Becoming a Dutch national through naturalisation

Last update: 30 May 2022

You wish to apply for Dutch nationality through naturalisation. Read about the requirements and how to apply for naturalisation.

Who can apply for naturalisation?

You are eligible to apply for Dutch nationality with a request for naturalisation. One of these situations apply to you:

  1. You live in the Netherlands with a residence permit.
  2. You live in the Netherlands as an EU national. An EU national is someone who has the nationality of an EU or EEA country or Switzerland.
  3. You live outside the Netherlands or in the Netherlands Caribbean with a residence permit. The Netherlands Caribbean consists of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten and three special municipalities: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. The application procedure for becoming a Dutch national if you live outside the Netherlands is different to the application procedure if you live in the Netherlands. Read more about becoming a Dutch national if you live outside the Netherlands or in the Netherlands Caribbean.

Becoming a Dutch national by means of an option application

There is also a quicker way to become a Dutch national. Different conditions apply for that application. Check if you are eligible to apply for Dutch nationality by means of an option application.

Advantages and disadvantages becoming a Dutch national

Becoming a Dutch national is not something you should do lightly. It is a very important decision. Think carefully about what it means for you to become a Dutch national, as becoming a Dutch national has certain advantages and disadvantages

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Requirements

The following requirements apply to naturalisation:

  • You must be 18 years or older.
  • You can prove your identity and nationality with valid documents.
  • You have lived in the Kingdom of the Netherlands for at least 5 consecutive years with a valid residence permit. You have always extended your residence permit on time. In some cases you can apply for naturalisation earlier. Find out about exceptions to the 5-year term.
  • At the time of your application for naturalisation, you have one of the following residence permits:
    • an asylum permanent residence permit or regular permanent residence permit;
    • a residence permit as a long-term EU resident;
    • a temporary residence permit with a non-temporary purpose of stay. Find out which purposes of stay are non-temporary for becoming a Dutch national;
    • a resident permit as a family member of an EU national (except stay with minor Dutch child, ruling Chavez-Vilchez); 
    • you have residence pursuant to EU law because you have the nationality of an EU or EEA country or Switzerland. You do not need to have a residence permit; or
    • a residence document Article 50 TEU Withdrawal Agreement Brexit (in Dutch: Terugtrekkingsakkoord Brexit) for UK nationals and their family members.
  • On the date of the naturalisation ceremony, you have a valid residence permit or you still have a valid right of residence under EU law. The naturalisation ceremony is an opportunity for you and the municipality to jointly celebrate that you have obtained Dutch nationality.
  • You have passed the civic integration exam or you have been exempted from the civic integration exam, on the grounds that you can already read, write, speak and understand Dutch to a sufficient level. Find out more about the civic integration exam as a condition for naturalisation.
  • You are not a danger to the public order or national security of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
  • You must renounce your current nationality. There are exemptions to this rule. Find out if you are required to renounce your nationality and what that means for you before you request naturalisation.
  • You must be willing to make the declaration of solidarity during the naturalisation ceremony. By making the declaration of solidarity, you agree that the laws of the Kingdom of the Netherlands also apply to you.

Requirements naturalisation of children

Children under the age of 18 cannot request naturalisation for themselves. However, you and your child can apply for Dutch nationality together. You will include the naturalisation for your child with your own application. This is formally known in Dutch as mee-naturalisatie.

Requirements for including children under the age of 16 in your application

  • Your child must live in the Netherlands.
  • Your child must have a valid permanent residence permit or a temporary residence permit with a non-temporary purpose of stay. The residence permit must be valid until the day of the naturalisation ceremony. The naturalisation ceremony is an opportunity for you and the municipality to jointly celebrate that you and your child have obtained Dutch nationality.
  • Children aged 12 and above must be present when you submit your application to the municipality. Your child will then tell the official what he or she thinks of being included in the application for naturalisation.

Requirements for including children aged 16 or 17 years old in your application

  • Your child has lived in the Netherlands for at least 3 consecutive years.
  • Your child must have a valid permanent residence permit or a temporary residence permit with a non-temporary purpose of stay. The residence permit must be valid until the day of the naturalisation ceremony. The naturalisation ceremony is an opportunity for you and the municipality to jointly celebrate that you and your child have obtained Dutch nationality.
  • Your child must be present when you submit your application to the municipality. Your child must indicate his or her agreement to being included in the application for naturalisation.
  • Your child must be willing to make the declaration of solidarity during the naturalisation ceremony. By making this declaration, they declare that they know that the laws of the Kingdom of the Netherlands also apply to them.

