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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.

Dual nationality

The Netherlands seeks to avoid dual nationalities. Therefore, when you obtain another nationality, your Dutch nationality automatically lapses. It is however possible to obtain another nationality without losing Dutch citizenship when you:

  • are the spouse or registered partner of a non-Dutch national and assume your partner’s nationality
  • were born in the country of your other nationality and live there when you obtain that nationality
  • lived in the country of your other nationality continuously for 5 years before your 18th birthday

Passport expiration

When you have dual citizenship and live outside the EU for 10 consecutive years or longer, you could lose your Dutch nationality if you do not renew your Dutch passport within 10 years of the issue date. The issuance of the new passport should take place within the 10-year term.

No longer Dutch without your knowledge

Because in the above-mentioned cases Dutch nationality expires automatically, you may not always be aware of this loss. We regularly hear stories from (former) Dutch citizens abroad who did not realize they, or their children, lost Dutch citizenship. 

The National Ombudsman has called attention to the issue in his report Verlies Nederlanderschap (in Dutch, 2016). The government responded to the report with a number of measures as part of an amendment to the Dutch Citizenship Act. However, this amendment has been voted down by the Senate in October 2017.

Revocation of Dutch nationality

The Dutch authorities can revoke your Dutch nationality if you:

  • did not do everything in your power to renounce your other nationalities, if you are required to do so
  • committed fraud during the naturalization or option procedure
  • are convicted of a crime against the national safety of the Netherlands
  • engage in (preparation of) an act of terrorism. 

For more information or advice, please contact Hermie de Voer, Bram van Melle, Vera Kidjan, Elles Besselsen or Mirjam den Besten.

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 nederlandwereldwijd.nl 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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UPDATE: Is it possible to obtain Dutch citizenship with a Chavez residence permit?

One year ago we informed you here about the amendment on the Handbook for the Dutch Citizenship Act 2003, which makes naturalization impossible for parents of Dutch children who derive their residence right from Article 20 of the TFEU on the basis of the rulings of the European Court of Justice in the Zambrano and Chavez-Vilchez cases.

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Call for former Dutch citizens

Have you lost your Dutch nationality because you have dual citizenship and lived outside of the Netherlands and the EU for more than ten uninterrupted years without a Dutch passport? You might be able to regain your Dutch nationality.

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