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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.

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