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Dutch citizenship

  • Podcast: How to become a Dutch citizen

    In this podcast, live since 9 January 2019, our partner and Dutch citizenship expert Hermie de Voer explains different ways to obtain Dutch nationality and dual citizenship. As a little nugget to conclude, there's a Brexit related case!

  • Privileged individuals

    Individuals who come to the Netherlands to work for a diplomatic mission or an international organisation, such as the United Nations have special consideration and are extended privileged residence status.

  • 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.

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

    Door Elles Besselsen

    On 20 May 2020, the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State ruled that, even in the case of automatic loss of Dutch citizenship by acquisition of another nationality, it must be examined whether the consequences in the individual case are not disproportionate. The current Dutch Citizenship Act (Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap, RWN) does not require such a proportionality test.

    A Dutch national who voluntarily acquires another nationality automatically loses their Dutch citizenship. There are only three exceptions to this rule. Dutch citizenship will not be lost, if:

    1. the Dutch national was born in the country of the other nationality and has their main residence there at the time of acquiring the other nationality;
    2. the Dutch national had their main residence in the country of the other nationality before reaching the age of 18 for an uninterrupted period of at least five years; or
    3. the Dutch national is married to a person of the other nationality.

    In an earlier case, the Council of State ruled that Dutch citizens with dual nationality who lost their Dutch citizenship after having resided abroad for ten years could regain their Dutch citizenship with retroactive effect, if the consequences of the loss were disproportionate from an EU-law perspective. This concerns concrete and foreseeable consequences at the moment of loss.

    This now also applies to those who have automatically lost their Dutch citizenship by acquiring another non-EU nationality.

    The proportionality test in practice

    The proportionality test can take place in the case of a passport application or in the case of a request to establish Dutch citizenship by a Dutch court. The proportionality of the loss of Dutch citizenship will not be examined, if the person concerned has another EU nationality. After all, in such a case there has not been a loss of EU citizenship and the associated EU rights.
    The IND will assess whether the loss of Dutch citizenship has disproportionate consequences in relation to the exercise of the rights that EU citizenship brings with it, such as free movement and residence in another EU Member State, the possibility to work or study in the EU, the enjoyment of diplomatic and consular protection, and the exercise of family life and the protection of the best interests of the child.
    The person concerned must substantiate the disproportionate consequences of the loss of their Dutch citizenship with as many documents as possible. The following evidentiary documents are particularly relevant:

    • job offer or contract proposal;
    • employment contracts;
    • salary slips;
    • registration in a Chamber of Commerce;
    • tax returns;
    • proof of enrolment in or admission to a school or university;
    • proofs of ownership of real estate (deed);
    • receipts for travel tickets and other travel documents
    • visa’s and entry and exit stamps in passports;
    • written statements by family members and acquaintances;
    • extract from a civil registry;
    • birth certificate;
    • marriage certificate and civil union certificate; and
    • proof of family relationship(s) and legal residence of the family member in an EU Member State.

    If it is concluded that the loss of EU citizenship has disproportionate consequences, the applicant will regain Dutch citizenship with retroactive effect. If this is not concluded, the loss of Dutch citizenship is maintained. An objection can be lodged against this decision.

    Have you lost Dutch citizenship due to long-term residence abroad or by acquiring another nationality and are you of the opinion that the loss has disproportionate consequences for you? If so, please contact Elles Besselsen for advice.


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Thomas van Houwelingen on national radio

    Thomas van Houwelingen commented in live national radio broadcast "EenVandaag" on the issues Dutch nationals abroad experience when their passport expires.

  • 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.

  • 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.