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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


Option and Naturalization Fees 2020

From 1 January 2020 new government fees will be applicable.

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Obtaining dual nationality

As a result of our partnership with IN Amsterdam (formerly known as the Amsterdam expat center), we recently published an article about obtaining dual nationality on the I Amsterdam Living portal. A subsection of the official Amsterdam municipality website, this English-language portal offers all kinds of practical information for expats.

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Podcast: Hermie de Voer on Dutch citizenship

Nationality law expert Hermie de Voer spoke to Eelco Keij of SNBN (Dutch Outside The Netherlands Foundation) in the first podcast of a new series. 

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Dual nationality, privilege or choice?

Dual nationality gets a fair bit of media attention lately. In recent news several Moroccan-Dutch citizens asked political support for their right to renounce their Moroccan nationality. At the same time a majority of the House of Representatives proposed a Brexit-emergency law that will allow Dutch citizens in the UK to keep their Dutch nationality in case they obtain the British nationality. How does that work?

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Changes in civic integration exam for naturalization from abroad

From July 1st 2019, the Dutch regulations concerning the naturalization exam from abroad have changed. These changes affect those who want to apply for Dutch citizenship from abroad and are planning to take the civic integration exam for naturalization at the Dutch consulate or embassy in their country of residence.

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Seminar on nationality law

On September 10th, 2019,  a seminar on nationality law will be held in Antwerp, organized by the Migration law Foundation Netherlands (SMN) and the Specialist Association of Migration Lawyers (SVMA), in a collaboration with Everaert Advocaten. 

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Judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU in Tjebbes case

The judgment of the European Court of Justice in the case Tjebbes and Others/ Minister for Foreign Affairs concerning automatic loss of Dutch citizenship has been published.

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