Is Dual Citizenship Allowed in the Netherlands?
Becoming a Dutch citizen has many advantages. The Netherlands is a member of the European Union; therefore, as a Dutch Citizen, you will have the right to reside in any E.U. state, as long as you are exercising your Treaty rights (namely, being employed, self-employed, studying, or being economically self-sufficient). The most common route for expatriates to obtain Dutch citizenship is through naturalisation. However, there is a lot of confusion over whether dual citizenship is allowed in the Netherlands.
The Road to Naturalisation in the Netherlands
To become a Dutch Citizen through naturalisation, you must:
- Be over 18 years.
- Have lived uninterruptedly in the Netherlands for at least five years with a valid residence permit which has been extended on time and is valid during the naturalisation application and process. This rule is subject to exemptions.
- Be sufficiently integrated into Dutch society and can read, write, speak, and understand Dutch. This is proved by presenting a civic integration diploma. You will also need to take a Knowledge of Dutch Society and Orientation on the Dutch Labour Market test (in certain circumstances, you may be exempted from the latter).
- Prove you are not a danger to the public order or national security of the Netherlands.
- Renounce your current nationality. This rule is subject to exemptions (see below).
- Take the declaration of solidarity.
Upon applying for Dutch Citizenship, you will need to sign a declaration stating that you are willing to give up any other citizenship you have.
Note: Your Dutch Citizenship can be revoked up to twelve years after it was granted if you commit a serious crime, engage in an act of terrorism, or are found to have made a fraudulent application to gain Dutch Citizenship.
What are the Exemptions to Renouncing your Current Nationality to Become a Dutch Citizen?
When it comes to the laws governing the renouncing of other nationalities when acquiring Dutch Citizenship, not only Dutch law but the law of the other countries of which you are a national applies. For example, the following countries do not permit a person to renounce their citizenship:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
Note - United States law requires that you must personally appear before a consular officer at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the United States and sign an oath or affirmation that you intend to renounce your U.S. citizenship. And beware – you may still be subject to an expatriation tax despite no longer being a U.S. citizen.
However, if you are legally permitted to give up your other nationalities, you are expected to do so when you become a Dutch citizen.
The exceptions to this rule are as follows:
- “You are married to a Dutch citizen. Or are the registered partner of a Dutch citizen.”
- “You are younger than 18 years.”
- “You have an asylum residence permit.”
- “You are now living in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. And you are born in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. You do not always have to have lived in the Kingdom.”
- “You are a national of a state that is not recognised by the Netherlands. For example, Taiwan or Palestinian territories.”
There are other exemptions; however, the burden is on you to provide proof that can be assessed by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). These additional exemptions are:
- “You will have to pay a large sum of money to the authorities in your country of origin to renounce your nationality.”
- “You will lose certain rights when giving up your nationality. Due to this, you would lose a lot of money. For example, because you cannot inherit from your family anymore.”
- “You have to fulfil (or buy out) your military service before being able to renounce your nationality.”
The Advantages of Being a Dutch Citizen
Besides the fact that the Netherlands is part of the E.U., why would you want Dutch Citizenship? Because it is an amazing country. Packed with culture, history, and a commitment to an outdoor lifestyle, along with a liberal outlook on almost all matters, the Netherlands is a wonderful place to spend the rest of your life. However, what attracts people the most is the high standard of living and work-life balance.
Take home working for example. According to the BBC:
“Thousands of workers in the Netherlands benefit from the country’s astonishingly flexible work culture. While the percentage of employed persons usually working remotely before the coronavirus outbreak lingered at around 4.7% in the U.K., and 3.6% in the U.S., 14.1% of the Netherland’s workforce reports usually working away from the office. The Netherlands has long led the global shift toward remote work, with only Finland catching up in recent years while other countries lag behind.”
The OECD Better Life Index ranks the Netherlands as the country with the best work-life balance. One expat stated:
“I was surprised at how high the quality of life is and by the work-life balance. Having studied and worked in the U.S. and the U.K., where people are under high pressure and put in really long hours, the culture here is much more relaxed. I find it healthier because people have more perspective on other aspects of life outside of work.”
Note – Do not call the Netherlands ‘Holland.’ Holland refers to the two provinces of Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland. The official name of the country is the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Losing Dutch Citizenship
The Netherlands avoids dual nationalities wherever possible. Therefore, you could automatically lose your Dutch nationality if you:
- obtain another nationality voluntarily
- live abroad for ten or more years with dual nationality and fail to renew your Dutch passport on time.
You may be unaware that you have lost your Dutch Citizenship for some time. Reacquiring it is a laborious process at best, impossible at worst. Therefore, it is essential to contact our experienced immigration lawyers as soon as you discover your citizenship has been revoked. They can examine the facts and provide expert advice and representation to help you restore your Dutch nationality.
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