• Home
  • Return to the Netherlands and former Dutch citizens

Return to the Netherlands and former Dutch citizens

You are a former Dutch citizen or lived in the Netherlands before. You now want to return to the Netherlands. You do not have Dutch nationality. To live in the Netherlands you need a residence permit. What are the conditions? And how can you apply?

Other conditions apply to persons with the nationality of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland and their family members.

Conditions

There are certain conditions that apply to everyone. In addition to these conditions, you can get a residence permit when you meet the conditions of one of the following categories:

You were born and bred in the Netherlands. You have later lost your Dutch nationality

  • You lived in the Netherlands as a Dutch citizen.
  • You have at least finished primary school in the Netherlands.

Do you not have a valid travel document? Your application will not be rejected if you do not have a valid travel document.

You submit an application for a residence permit humanitarian non temporary.

You are born abroad as a Dutch citizen. You have later lost your Dutch nationality.

  • You are 18 years of age or older.
  • You live in a country other than the country you have the nationality of.
  • You have special ties with the Netherlands. You can have special ties with the Netherlands based on, for example, work, education or upbringing. For example, one or more of the following special ties:
    • you completed primary education (or half thereof) in the Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten or the Caribbean Netherlands;
    • you followed a training course that - more than usual at the time - focused on the Netherlands; or
    • you worked as a civil servant employed by the Netherlands.
  • You have passed the civic integration examination abroad or you are exempt from taking this examination.

You submit an application for a residence permit humanitarian non temporary.

Your Dutch nationality was revoked, because after your naturalisation, you did not do everything possible to renounce your original nationality.

  • You did not go and live outside the Netherlands.
  • You submit the application within 2 years after notification of the decision revoking your Dutch nationality.

You submit an application for a residence permit humanitarian non temporary.

You made a declaration of renunciation of your Dutch nationality, because after your naturalisation, you did not do or did not want to do everything possible to renounce your original nationality.

  • At the time when you were granted Dutch nationality, you had lived in the Netherlands with a valid residence permit for at least 3 consecutive years.
  • You did not go and live outside the Netherlands.
  • You submit the application within 2 years after having made the declaration of renunciation.

You submit an application for a residence permit humanitarian non temporary.

You lived in the Netherlands as a minor. You are still a minor.

  • You are younger than 18 years of age; and
  • You have arranged your reception and legal representation in the Netherlands; and
  • You lived in the Netherlands for at least 10 years with a valid residence permit or you were a Dutch citizen at the time; or
  • Before this application, you stayed in the Netherlands for 5 years with a valid residence permit or you were a Dutch citizen at the time. The Netherlands is the most suitable country for you to live in. This will be assessed by the Minister. The following will be assessed:
    • Your reason for returning to the Netherlands.
    • The time you lived in the Netherlands and in the country or origin.
    • The education you received in the Netherlands and abroad.
    • The work experience you gained in the Netherlands and abroad.
    • Your knowledge of the Dutch language.
    • Family members staying in the Netherlands.
    • Previous attempts to return to the Netherlands.

You submit an application for a residence permit humanitarian non temporary.

You lived in the Netherlands as a minor. You are an adult now.

  • You are 18 years of age or older.
  • Before you turned 18 years of age, you lived in the Netherlands with a valid residence permit for at least 5 consecutive years.
  • The Netherlands is the most suitable country for you to live in. This will be assessed by the Minister. The following will be assessed:
    • Your reason for returning to the Netherlands
    • The time you lived in the Netherlands and in the country or origin
    • The education you received in the Netherlands and abroad
    • The work experience you gained in the Netherlands and abroad
    • Your knowledge of the Dutch language
    • Family members staying in the Netherlands
    • Previous attempts to return to the Netherlands.
  • You have passed the civic integration examination abroad or you are exempt from taking this examination.

Or

  • You are 18 years of age or older.
  • You submit the application before you turn 28.
  • Before you turned 18 years of age, you lived in the Netherlands with a valid residence permit for at least 10 years.
  • You have passed the civic integration examination abroad or you are exempt from taking this examination.

You submit an application for a permanent residence permit.

You left the Netherlands under the Repatriation Act. You make use of Article 8 of the Repatriation Act in order to return to the Netherlands.

