After publishing “Tegemoetkoming Scholieren in the Netherlands: Dutch Judge’s Latest Verdict May Save Your Child Tens of Thousands of Euros in Tuition Fees” on September 8th, 2018, we received a lot of calls and emails asking about the case’s latest developments. We can hereby inform you that the Ministry of Education has not appealed to the Dutch Supreme Court in the six-week appeal period, meaning that the case’s verdict has now become final. In accordance with this final verdict, children of knowledge migrants, EU Blue Card holders, and labor residence permit holders can now save tens of thousands of euro’s in tuition fees in the Netherlands. In this article, we tell you why.

Our case and the benefits of receiving tegemoetkoming scholieren, a summary

On July 1, 2017, the Dutch government revised theWet tegemoetkoming onderwijsbijdrage en schoolkosten (“Law on the reimbursement of educational contribution and school expenses”) by royal decree. The royal decree revoked the right to receive the tegemoetkoming scholieren, a secondary school grant, for children of knowledge migrants, EU Blue Card holders, and labor residence permit holders.

For most families, the tegemoetkoming scholieren means more than simply receiving a subsidy of €1400-2800 per year. When a student starts higher education, they are entitled to Dutch student finance if they have received the tegemoetkoming scholieren in secondary school, in accordance with the Wet tegemoetkoming onderwijsbijdrage en schoolkosten. And when a foreign student receives Dutch student finance, their tuition payment standard is based on the EU tuition fee. This is important because, according to the Wet tegemoetkoming onderwijsbijdrage en schoolkosten, children of knowledge migrants and European Blue Card holders are not eligible for Dutch university grants. Even if the student’s right of abode is an independent residence permit derived from the residence permit of relatives, the Dutch Ministry of Education refuses to grant student finance. The only way to obtain Dutch student finance is thus to first receive the tegemoetkoming scholieren.

If a student then chooses to pursue higher education after graduating secondary school, they will continue to receive student finance. Not receiving a tegemoetkoming scholieren therefore means paying tens of thousands of euros in tuition fees for higher education in the Netherlands.

Our client, hereinafter referred to as Xiao Zhang, is a secondary school student. He applied to the Dutch Ministry of Education for the tegemoetkoming scholieren in May 2017. Xiao Zhang had the right to receive the tegemoetkoming scholieren in accordance with Dutch law at the time. The Dutch Ministry of Education, however, knew about the royal decree starting July 1, 2017, in advance and rejected Xiao Zhang’s application at the end of May 2017. At the beginning of July of the same year, Xiao Zhang entrusted Mynta Law to propose administrative reconsideration to the Ministry of Education. In August 2017, the Dutch Ministry of Education rejected Xiao Zhang’s administrative reconsideration. Xiao Zhang holds an independent residence permit, but the independent residence permit is derived from the residence permit of his relatives. His parents are Chinese knowledge migrants. The Dutch Ministry of Education therefore believed that, according to the royal decree implemented on July 1, 2017, Xiao Zhang has no right to receive a tegemoetkoming scholieren. Xiao Zhang refused to accept the decision and sued the Dutch Ministry of Education. In June 2018, the Dutch court heard the case and in August 2018, the judge ruled in favor of Xiao Zhang.

Implications of the final verdict on receiving tegemoetkoming scholieren

In accordance with this verdict, all secondary school students between the age of 18 and 30 who have an independent residence permit can apply for a tegemoetkoming scholieren at the Dutch Ministry of Education. The verdict has not yet been published in any relevant law-specific journals. In our experience, an application must clearly state the date of the specific verdict, the case number and the relevant verdict paragraph to be accepted. If your child is 18 years old and still attending secondary school, we advise you to contact us and apply for a tegemoetkoming scholieren. The Dutch Ministry of Education is aware of the flaws in the royal decree of July 1, 2017 and it is therefore expected that they will issue a new royal decree soon. Promulgation and revision of the royal decree does not require the approval of both houses of parliament and can be made with the cabinet’s consent and the King’s signature. In general, revising a royal decree takes only 6 to 12 months. Therefore, please be sure to seize this golden opportunity and apply for a tegemoetkoming scholieren for your child before the new royal decree is given.

Has your child not yet obtained an independent residence permit? Have you recently received a rejection letter from the Ministry of Education? Or would you like to apply for a tegemoetkoming scholieren? Please contact Mynta Law.

The legal specialists of Mynta Law help companies and individuals with small and large immigration issues. Whether you want to learn more about business immigration of skilled migrants and entrepreneurs, are a foreign student interested in your extended stay opportunities in the Netherlands, or have a question about migration options for your family, we will answer all your questions quickly and professionally.

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