To apply for naturalisation you have to have lived in the Kingdom of the Netherlands with a valid residence permit for a minimum of 5 years continuously. But in some cases you can apply earlier. You will read here when this is possible.
In these situations you do not have to live in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to apply for naturalisation:
You are married to or are the registered partner of a Dutch citizen. And you are already living together for a minimum of 3 years. You will continue living together during the whole naturalisation procedure.
Do you live in the Kingdom of the Netherlands? Then you do not have to be married or registered partners for the whole 3 years. You should, however, have lived together in the Kingdom of the Netherlands for a minimum of 3 years.
Do you live outside the Kingdom of the Netherlands? Then you should have been living together as married or registered partners for a minimum of 3 years. The years that you lived together as unmarried partners do not count.
You have had Dutch nationality and you have lost it. In some cases you can regain Dutch nationality through option.
You were, after coming of age, adopted in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. And 1 or both of your adoption parents have Dutch nationality.
Do you live in the country of which you have the nationality? Then you cannot apply for naturalisation. For example: you are American and you live in the United States of America. You cannot apply for naturalisation in the United States.
Do you live in the Netherlands? Then, naturally, you may also apply for naturalisation when one of these situations apply to you.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of The Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. And 3 special municipalities: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba.
You are an adult when you are 18 years or older. Or from the moment that you have married even if this was before you were 18 years old.