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Obtaining dual nationality in the Netherlands

In certain situations, it’s possible to become a Dutch citizen while retaining the nationality of your home country.

Becoming a Dutch citizen

The naturalisation procedure is the most common approach to apply for Dutch citizenship. This generally requires that you renounce the citizenship of your home country. However, in certain instances such as these, you can continue to be a national of your home country as well as a Dutch citizen:

  • You are married to or in a registered partnership with a Dutch person. This is one of the most straightforward paths to achieving dual nationality. Being married to a Dutch person enables foreign nationals to apply for Dutch citizenship while they are legally residing with them in the Netherlands or another country outside their country of nationality.
  • You were born in the Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao or Sint Maarten and these countries were also your main residence at the moment you file for naturalisation and obtain Dutch nationality. If you have a birth certificate from these countries and proof of them as your main residence (such as registration in the municipal database), you can acquire Dutch citizenship while retaining your original citizenship.
  • You have refugee status. Refugees are permitted to retain the nationality of their original country as well as acquiring Dutch citizenship.

Loopholes in the Dutch Citizenship Act towards dual citizenship

Depending on your individual situation, there may be other factors that can enable you to achieve dual nationality, such as the specific requirements of the renunciation process in your home country.

Option procedure

The alternative to naturalisation, known as the option procedure, is another path to obtaining dual nationality. Several requirements apply in the option procedure as well. Everaert Advocaten Immigration Lawyers can advise on your individual situation.

What’s involved in acquiring Dutch nationality?

The naturalisation procedure has several requirements and can take up to 12 months to be processed. The general requirements for naturalisation include:

  • Applicant must be 18 years of age
  • Has no criminal record
  • Is 100% certain of their identity
  • Has lived in the Netherlands for at least 5 years continuously
  • Currently holds a residence permit for a non-temporary goal (e.g. not a study permit, orientation year permit or au-pair permit) and continues to meet its requirements.
  • Has achieved an integration and language requirement: ‘Inburgeringsdiploma’ based on language exams (level A2) knowledge of Dutch society and labour market orientation or ‘Diploma staatsexamen Nederlands als Tweede Taal I or II’.
  • Attends a naturalisation ceremony and takes a declaration of solidarity declaring acceptance of the laws of the Netherlands. 

Adopting another nationality as a Dutch citizen

If you naturalise and become Dutch, you need to renounce your original nationality. Once you are a Dutch citizen and acquire another nationality, you will automatically lose your Dutch citizenship. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

For example, you are permitted to retain Dutch nationality if you acquire the nationality of the country in which you were born and reside at the time of acquiring that nationality. Similarly, you may retain Dutch nationality if you acquire the nationality of the country where you were born and resided for at least 5 years before reaching the age of 18. Additionally, retaining Dutch nationality is possible if you acquire the nationality of your spouse or registered partner. In these 3 situations you may keep your Dutch nationality.

Ask the experts

Enlisting the assistance of immigration professionals can give you personalised advice on your options. Everaert Advocaten Immigration Lawyers specialise in advising international residents in the Netherlands and have expert knowledge on Dutch immigration regulations. Taking the time to get to know each client, they can offer a tailor-made solution to help you through various immigration and naturalisation procedures, answering any questions you have along the way.