  • One of the following situations applies to you:
    • A returning emigrant;
    • The partner of a returning emigrant and you left the Netherlands together with your partner. Before your departure, you lived in the Netherlands with a valid residence permit or as a Dutch citizen for at least 3 years;
    • You are the child of a returning emigrant. You lived with your parent(s) in the Netherlands as a minor child. You submit the application together with your parent(s);
    • You are the child of a returning emigrant. You lived with your parents in the Netherlands as a minor child. You turned 18 years of age or older within 1 year after your departure and want to return to the Netherlands voluntarily.
  • You return to the Netherlands within 1 year after departure or you submit the application within 1 year after departure.
  • You have not made use of the return option under the Repatriation Act before.
  • You have passed the civic integration examination abroad or you are exempt from taking this examination.

You submit an application for a residence permit humanitarian non temporary.

You filed an application for determination of Dutch citizenship with the District Court of The Hague. You filed the application under Article 17 of the Netherlands Nationality Act.

  • Your application shows that there is a good chance that the court will rule that you are a Dutch citizen.
  • The IND has decided that, pending the decision on the application for determination of Dutch citizenship, you will not be removed from the Netherlands as a foreign national.
  • You did not go and live outside the Netherlands.

You submit an application for a residence permit humanitarian temporary.

Other conditions may apply for Turkish nationals and their family members.

Costs

This application costs € 1057.

  • Do you submit an application under Article 8 of the Repatriation Act? You do not pay fees for the application.

Checklist for documents

The application form lists the documents that you have to enclose with the application.

You have to have official foreign documents legalised and translated into Dutch, English, French or German.

 

After the application

Collect your residence permit

The IND aims to have your residence permit ready within 2 weeks following your arrival in the Netherlands. The IND will send you a letter indicating when you can collect your residence permit. For this, you have to make an appointment online at the IND desk stated in the letter. Keep in mind that it is not always possible to visit an IND desk at short notice. Therefore, please schedule an appointment in time.

Check to see if the information on your residence permit is correct while you are still at the IND desk. If something is incorrect, please inform the IND staff member at once.

Registration with the municipality

Upon arrival in the Netherlands, you must register in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP)  in the municipality you are going to live.

To register with the municipality you need a legalised and translated  birth certificate. Take this therefore with you when you travel to the Netherlands.

Please contact your municipality in advance to check which (legalised and translated) documents/ certificates you need to take with you.

Civic integration in the Netherlands

If you are subject to the integration requirement, you will receive a letter from the Education Executive Agency (DUO) stating that you must integrate in the Netherlands.

Validity residence permit

The residence permit granted on non-temporary humanitarian grounds is valid for 5 years.

The residence permit pending an application under Article 17 of the Netherlands Nationality Act is valid for 1 year or shorter if the court decides on the application earlier.

Right to work

The back of your residence permit shows if you are allowed to work. You are free to work in the Netherlands if you have a residence permit granted on temporary humanitarian grounds or non-temporary humanitarian grounds. Your residence permit states 'arbeid vrij toegestaan, TWV niet vereist' (work freely permitted, no work permit required).

Legal obligations

​There are a number of legal obligations that apply to you.

The IND monitors your compliance with these legal obligations. Failure to meet these legal obligations may have consequences.

Further applications (extend or change) / return visa

Replace residence permit

Is your residence permit damaged, lost or stolen? In that case, have the residence permit replaced.

Extend residence permit

Is your residence permit due to expire soon? Apply for an extension.

Change residence permit

Has something changed in your situation that influences your residence permit? Please report this immediately to the IND. It may mean that the residence permit has to be changed.

Permanent stay

Having had a residence permit for a period of 5 years, you may apply for a permanent residence permit.

Becoming a Dutch citizen

Having had a residence permit for a period of 5 years, you may apply for Dutch citizenship.

Return visa

If you are awaiting a procedure, you do not have a valid residence document at present and you wish to travel outside the Netherlands, you may need a return visa to re-enter the Netherlands. This could be the case if your current residence permit is no longer valid or your current residence permit will expire during your stay outside of the Netherlands. To apply for a return visa you must meet certain conditions. ​

Dutch representation

​This is the Dutch embassy or consulate.

Country of continuous residence

​A country of continuous residence is a country (other than the country of origin) where you may lawfully live for more than 3 months. This means you have a valid residence permit for that country. Or that you are waiting for your application for a residence permit to be approved.

Are you in a country in your free term? Or with a visa for short stay (maximum of 3 months)? This is not continuous residence.

formal decision

​A formal letter with the decision on your application.

TWV

​A TWV is a work permit. The employer applies for a TWV with UWV (Netherlands Employees Insurance Agency). UWV examines among other things if there is no employee with the Dutch, EU/EEA or Swiss nationality that is qualified for the job.