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Becoming a Dutch national outside the Netherlands or in the Netherlands Caribbean

Last check: 21-07-2021

You wish to become a Dutch national. You live in Aruba, Curaçao, St Maarten, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius or Saba, or another country outside the Netherlands. This page tells you how you can apply for Dutch nationality. 

​Contents

Who should read this information

The Kingdom of the Netherlands includes the Netherlands and the Netherlands Caribbean. If you have a residence permit to live in the Netherlands Caribbean: in Aruba, Curaçao, St Maarten, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius or Saba, or if you live in another country outside the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and you wish to apply for Dutch nationality, this information will be useful to you.

Conditions for an application for option or naturalisation 

To become a Dutch national you need to apply for Dutch nationality. You can do this by means of a naturalisation application. It may be possible to obtain Dutch nationality more quickly by means of an option application.

Additional conditions for applications outside the Netherlands

If you are applying for Dutch nationality outside the Netherlands or in the Netherlands Caribbean, you may be subject to additional requirements.

Country of nationality

If you are living in the country of your nationality, it is not possible to apply for Dutch nationality from that country. 

Naturalisation application outside the Netherlands

Do you want to apply for Dutch nationality outside the Netherlands via naturalisation? You can only apply for naturalisation if you have had Dutch nationality before and want to regain it, or if you are married to, or the registered partner of, someone with Dutch nationality.  You must also meet the conditions for a Dutch residence permit, for example for staying with a partner, or re-entry for former Dutch citizens who wish to return to the Netherlands. You do not have to apply for the residence permit before you apply for naturalisation.

Civic integration if you are living in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom

Do you want to apply for Dutch citizenship through naturalisation and you are living in the Netherlands Caribbean? There are other conditions for the civic integration. You need to be able to speak, read, write and understand Dutch and Papiamento or English. This means:

  • If you are living in Aruba, Curaçao or Bonaire: Dutch and Papiamento.
  • If you are living in St Maarten, Sint Eustatius or Saba: Dutch and English.

Applying for option outside the Netherlands

Do you want to apply for Dutch citizenship outside the Netherlands through option? You are only eligible for option if you used to have Dutch nationality and wish to regain it. There are also certain situations if you are a minor and paternity has been acknowledged by a Dutch citizen after 1 April 2003 but before 1 March 2009. Find out more about making an option application.

Applying outside the Netherlands or in the Netherlands Caribbean

The authority to which you should submit your naturalisation application or option application depends on where you live.

  • Do you live abroad? You need to submit your application to the Dutch embassy or consulate.
  • Do you live in Aruba, Curaçao or St Maarten? You need to submit your application to the Cabinet of the Governor.
  • Do you live on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius or Saba? You need to submit your application to one of the counters of the IND Caribbean Netherlands unit. Read more about the IND Caribbean Netherlands.

Assessment of your application

If you are applying for naturalisation, your application will be sent to the IND in the Netherlands. The authority to which you submitted your application will also give an advice to the IND. The IND will process the application and make a decision.

Are you applying for option? Your application will be processed by the Dutch embassy or consulate, the Cabinet of the Governor or the IND Caribbean Netherlands unit. The relevant organisation will make a decision. The IND in the Netherlands will not be involved in the assessment of your application.

Rules and regulations

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Immigration and Naturalisation Service

Questions?