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Proposal for dual citizenship bill

On October 24, 2023, a draft legislative proposal amending the Dutch Citizenship Act (RWN) was published. The accompanying Explanatory Memorandum can be found here. An earlier version of this bill was released in 2016. The Advisory Division of the Council of State issued an advisory opinion in February 2017. In October 2023, the initiators came up with an amended bill.

The main changes to the current RWN are as follows:

  • no renunciation of original nationality/nationalities when acquiring Dutch citizenship;
  • no loss of Dutch citizenship upon voluntary acquisition of another nationality;
  • no loss of Dutch citizenship upon long-term residency outside the territory of the European Union.

In addition to the above, a new option right is being introduced. With this new option right, former Dutch citizens who lost their Dutch citizenship on or after April 1, 2003, can regain it in their country of legal residence through filing a request with the Dutch representative in that country. However, people who lost their Dutch citizenship before April 1, 2003, are excluded from this new option right. For this group, the requirement of at least one year of legal and main residency in the Netherlands remains.

If passed, the new bill would be a major modernization of Dutch nationality law. It would become a lot easier for Dutch citizens abroad to obtain and keep dual citizenship, and for future Dutch citizens to keep their original nationality and become dual nationals. At present it is unknown when the bill will be debated.

If you have any questions about the bill, dual nationality or your Dutch nationality status, please contact us.

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