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There are 3 ways to obtain Dutch nationality: through naturalization, through an option procedure or through birth from a Dutch father or mother.

The Dutch Citizenship Act is complicated; whether and how you may acquire Dutch nationality is different in each individual case. Many rules and exceptions must be taken into account. Our nationality desk lawyers are experts in matters like naturalization, dual nationality and option procedures. They can advise you, assist with the application for Dutch citizenship or represent you during an objection appeal or confirmation procedure.

To diplomats, employees at a consulate or at an international organization (summarized as the privileged) other rules apply.  

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Loss of Dutch citizenship can occur automatically and in certain situations, you may not be immediately aware of it. Dutch citizenship can also be revoked.

Automatic loss of Dutch nationality may occur if you:

  • obtain another nationality voluntarily
  • live abroad for 10 years or longer with dual nationality and fail to timely renew your Dutch passport (e.g. within 10 years of the date of issuance of your last passport)

We urge you to contact one of our expert nationality lawyers for advice if this happened to you. Recovering Dutch nationality is a laborious process at best; in some cases, it may be impossible.

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Dutch law incompatible with EU law?

Minors, who possess dual nationality and live outside the EU for a substantial amount of time, may lose their Dutch nationality automatically when their parents fail to renew their Dutch passports on time.

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Successful dual citizenship case

The likelihood of obtaining dual citizenship in the Netherlands seems to be improving. If you can prove that by renouncing your original nationality you will suffer a substantial financial loss, in some cases you can keep your other passport.

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Volkskrant article: Dutch expatriates let down by Foreign Ministry

Dutch national newspaper de Volkskrant published an article where Hermie de Voer and Thomas van Houwelingen plead for better information and education by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Dutch expatriates who are due to renew their passport abroad. 

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Term for public order objections in naturalization and option procedure from 4 to 5 years

With effect from 1 May 2018, Dutch citizenship can only be obtained if in the 5 years immediately prior to the filing of a naturalization request or an option statement - or the decision thereon- there has been no criminal offense, the sanctioning of a crime or the enforcement of such a sanction. This term is currently 4 years.

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The Netherlands celebrates Naturalization Day

Every year on 15 December, the Netherlands celebrates Naturalization Day. On this special day during a festive ceremony, foreign nationals who naturalize as Dutch citizens receive an official certificate (naturalization decision) from the municipality . The certificate is proof that they have become Dutch citizens.

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Senate strikes down proposal to extend naturalization period to 7 years

On 3 October 2017, the Senate of the Dutch Parliament struck down the legislative proposal amending the Dutch Citizenship Act.

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Recommendations Ombudsman around documentary evidence for naturalization

The National Ombudsman and the Ombudsman for Children have published a report on 'lack of documentary evidence' in naturalization procedures of Ranov permit holders, the so-called 'pardonners'.

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