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Internet consultation on the bill to ‘modernise’ the Netherlands Nationality Act [Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap]

On 13 March 2023 a consultation was started regarding the bill to amend the Netherlands Nationality Act (RWN). The consultation is ending on 15 May 2023. Anyone may and can respond to the bill until that date.

The bill introduces an option procedure for former Dutch nationals who had dual nationality but lost their Dutch citizenship after 1 April 2003 due to the ten-year loss period. This option right can be invoked abroad until two years after the bill has come into effect. Applicants do not need to relinquish their other nationality/nationalities. Former Dutch nationals who lost their Dutch nationality because they have obtained another nationality and former Dutch nationals who lost their Dutch nationality before 1 April 2003 are excluded from this option procedure.

At the same time the bill introduces an obligation to relinquish other nationality/nationalities for former Dutch citizens who want to make use of another option procedure. This concerns former Dutch nationals who acquired Dutch citizenship through naturalisation, then relinquished their Dutch nationality themselves and consequently submit an option request to regain Dutch nationality (previously with retention of their own nationality). It is, therefore, becoming more difficult- if not impossible- for (mainly) expats in the Netherlands to acquire dual nationality.

On 13 April 2023 Everaert Advocaten submitted a critical response to the bill because it does not do justice to the promise in the Coalition Agreement to modernise Dutch nationality law. You can find our response here (in Dutch).

As soon as there is any news on the bill, you will be able to read it here.


12 June 2023: 

The Migration Advisory Council has issued its opinion on the bill to amend the RWN to amend the scheme for legal loss due to long-term residence outside the territory of the Kingdom and the European Union. The Advisory Council makes a few recommendations, including:

  • Reconsider the retention of the loss by operation of law of Dutch nationality after long-term residence outside the Kingdom and the EU
  • Review the right of option by providing that an application to regain Dutch citizenship must be filed within three months after the person concerned receives notification of the loss of Dutch citizenship from the Dutch government
  • Provide that the right of option is open if the loss occurred by operation of law before this law entered into force
  • Justify the necessity and proportionality of introducing the renunciation requirement for option after Dutch citizenship has been obtained through naturalization and then voluntarily renounced, and take into account the fact that many exceptions to the renunciation requirement are already distinguished in regulations.

 The full overview of recommendations can be found here (in Dutch).

If you have any questions regarding the bill, dual nationality, or your Dutch citizenship position, please contact Hermie de Voer or Mirjam den Besten.

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