Dual Citizenship Netherlands

Dutch citizenship is based primarily on the principle of jus sanguinis (right of blood).

The Netherlands is fully part of the European Union. This means that a citizen of the Netherlands is also a citizen of the EU, and can travel and reside freely in any of the member states of the EU.

Dual citizenship is permitted but on a limited basis. See Dutch Dual Citizenship for further information.

Dutch Dual Citizenship

Dual citizenship is allowed in the following limited circumstances:

  • those who obtained dual citizenship at birth;
  • those who acquire Dutch citizenship through the option procedure (see below);
  • those who acquire Dutch citizenship through naturalization who obtain an exemption from the requirement to renounce the prior citizenship (see naturalization);
  • Dutch citizens to naturalize in another country who are exempt from the loss of nationality rule.

Residence Abroad

Dutch citizens may lose their Dutch citizenship through long residence abroad while having more than one citizenship or acquisition or another citizenship.

Before 1985

Before January 1, 1985, Dutch citizens lost their citizenship where they were born outside the Kingdom of the Netherlands, lived for an uninterrupted period of 10 years outside the Kingdom after reaching age 21 and did not submit notification that they wished to retain Dutch citizenship before the 10 year period was up. This was applicable to Dutch citizens born abroad before January 1, 1954.

Between January 1, 1985 and March 31, 2003

Under the 1985 legislation, Dutch citizens born abroad who also held citizenship of the country of birth lost Dutch citizenship if they lived in the country of birth for 10 years after age 18 and were still citizens of the country of birth. However, those who were issued a Dutch passport or proof of Dutch citizenship on or after January 1, 1990 are deemed to never have lost Dutch citizenship (effective February 1, 2001). Former citizens who were not issued a passport or proof of citizenship in 1990 or later were given a short period of time to acquire Dutch citizenship by option (which expired on March 31, 2005).

From April 1, 2003

Since April 1, 2003, Dutch citizens with dual citizenship will lose their Dutch citizenship if they hold a foreign citizenship and reside outside the Kingdom of the Netherlands or the European Union for 10 years.

Dutch citizens who have dual citizenship and reside abroad may keep their Dutch citizenship by having a principal place of residence in the Netherlands or another EU member state for at least a year, or applying for a Dutch passport of proof of Dutch citizenship before April 1, 2013, before the end of the 10 year period. A new 10 year period starts on the day the person is issued with a passport or proof of citizenship.

By Acquisition of Another Citizenship

Those age 18 or over who voluntarily acquired another citizenship before April 1, 2003 automatically lost Dutch citizenship.

From April 1, 2003 onwards, naturalization in another country causes loss of Dutch citizenship unless one of the following exemptions applies:

  • The person is born in the country of the other citizenship and has a principal residence there at the time of acquisition of that nationality;
  • If before turning age 18, the person has had a principal residence in the country of the other nationality for at least 5 years continuously;
  • If the person is married to a person who possesses the citizenship he or she wishes to acquire;
  • These exemptions do not apply to Austrian, Norwegian or Danish citizenship, or to Belgian citizens before April 28, 2008, or to Luxembourgian citizens before July 10, 2009.
Netherlands Dual Citizenship

Citizenship By City-of-birth

CITIZENSHIP BY BIRTH

Those born in the Netherlands, the Dutch Antilles or Aruba to at least one resident foreign national parent is a Dutch citizen if at least one of the parent's parent was born in the Netherlands, the Dutch Antilles or Aruba to a resident foreign national parent.

Those found on Dutch territory whose parents are unknown are considered Dutch by birth if it is not apparent that the child has another citizenship by birth within 5 years.

For those born to a Dutch parent, see citizenship by descent.

 
Citizenship By Descent

CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT

Those born on or after January 1, 1985 to a married Dutch father or mother, or an unmarried Dutch mother automatically acquires citizenship at birth, regardless of the place of birth.

Those born to an unmarried Dutch father and non-Dutch mother must be acknowledged by the father before birth in order to acquire citizenship at birth. Before April 1, 2003, the father could acknowledge the child after birth. Those who are not acknowledged before birth may apply for citizenship through the option procedure or through proof of paternity from a court.