Consent of the other parent

If only one parent is applying for naturalisation, and that parent is including a child in his or her application for naturalisation, the other parent must be present at the municipality to give consent to the naturalisation of the child together with the other parent.

Documents that you need

You will need to produce certain documents to show that you meet the conditions for naturalisation. Official foreign documents must be legalised and translated into Dutch, English, French or German. If you have already used foreign documents in the Netherlands and they have been registered in the Personal Records Database (BRP), you do not need to obtain and legalise these documents again.

Documents you will always need to provide

  • A valid passport or other travel document.
  • A birth certificate from your country of origin.
  • A valid residence permit or other proof of lawful residence.
  • If you are a national of a country in the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you do not need to have a residence permit. The municipality will consult the Personal Records Database (BRP) to check how long you have lived in the Netherlands.
  • Civic integration diploma or other proof of civic integration or a certificate of exemption (or partial exemption) from the integration requirement.
  • Where a child under the age of 18 is included in a parent’s application for naturalisation:
    • The same documents for your child, except for proof of integration, as this is not required for your child.
    • If only one parent is applying for naturalisation, the other parent must also be present at the municipality to declare that he or she consents to the child being included in the other parent’s application for naturalisation. The other parent must also hand over a copy of his or her residence permit.

No passport or birth certificate

You can obtain a passport or birth certificate by applying to the government of your country of birth. However, if you cannot do this or if you are unable to obtain a passport or birth certificate, you may be granted an exemption due to lack of documentary evidence. Find out more about lack of documentary evidence.

Other documents

Depending on your situation, you may need to bring other documents with you to the municipality. For example:

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Apply for naturalisation at your municipality

You must submit your application for naturalisation to the municipality where you live. An employee of the municipality will discuss all the conditions with you and check whether you have all the required documents. If something is missing or you need to look into a particular matter, the municipality will make another appointment for you. 

Completing the application form

You complete the application form together with the municipal employee. You must also complete the following forms:

  • Statement that you will make the declaration of solidarity. By making the declaration of solidarity, you agree that the laws of the Kingdom of the Netherlands also apply to you.
  • If you are required to renounce your current nationality: a statement that you will renounce your nationality when you have become a Dutch national.
  • If you request an exemption from renouncing your current nationality: a statement to the effect that you do not wish to renounce your nationality and the reasons why. 

Including your childeren in your application for naturalisation

If you have children under the age of 18 and you wish to include them in your application for naturalisation, please mention this at the time of the appointment. Your children will then be included in the application. Children aged 12 and above must accompany you on your visit to the municipality to make the application. Your children will then tell the official what they think about the naturalisation. If your children are aged 16 or 17, they must also indicate that they agree to becoming Dutch nationals.

Establishing or changing your name

Your name may need to be formally established. This means that an agreement is reached on what your surname and first name will be. Establishing your name is required if you do not have a last name or a first name, for example if you have just one name or multiple names without a distinction between the last name and first names.

You can also ask the municipality to change your last name. This is only possible if it is important for the civic integration process. For example:

  • Your name is difficult to pronounce for Dutch people.
  • You have acquired your husband’s surname through marriage and you wish to change that name to your maiden name.

Cost for naturalisation

You must pay a fee to apply for naturalisation. You pay this fee to the municipality when you submit your application. 

Decision on your application

The IND has 12 months to decide on your naturalisation application. This period is called the decision period. It is specified by law. You will receive a letter stating the date by which the IND will decide on the application. The decision period begins as soon as the fees for the application have been payed. We can extend the decision period if more time is needed for the decision. For example, if the application is not complete.

Track your application in Mijn IND

You can track your application in My IND. You need to log in using DigiD.

Positive or negative decision

Once the IND has assessed your application you will receive a decision. This will be sent by post. The decision will be either positive or negative. 

  • The decision is positive: the IND has given its approval to you becoming a Dutch national. However, this letter does not make you a Dutch national immediately. Find out what you still need to do to become a Dutch national. 
  • The decision is negative: you will not obtain Dutch nationality. The decision will state the reasons for the negative decision.

Apply for review of the decision

You can apply for review of the decision within 4 weeks. The decision letter explains how to do this. Find out more about applying for review or appealing  a decision from the IND.

The IND decides late

Has the decision period passed and you have still not received a decision on your application or review? Then the IND is late in deciding. Find out what you can do if the IND is late with its decision.

See also

Responsible organisation

Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst

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