People who have been staying in the Netherlands for a long time and feel connected to our country can apply for Dutch nationality under certain conditions. They can then officially become Dutch citizens, with a Dutch passport and can vote in elections.

Becoming an official Dutch citizen

The IND implements the Netherlands Nationality Act (in Dutch: Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap). This law sets out the requirements for naturalisation. We check whether people meet them. For example, we check whether a person has been living legally in the Netherlands for five years or more. We also check whether they have passed the civic integration exam and whether or not they are a threat to the public order or national security.

How we process naturalisation requests

Anyone wishing to become a Dutch citizen makes a naturalisation request to their local council. The local council then carries out the first check and forwards the request to the IND. We then assess whether the applicant meets all requirements. If they do, we send them a letter notifying them  that ‘a proposal to grant Dutch citizenship’ has been made to the King. Once the King has taken a formal decision, a naturalisation ceremony will take place at the town hall. After this, the applicant is officially a Dutch citizen.

Experiences applicants

Choosing naturalisation

Not everyone chooses naturalisation when they have been living in the Netherlands for a longer time. This is, for example, because people have to renounce the nationality they already have. Or because having two nationalities can be difficult. There are also other ways to become a Dutch citizen, for example through option, by birth, or by recognition.

Experiences applicants

Important topics

National highly skilled migrant scheme

The IND processes applications for residency of highly skilled migrants in the Netherlands. It concerns people who can contribute to the Dutch knowledge economy with specific knowledge or skills. There are various schemes for people who want to work…

Medical examination in the asylum process

The IND assesses whether someone who applies for asylum has the right to stay in the Netherlands. A medical examination is almost always part of this asylum process. But exactly which examinations are there, and in which situations is such an…

More about our fields of work


Coming to the Netherlands for a great job or interesting studies. Find out more about the application process.


Becoming a family with someone who is already living here. Find out more about the special ‘love’ permit.


Those who have had to flee from persecution or violence can apply for asylum in the Netherlands.