Preparatory education and the possibility to excuse a student

At the time of writing, Article 6.6 of the Code of Conduct for Higher Education and Section B3.4 of the Aliens Act Implementation Guidelines provide limited scope for excusing students in preparatory education. The foregoing is at odds with Directive (EU)2016/801 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, training, voluntary service, pupil exchange schemes or educational projects and au pairing

Article 21(7) of the Directive states that any decision to withdraw a residence permit must take account of the specific circumstances of the case and the principle of proportionality must be respected. This means that a student should not be deregistered from the IND solely for the reason that the student did not complete their preparatory education within one year. The Directive provides that account should be taken of the specific situation of the student. The recognized sponsor should assess whether there are personal circumstances based on which the student might be excused and they will not be deregistered from the IND.

The above means that the wording of the Code of Conduct should be amended to allow for a student in preparatory education to be excused. This amendment will be implemented simultaneously with the adjustment which follows from the review of the language table, which is expected as of 1 January 2024. The Ministry of Justice and Security has also pledged to amend the relevant section in the Aliens Act Implementation Guidelines.

But what does this mean for current students in preparatory education? It has been agreed with the Ministry of Justice and Security and the IND that, in line with the EU Directive on researchers and students, the possibility to excuse current students (academic year 2022-2023) shall apply where necessary in the light of a student’s personal circumstances. If you have any questions and/or comments regarding the above, you can contact the policy adviser responsible in your umbrella organization. If your educational institution is not represented by an umbrella organization, you can email your questions to the NC office.