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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.  

1 - Naturalization

The following conditions apply to naturalization:

  • main residency in the Netherlands for a minimum of 5 consecutive years, with a valid residence permit
  • renunciation of other nationalities, unless this is not possible
  • civic integration diploma
  • a valid passport
  • a valid birth certificate
  • no criminal convictions
  • at least 18 years of age

Naturalization term and residence permit

The 5-year naturalization term entails that you had your main residency in the Netherlands at any moment during the 5-year period. It also means you have always renewed your residence permit on time, so there are no gaps in between permits.
Your residence permit must be for a non-temporary purpose at the time of your naturalization application. It must remain valid throughout the whole procedure (this can be more than a year).

Shorter naturalization term

In certain cases, the naturalization term is reduced. The following situations may apply:

  • Are you the partner of a Dutch citizen, married or unmarried? You may apply for naturalization after 3 years of living together in the Netherlands, continuously and legally
  • Are you married or have a registered partnership with a Dutch national? You may apply for naturalization after 3 years of living together continuously, in the Netherlands or abroad. In this case, you can choose to apply from abroad, as long as this is not the country of your nationality.
  • Have you lived in the Netherlands for 10 years with a valid residence permit? You may apply for naturalization after 2 years of continuous residence.
  • Are you officially stateless? You may apply for naturalization after 3 years of residence in the Netherlands



2 - Dutch citizenship by option

Dutch nationality can also be acquired through the option procedure. You may be eligible for this procedure if you have a ‘special connection’ to the Netherlands, for instance if you are:

  • a former Dutch citizen, living in the Netherlands for at least 1 year with a valid residence permit of indefinite stay, or definite stay but with a non-temporary purpose
  • a latent Dutch citizen*

The option procedure is faster and less expensive than naturalization. A civic integration exam is not required and in most cases, you do not need to renounce your current nationality.

3 - Dutch citizenship by birth

A child obtains Dutch nationality by birth if one of its parents is Dutch, no matter where it is born. This birthright also applies when a child is born from a single Dutch mother.
If a child is born out of wedlock from a Dutch father and a non-Dutch mother, assessment is needed to determine whether the child has Dutch citizenship or how it could obtain a Dutch passport.

Latent Dutch citizens

You have a Dutch mother, but you are not a Dutch national. This may very well be the case if you were born before 1 January 1985 from a Dutch mother and a non-Dutch father. This means you are a so-called latent Dutch. To obtain Dutch citizenship next to your current nationality you may use the option procedure.

Everaert Advocaten Immigration Lawyers was a founding father of the ‘Latent-Dutch Regulation’. We can tell you all about it and of course, we will be happy to assist you in any procedure becoming a Dutch national!

For more information, please contact Hermie de Voer, Bram van Melle, Vera KidjanElles Besselsen or Mirjam den Besten


Dutch naturalization impossible without documents

The topic of this headline received renewed attention from the public and politicians in recent weeks, since Ethiopian born, but Dutch raised, Yosef Tekeste-Yamane made his appearance in the media. 

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Option and Naturalization Fees 2021

Application fees for Dutch citizenship requests, by naturalization or option, are revised annually. As of 1 January 2021, the IND charges the following amounts:

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Once Dutch, always Dutch: a successful ‘Tjebbes-case’

Recently, it was decided that one of our clients, who was presumed to have lost Dutch citizenship in 2019 and had concrete plans to settle in Belgium at the moment of loss, has retained Dutch citizenship and has therefore always been Dutch.

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Dual nationality for Dutch citizens in the UK: a realistic option?

On June 30, 2020, the Dutch Senate agreed with a legislative proposal to introduce temporary amendments to the Dutch Nationality Act in order to expand the possibilities of Dutch citizens in the UK to obtain dual (Dutch/UK) nationality.

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Online tool loss of Dutch nationality and application proportionality test

The website offers an online tool that you can use to find out whether you (might) have lost your Dutch citizenship and if so, how you can have checked whether you are disproportionately violated in exercising your rights as an EU-citizen due to the loss of your Dutch nationality.

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Hermie de Voer on NPO Radio on 'pardon' permit holders

On May 31st, 2020, Hermie de Voer was interviewed in the NPO Reporter Radio 1 program "Naturalisation impossible, in spite of 13 years of legal stay".

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Proportionality test in the event of loss of Dutch citizenship due to acquisition of another nationality

On 20 May 2020, the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State determined that the consequences of the automatic loss of Dutch citizenship due to the acquisition of another nationality must also be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

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