Dutch citizenship


Obtaining Dutch citizenship

For those who are not born as a Dutch national, there are two ways to obtain Dutch citizenship: through naturalization and the option procedure.

Dutch citizenship by naturalization

Naturalization is a way of gaining Dutch citizenship if you have resided in the Netherlands for an uninterrupted period of five years and have passed the civic integration exam you may qualify for Dutch citizenship. There are exceptions to the five years requirement, for example for those who have been married to a Dutch national for at least three years.

In principle, Dutch law aims to prevent dual citizenship. Hence, one of the requirements is that you renounce your original nationality after becoming a Dutch citizen. However, if your country of origin does not allow you to give up your nationality or if you are married to or in a registered partnership with a Dutch national, you do not need to give up your other nationality.

Dutch citizenship by option procedure

The option procedure is available to people who already have ties with the Netherlands that go beyond residing in the Netherlands. For example, people who were born as a Dutch national and lost it over time due to dual citizenship, those who were born in the Netherlands and have resided here ever since, adults who have resided in the Netherlands since they were 4 years old and spouses of Dutch citizens who have resided in the Netherlands for at least 15 years.

The option procedure is faster than the naturalization procedure and you do not need to pass the civic integration exam and in most cases renounce your other nationality.

Proposed changes to Dutch citizenship law

The Dutch government has proposed a change to the Dutch Citizenship Act. If this proposal is accepted, the naturalization term will be changed from five years to seven years. Spouses will also no longer be able to apply for Dutch citizenship while residing abroad.

The bill has been passed by Dutch parliament, but the Dutch Senate has not approved it yet and the proposal has therefore not taken effect yet.

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