Acquiring Dutch nationality

There are three pathways to acquire Dutch nationality: through naturalization, an option procedure, or by birth to a Dutch parent.

Navigating the Dutch Citizenship Act can be intricate; the process and requirements for obtaining Dutch nationality vary for each individual case. Numerous rules and exceptions must be considered. Our team of nationality desk lawyers specializes in areas such as naturalization, dual nationality, and option procedures. They can provide guidance, assist with Dutch citizenship applications, and represent you in objection appeals or confirmation procedures.

Different rules apply to diplomats, consulate employees, or those working at international organizations (referred to as "privileged").

1. Naturalization

To be eligible for naturalization, you must meet several conditions:

  • Reside in the Netherlands as your main residence for at least five consecutive years with a valid residence permit.
  • Renounce other nationalities, unless it's not feasible.
  • Obtain a civic integration diploma.
  • Possess a valid passport and birth certificate.
  • Have no criminal convictions.
  • Be at least 18 years old.

The five-year naturalization term requires continuous residency in the Netherlands during this period and timely renewal of your residence permit without any gaps. Your residence permit must be for a non-temporary purpose throughout the entire naturalization procedure, which can extend beyond a year.

In certain cases, the naturalization term may be shortened, such as if you're the partner of a Dutch citizen, married or unmarried, or if you've lived in the Netherlands with a valid residence permit for ten years.

2. Dutch citizenship by option

You can also acquire Dutch nationality through the option procedure if you have a special connection to the Netherlands, such as being a former Dutch citizen or a latent Dutch citizen. This process is faster and less expensive than naturalization and typically doesn't require a civic integration exam or renunciation of your current nationality.

3. Dutch citizenship by birth

A child automatically gains Dutch nationality if one of its parents is Dutch, regardless of where the child is born. This also applies if the child is born to a single Dutch mother. If a child is born out of wedlock to a Dutch father and a non-Dutch mother, an assessment is necessary to determine Dutch citizenship eligibility or the process for obtaining a Dutch passport.

Latent Dutch citizens: If you have a Dutch mother but are not a Dutch national, you may qualify as a latent Dutch citizen. This typically applies if you were born before January 1, 1985, to a Dutch mother and a non-Dutch father. You can obtain Dutch citizenship alongside your current nationality through the option procedure.

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