On 18 November 2022, the State Secretary of Justice and Security (hereafter: state secretary) answered questions of the House of Representatives concerning a possible modernisation of the Dutch Nationality Act.
What does the coalition agreement say?
It follows from the coalition agreement that the Dutch Nationality Act sometimes causes ‘unwanted problems’. In particular, in cases where people with multiple nationalities automatically lose their Dutch citizenship, because they stayed outside of EU territory for more than 13 (previously 10) years. To resolve this problem, the government wants to make it easier for people with multiple nationalities to keep the Dutch citizenship - or if they already lost it after 1 April 2003- to regain it.
What is the response of the state secretary?
The state secretary confirmed in his answers to the questions of the House of Representatives that a bill is currently being drafted to change two sections of the Dutch Nationality Act. Firstly, the automatic loss of Dutch citizenship due to a 13 (previously 10) year stay outside of the EU will be revised. This means that the current article 15 paragraph 1, heading and under c of the Dutch Nationality Act will be adjusted. Secondly, a new option procedure will be implemented which will make it easier to regain the Dutch citizenship for people who have lost it after 1 April 2003 based on article 15, paragraph 1, heading and under c of the Dutch Nationality Act.
The state secretary aims to bring the draft bill into (internet)consultation in the first quarter of 2023.
What the new option procedure will entail exactly and who could rely on it, has yet to be seen.