 
Citizenship By Registration

CITIZENSHIP BY OPTION

Citizenship by the "option procedure" is a simplified form of naturalization. Those who possess a Dutch residence permit and meet one of the following categories may apply for citizenship through the option procedure:

  • Those born in the Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao, or Sint Maarten and has lived in any of these places continuously since birth;
  • Those born in the Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao, or Sint Maarten and has lived in any of these places for at least 3 years continuously and who has not acquired the citizenship or any other country (i.e. is stateless);
  • Those who have been legally resident in the Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao, or Sint Maarten since age 4;
  • Those who used to be a Dutch citizen and who has been legally resident in the Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao, or Sint Maarten for at least 1 year and whose residence is not subject to any length restriction;
  • Those who have been married to a Dutch citizen for at least 3 years and who has been legally resident in the Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao, or Sint Maarten for at 15 years continuously;
  • Those age 65 or over who have been legally resident in the Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao, or Sint Maarten for at least 15 years continuously;
  • Those minors who are acknowledged by a Dutch citizen and cared for and brought up by this Dutch citizen for at least 3 years continuously;
  • Those minors who are under the joint custody or a non-Dutch parent and a Dutch citizen as a result of court decision or by law at the time of birth, and who, since this custody, has been cared for and brought up by this Dutch citizen for at least 3 years during which the minor has had the principal place of residence in the Netherlands.

Effective October 1, 2010, latent Dutch persons meeting all of the following requirements may opt to obtain Dutch citizenship:

  • Must be born before January 1, 1985;
  • Mother was a Dutch citizen when the applicant was born;
  • Father was not a Dutch citizen when the applicant was born;
  • Applicant did not obtain Dutch citizenship between January 1, 1985 and December 31, 1987 through the option procedure and then subsequently lose that Dutch citizenship;
  • Applicant has no criminal record.

Those applying for Dutch citizenship through the option procedure are not required by the Netherlands to renounce any foreign citizenship the applicant might hold.

 
Citizenship By Naturalization

CITIZENSHIP BY NATURALIZATION

Those meeting the following requirements may apply for naturalization:

  • Age 18 or over;
  • Must have a permanent resident permit or a valid residence permit with a non-temporary reason of stay;
  • At least 5 years of continuous residence in the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaco, or Sint Maarten with a valid residence permit prior to the application date (residency under a temporary reason of stay counts in the 5 years) (reduced to 3 years if the applicant is stateless or a minor acknowledged by a Dutch national and has been cared for and brought up by this Dutch national for at least 3 years) (reduced to 2 years if the applicant was a former Dutch subject or has legally lived in the Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao, or Sint Maarten for at least 10 years, the last 2 of which was uninterrupted);
  • Integration in Dutch society and able to read, write, speak and understand Dutch
  • In the 4 years preceding the application, the applicant has not been given any custodial sentence, training order, community service order or high monetary penalty;
  • Must take an oath promising adhesion to the values of the Dutch state.

The following categories of people do not have to give up their current citizenship or nationality when applying for naturalization:

  • The original nationality is automatically lost upon Dutch naturalization;
  • The applicant's country does not allow renunciation of nationality;
  • The applicant is married to or the registered partner of a Dutch citizen;
  • Recognized refugees;
  • The applicant is born in the Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao, or Sint Maarten and still living there at the time of application;
  • The applicant has lived in the Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao, or Sint Maarten for at least 5 years or longer continuously before age 18;
  • The applicant cannot be expected to contact the authorities in the country of which they are a national;
  • The applicant has "special and objectively assessable reasons" for not renouncing his existing nationality;
  • In order to give up current nationality, the applicant would have to fulfill military service obligations or pay for such military service instead of fulfilling it;
  • Renunciation would cause "serious financial losses;"
  • Renunciation would require the applicant to pay a large sum of money to the authorities in the home country;
  • These exemptions do not apply for citizens of Austria, Denmark and/or Norway, for Belgian citizens until April 28, 2008, or for Luxembourgian citizens until July 10, 2009.
 
Citizenship By Marriage

CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE

Those married to a Dutch spouse may apply for naturalization after 3 years of marriage or registered partnership and cohabitation, or cohabited in the Netherlands with a Dutch person for an uninterrupted period of 3 years.

 
Citizenship By Adoption

CITIZENSHIP BY ADOPTION

Those adopted after majority in the Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao, or Sint Maarten by at least one Dutch parent may apply for naturalization without having to fulfill the residency requirement.