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15

Dutch passport

  • 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.

  • Dual citizenship possible more often than you might think

    Recently our firm has finalized several different cases successfully concerning dual citizenship.

  • 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".

  • How not to lose Dutch nationality

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

    Imagine that you automatically lost your Dutch citizenship after you have been misinformed by the Dutch embassy: it happened to the 29-year-old Jan (not his real name) from South Africa.

    Jan was born in 1991 from a Dutch / South African mother and a South African father and obtained both Dutch and South African citizenship at birth. Jan retained Dutch citizenship as a minor and went - before the ten-year loss period in article 15 paragraph 1 under c of the Dutch Nationality Act 2003* passed - to the embassy to apply for a Dutch passport. He was told that he was not entitled to a Dutch passport and when Jan went to the Consulate General a few years later, he received the same message. However, Jan always remained convinced that he was Dutch and contacted our firm in 2019. Unfortunately, we came to the conclusion that he had lost his Dutch citizenship only three weeks earlier because of the ten-year loss period.

    Proportionality test

    After the Dutch Council of State issued a judgment in the cases Tjebbes ea. (more information can be found here) regarding the automatic loss of Dutch citizenship, we assisted Jan with preparing an application for a Dutch passport which he submitted at a border municipality in the Netherlands. In his application he argued that the loss of his Dutch -and therefore EU- citizenship was disproportionate from the perspective of EU law, because at the time of loss he had concrete plans to settle with his partner in Belgium and was also living there at the moment he filed his passport application. Jan was able to prove -with documentary evidence- that he and his partner wanted to develop professional and/or study activities in Belgium and that the loss of EU-citizenship not only had far-reaching consequences with regard to the exercise of the right to move and reside freely in the EU (because as a South African citizen he had to meet much stricter conditions in order to obtain legal residence in Belgium and to work/study there), but also that this loss was caused by incorrect information provided by the Dutch representations.

    The advice of the IND

    After the municipality had submitted the case to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) for advice on whether or not the loss of Dutch (and therefore EU) citizenship was proportional, the IND came to the conclusion that this loss could not be maintained and that and that article 15 paragraph 1 under c of the of the Dutch Nationality Act 2003 could not be applied, because this provision conflicted with article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The municipality, which adopted the advice of the IND, then immediately issued a positive decision on Jan's passport application.

    Once Dutch, always Dutch

    Jan is Dutch again. In fact, since he never lost his Dutch citizenship, he has always been Dutch! The outcome of his passport application procedure offers hope for former Dutch citizens who automatically lost Dutch citizenship after 1 November 1993 and who can demonstrate with documentary evidence that- at the time of loss- they were disproportionately affected in exercising their rights as EU citizens (see also here).

    If you are in such a situation and you would you like to get assistance with your passport application please contact Mirjam den Besten or Hermie de Voer.

    * this provision reads as follows: 1. a person who is of full age shall lose his or her Netherlands nationality: (..) c. if he or she also has a foreign nationality and, after coming of age and while possessing both nationalities, has his or her principal place of residence for a continuous period of ten years outside the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, and outside the areas to which the Treaty on European Union applies (…)
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Staying Dutch in times of corona

    By Hermie de Voer

    If you are Dutch and you live outside of the Netherlands and outside of the European Union as a dual national, you will need to renew your Dutch passport every 10 years to prevent the loss of your Dutch nationality. The law governing this matter states: 

    Adults will lose Dutch citizenship if they also have a foreign nationality and if they have their main residency outside the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao, and Saint Martin, and outside of the territories to which the Treaty on European Union applies during their adulthood, for an uninterrupted period of ten years...

    The loss of Dutch citizenship after 10 years of residency outside of the EU will not take place, if the dual national applies for a new Dutch passport, a Dutch identity card or a Dutch nationality certificate in time. This is stated in the law as follows:

    The period of ten years will be interrupted by the issuance of a declaration of possession of Dutch citizenship, a travel document or Dutch identity card within the meaning of the Passport Act. From the date of issuance, a new period of ten years commences.

    Since 9 March 2014, the validity of a Dutch passport is 10 years. This means that the period of validity of the passport runs synchronously with the period for loss. Therefore you must  be very careful when exactly you apply to renew your passport in order to avoid losing your Dutch citizenship.

    In plain language we usually say that you have to apply for a new Dutch passport every 10 years. However, if you apply for a renewal the day before your Dutch passport expires, your new Dutch passport would only be issued after the 10-year mark and you would lose your Dutch citizenship. For this reason, I always advise to apply for a new Dutch passport after 9 to 9,5 years so that the new passport will be issued to you within the period of 10 years. The crucial moment here is the date of issuance. You have to ensure that you have a new Dutch passport in your possession within 10 years of the expiry date.

    How do you do that in times of a global corona/covid-19 crisis? When you live abroad, applications for renewal of your Dutch passport must be filed in person at a Dutch diplomatic post. These are closed until 6 April 2020 in any case.

    Scheduling an appointment to apply for a Dutch passport via the digital appointment system does not seem possible, not even for a date after 6 April 2020. The following text appears on the website at various Dutch diplomatic posts on different continents: "No date(s) available for an appointment". It is striking that the Dutch diplomatic posts do not provide uniform information on their websites.

    The website of the Dutch embassy in Canberra, Australia has so far been the most informative. It states that passport or ID card applications are neither being accepted at an embassy or consulate general nor at the passport counter at Schiphol, at least until 6 April 2020. However, it is still possible to apply for a passport or ID via a border municipality in the Netherlands. How this will work in practice is unclear, considering there may be no incoming flights available. 

    In short, it seems that if you, as a Dutch citizen with dual nationality, live outside of the Netherlands and the European Union and your passport expires soon, you will not be able to extend your Dutch passport on time.

    I advise everyone in the current situation of the corona/covid-19 pandemic to apply in writing for a renewal of your Dutch passport, ID card or a Dutch nationality certificate, at the nearest Dutch diplomatic post before your current Dutch passport, ID or declaration expires.

    Make sure you can also prove that you have done this. So, send the application by registered mail or, if possible, by fax with a confirmation that the fax has arrived. This way you can prove that you have applied for a renewal or a declaration within the 10-year period and have thus tried to prevent the loss of your Dutch nationality.

    I cannot guarantee that this will be sufficient to retain your Dutch nationality. What I do know is that you will lose your Dutch nationality if you do not attempt to extend your Dutch passport in time.

    Hermie de Voer