How to Obtain Dutch Nationality

Updated on Wednesday 28th June 2017

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Foreigners living in the Netherlands can obtain Dutch nationality through naturalization or through the option procedure (only available for certain categories of persons). Both options require that the individual meets a number of criteria and unless a special exception applies, he or she must renounce his current nationality.

Individuals who want to become Dutch citizens can talk to one of our experts in immigration in the Netherlands who can explain the requirements and costs for both types of procedures, equally well as a Dutch immigration lawyer.

We invite you to watch a video about obtaining Dutch citizenship and what the procedure implies: 
 

The naturalization procedure for obtaining Dutch citizenship


The naturalization procedure is available for all individuals who have been living, working or studying in the Netherlands for a certain period of time, as well as for those entrepreneurs who have been living in the country and managing their Dutch-based company. The following requirements apply for those who want to obtain Dutch citizenship through the naturalization procedure:

-    be aged 18 or over and having lived legally in the Netherlands or one of its constituent countries uninterruptedly for 5 years;
-    have a valid permanent residence permit (that will still be valid for the duration of the procedure);
-    being able to read, speak and understand Dutch and having passed the Civic Integration Examination;
-    no criminal sentences or large fines received in the past four years;
-    the desire to renounce the previous nationality;
-    attend the citizenship ceremony.

An exception applies if the applicant has married a Dutch citizen and have lived together uninterruptedly for a period of three years. This can also apply if the applicant is unmarried to his/her Dutch partner but have been living together uninterruptedly for the last three years.

The most important documents needed to submit the application for the option procedure include a valid residence permit and ID as well as a birth certificate. An immigration lawyer in the Netherlands can give you more information about the application procedure and the costs needed for the naturalization procedure.
 

The option procedure for becoming a Dutch citizen


The option procedure is a simpler method of acquiring Dutch nationality, only available for certain categories of individuals. In order to be eligible for this procedure, one must meet one of the following requirements:

-    be aged 18 or over and having lived in the Netherlands or one of its constituent states since birth, with no interruption;
-    born in the Netherlands and lived here uninterruptedly for at least three years and were stateless since birth;
-    aged 18 or over and legally lived in the Netherlands since the age of 4 (and willing to renounce the current nationality);
-    aged 18 or over and a former Dutch citizen who has been living in the country for at least one year with a valid residence certificate;
-    married to a Dutch citizen for at least three years and have legally lived in the Netherlands uninterruptedly for at least 15 years;

The option citizenship procedure is also available to certain individuals who have been married or adopted in the Netherlands before January 1985 and in special cases concerning minors. A Dutch immigration lawyer can give you more information about these eligibility criteria and the application procedure and its costs.

If you want to immigrate to the Netherlands and need more information about the types of permits and licenses you can apply for please contact one of our Dutch immigration specialists.

 

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