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Antwerp considers fast-track registration – for a price
The city of Antwerp is considering the creation of a ‘fast-track’ registration system for foreigners who pay more. "We are aiming the scheme in particular at foreigners who work," deputy mayor Liesbeth Homans, of the N-VA party, told De Morgen. Antwerp city council decided back in February to impose a one-off payment of €250 to any foreigner wishing to register at the local town hall. The decision was subsequently suspended by the governor of Antwerp province, Cathy Berx, because it contravened a law of 1968. "This is a sensitive issue but I now want to put forward alternative sysems. We have little money and need to generate revenue," said Homans. She compared the fast-track registration for foreigners to the emergency procedure already in place for the issue of passports. "It's the same principle - although I must admit that this fast-track registration procedure would be specifically aimed at foreigners who [contribute] actively to the city, such as those who work for BASF or Bayer. Who could oppose such a scheme?" The cost of the fast-track procedure is not yet known; Homans, however, thinks it shouldn’t be more expensive than the emergency passport scheme, which currently costs €277.50.