Former Dutch citizen

You are a former Dutch citizen and you wish to regain the Dutch nationality. What are the conditions? And how does the procedure work?

Am I a former Dutch citizen?

You are a former Dutch citizen when you have had the Dutch nationality at one point. You have lost your Dutch nationality. 

Do you want to regain your Dutch nationality?

As a former Dutch citizen, you can regain Dutch nationality in 2 ways:

  • By making use of the option procedure, in which you make a statement saying that you want to become a Dutch citizen again.
  • By submitting an application for naturalisation as a Dutch citizen.

Where to submit an application?

If you want to become a Dutch citizen again, you can contact the following authorities (depending on your place of residence):

  • In the Netherlands: at the department of Civil Affairs of the municipality where you live.
  • Abroad: at the Dutch embassy or consulate of in the country where you live.
  • In Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba: at the Caribbean Netherlands IND unit.
  • In Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten: at the Cabinet of the Governor.

Conditions

Naturalisation

In order to qualify for naturalisation, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You do not live in the country of which you hold the nationality.
  • You are 18 years of age or older.
  • You live in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and you hold a residence permit for a non-temporary purpose, such as family reunification or re-entry. If you do not live in the Kingdom, you must meet the conditions for a residence permit for a non-temporary purpose.
  • You are sufficiently integrated. This means that you can read, write, speak and understand Dutch. You show this with the civic integration diploma. If you have certain diplomas or certificates, you do not need to take the civic integration examination.
  • In the past 5 years you have not received a prison sentence, a learning or community service order or paid or had to pay a large fine either in the Netherlands or abroad. There must also be no ongoing criminal proceedings against you. With respect to a large fine, this is an amount of €810 ($560, Afl. 1000 or Naf. 1000 ) or higher. Moreover, you may not have received several fines of €405 ($280, Afl. 500 or Naf. 500) or higher, with a total amount of €1,215 ($840, Afl. 1500 or Naf. 1500) or higher in the past 5 years.
  • You must renounce your current nationality. There are some exceptions to this rule.
  • You must make the declaration of solidarity. See below 'The naturalisation ceremony' at 'Steps in the naturalisation process'.
  • You may not be married to more than one man or woman at the same time.

Option

In order to qualify for the option procedure, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You are a former Dutch citizen and you have been legally resident in the Kingdom for at least 1 year, holding a valid residence permit for a non-temporary purpose such as family reunification or re-entry.
  • In the past 5 years you have not received a prison sentence, a learning or community service order or paid or had to pay a large fine either in the Netherlands or abroad. There must also be no ongoing criminal proceedings against you. With respect to a large fine, this is an amount of € 810 ($560, Afl. 1000 or Naf. 1000) or higher. Moreover, you may not have received several fines of €405 ($280, Afl. 500 or Naf. 500) or higher, with a total amount of €1,215 ($840, Afl. 1500 or Naf. 1500) or higher in the past 5 years.
  • Are you 18 years of age or older? And you have lived in the Netherlands with a valid residence permit from the age of 4? You are then required to renounce your nationality.
  • You may not be married to more than one man or woman at the same time.

The following categories also qualify for  option:

  • Divorced women/widows
    As a woman, you lost your Dutch citizenship because you married a non-Dutch citizen before 1 January 1985 and your husband died recently or you got a divorce recently. You must opt within one year after the dissolution of your marriage. It could also be that in connection with your marriage, you voluntarily adopted your spouse's nationality or that you and your spouse adopted another nationality together.
  • Former Dutch citizens from Suriname
    You had Dutch nationality and opted for Surinamese nationality yourself. You did so within 5 years after your spouse acquired Surinamese nationality. You did so under the nationality convention of 1975. You must opt within 3 years after your marriage, if any, was dissolved. You do not have to live in the Kingdom for this. The option procedure is free of charge and you need not attend the naturalisation ceremony.

Checklist documents

What documents do you need?

  • A valid passport or other travel document.
  • Proof that you were a Dutch citizen, such as an old Dutch passport.
  • A birth certificate from your country of origin.
  • Civic integration diploma or other proof of civic integration.
  • A valid residence permit or other proof of lawful residence.

Other documents may also be needed, such as a marriage certificate or a certificate of registered partnership.

Foreign documents must often be legalised and translated before they can be used in the Netherlands.

Lack of documentary evidence

Do you have no passport and/or birth certificate and are you not exempt from this?  Then you may possibly appeal to ‘lack of documentary evidence’.

 

Kingdom of the Netherlands

The Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of The Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. And 3 special municipalities: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba.