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

Penalties and the IND

If someone applies for residency in the Netherlands, the IND must decide on this application within a certain period. This is the legal decision period. If the IND does not decide within this legal period, we may have to pay a sum of money to the…

National security

The IND is on the alert for risks and threats to national security when assessing applications for residency. For example terrorism. The IND can also take measures that help to protect national security.

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