Longer period of residence

Until now, a non-Dutch citizen needed to have been a legal resident in the Netherlands for at least five years before being eligible to apply for naturalisation. As of the above date, that period has been extended to seven years. However, there will be a transitional rule: people that have been legally resident in the Netherlands for three years at the point the changes come into effect can still apply for Dutch citizenship after five years of legal residence. 

Spouses living abroad

The other important change concerns spouses or civil partners of Dutch citizens. Previously, they could apply for naturalisation after three years of marriage or civil partnership, regardless of whether they had lived in the Netherlands in this period or not. With the implementation of the changes to the law, they need to have lived in the Netherlands for the entire three years. The same rule already applies to those living with their partner without being married or in a civil partnership.