Starting integration takes months, according to CBS research

Aman Zeray

A new integration system was introduced more than two years ago. Since then, municipalities have been responsible for integration: they have the task of offering every status holder a tailor-made program. Such a process is called a Personal Integration and Participation Plan (PIP). 

Data from Statistics Netherlands shows that at the end of 2022, more than seventy percent of the 19 thousand status holders did not yet have a PIP. As a result, they could not start their integration.

The UAF is in favor of the new integration system. Previously, people integrating had to figure everything out themselves and, for example, purchase language lessons themselves with their integration budget. Many immigrants got stuck in the system and therefore had insufficient access to (further) education.

The fact that municipalities are now responsible for integration is therefore a good thing. It is also positive that every integrator is – in theory – offered a program that best suits his or her experience and capabilities.

However, as the CBS study, which was published on April 8, also shows, the waiting times are very long. The UAF also sees that refugee students and professionals have to wait for a long time after arriving in the Netherlands. First at the start of the asylum procedure, then on a residence permit, then on housing, then on the intake interview with the municipality ('Brede Intake', where experience and qualities are mapped out) and finally on a Personal Integration and Participation Plan (PIP). ).

Only when the PIP is in place can the status holder start working on his or her own development and future plans. It would be good if the government brings this moment forward. That is better for the person integrating and for society.

The UAF sees that the situation is now improving, but is still a bottleneck. More than two years after the introduction, half of the number of people subject to integration obligations still did not have an established PIP (from: letter to Parliament on Integration December 2023).

As a discussion partner for municipalities, we do everything we can to shorten waiting times, so that people integrating can quickly access (suitable) education.

What does the UAF offer? vluchtelingen on hold?

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