right there.

Link Posted: 3/15/2006 11:05:38 AM EDT
This is going to infuriate the ROPers
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 11:06:03 AM EDT

Go Dutchies!


It's awesome to see how other western European countries are coming to the same realization that Denmark came to several years ago, when they really tightened the immigration laws.

The laws are so tight in Denmark now (strictest in Europe I beleive), that it would be difficult for me to get permission for my wife to live in Denmark.



Link Posted: 3/15/2006 11:06:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Go Dutchies!


It's awesome to see how other western European countries are coming to the same realization that Denmark came to several years ago, when they really tightened the immigration laws.

The laws are so tight in Denmark now (strictest in Europe I beleive), that it would be difficult for me to get permission for my wife to live in Denmark.






aren't the swiss laws even stricter?
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 11:07:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/15/2006 11:07:57 AM EDT by yobo]
The preparation package should include a cooked pork chop that they have to eat before the exam.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 11:07:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Go Dutchies!


It's awesome to see how other western European countries are coming to the same realization that Denmark came to several years ago, when they really tightened the immigration laws.

The laws are so tight in Denmark now (strictest in Europe I beleive), that it would be difficult for me to get permission for my wife to live in Denmark.






That makes sense. Why would the Danes want some crazy Dutchman and his American wife. Especially when said Dutchman is a commie.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 11:08:03 AM EDT
Well I guess I'm not moving to the Netherlands.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 11:12:59 AM EDT
They should have a mandatory Mohammed drawing session LOL
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 11:22:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:
Well I guess I'm not moving to the Netherlands.



Yeah, the naked chick part is fine, but the queers kissing?

Link Posted: 3/15/2006 11:26:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By motown_steve:

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:
Well I guess I'm not moving to the Netherlands.



Yeah, the naked chick part is fine, but the queers kissing?




Yup.

Guess I need more education in embracing diversity.
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