In 2015, I moved from Syria to The Netherlands as a refugee due to war and circumstances that came with it. I was looking forward to moving on with my life and trying my best to not look back.
When I arrived to The Netherlands, I was told that the government would give me a 10,000 euro “loan” to take language courses and to pay for necessary exams to earn a language diploma good enough for me to apply for citizenship once I’ve lived here for 5 years. The loan wasn’t real money, it was a piece of paper indicating that I could use a certain amount of money for language courses, and upon signing up to one, it would be taken off my “language course wallet”. The condition that came with the loan that I was given was that if I were to pass all my required language courses and integration test to become a citizen within 5 years, I would be free of the loan and wouldn’t have to pay it back. The 5 year rule could be extended for 2 more years if I pay a 250 euro fee by the end of the 5 year period.
I managed to pass all of the language courses required, a year before the end of the 5 year period, however, the integration test required me to fill in paperwork correctly beforehand, and have them check my work before I could get an interview with them which would determine my readiness for the job market in The Netherlands. After having sent the needed form back and forth. I was too late for the 5 year period, at which point I was fined with the 250.
At the time, I didn’t have enough to pay the 250 fee, so I called them, and was told there were ways I could decrease the fee. Nonetheless, I couldn’t get it to lower, or pay it back in time, which means that instead of a 2 year extension on the time period, I got a letter informing me that I have to pay back most of the money that was loaned to me, which would be 9923 euros.
Since I don’t have that kind of money, I have to now pay them 82 euros a month for 10 years, but being a 2nd year university student, along with helping support my family, it is quite difficult for me to manage.
Therefore, I hereby politely ask of you for support in paying off my debt to the government, I’ve tried contacting them and asking to pay the 250 instead, since I passed the last requirement shortly after the deadline of the first 5 years.
Thanks in advance for any amount of help that I get from this.