Losing Dutch nationality

Last update: 25 October 2022

You can lose your Dutch nationality (Dutch citizenship). This can happen to adults or minors in certain situations.  And when the government can revoke your nationality.

Losing Dutch nationality as an adult

You are an adult if you are 18 or older. Or if you are under 18 and married or have a registered partnership. This is what the Netherlands Nationality Act (RWN) (in Dutch: Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap) says.

As an adult, you will lose your Dutch nationality in the following situations:

  • You renounce your Dutch nationality yourself by making a declaration of renunciation. You can make a declaration of renunciation at your town hall or at the Dutch embassy in the country where your live. If you only have the Dutch nationality you will not lose it because that would leave you stateless.
  • You voluntarily adopt a different nationality. In this case, you will automatically lose your Dutch nationality. This happens if you live abroad, but also if you live in the Netherlands. There are 3 exceptions to this, in which you will not lose your Dutch nationality:
    • You were born in the country where you are now adopting the nationality. You will also live in that country when you get the new nationality.
    • You lived in the country of the different nationality for at least 5 consecutive years before you became an adult.
    • You adopt the nationality of your marriage partner or registered partner. 
  • You have a different nationality in addition to the Dutch nationality. You will lose your Dutch nationality automatically if you have lived outside the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the countries of the European Union (EU) for 13 consecutive years. The Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. And 3 areas with a special local council: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. There are 3 exceptions to this, in which you will not lose your Dutch nationality:
    • You live abroad because you work, or your spouse or partner works for the government of the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao or Sint Maarten. 
    • Before the 13 years have passed, you are going to live in the Kingdom of the Netherlands or the European Union for more than 1 year. Then the 13 year-count will stop. The counting will start again when you start living outside the Kingdom and the EU once more.
    • You get a new Dutch passport or identity card before the 13 years have passed. Or you get a Declaration of Possession of Dutch Citizenship. The counting of the 13 years will start again as soon as you have received one of these documents. See the website government.nl for more information about the Declaration of Possession of Dutch Citizenship. 

Do you want more information about and examples of automatic loss of Dutch nationality? Then read the brochure ‘Automatic loss of Dutch nationality’.
 

Losing Dutch nationality as a minor

You are a minor if you are under 18. If you are under 18 and married or in a registered partnership, you are an adult under the Netherlands Nationality Act (in Dutch: Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap). The text below says ‘father or mother’. Note that this can also be an adoptive parent. 

A minor will lose their Dutch nationality in these cases:

  • A court establishes the parenthood of a non-Dutch national. Or the minor has been acknowledged, legitimised or adopted by a non-Dutch national. Because of this, the minor gets a different nationality or already had that different nationality.
  • The minor renounces the Dutch nationality with a Declaration of Renunciation. This is only possible if the minor has an additional nationality.
  • The Dutch father or mother of the minor voluntarily adopts a different nationality. And the minor changes nationality together with the parent or already has that different nationality.
  • The father or mother loses the Dutch nationality. If the second parent is a Dutch national at that time, the minor will keep their Dutch nationality.
  • The minor independently acquires the same nationality as the father or mother. If the second parent is a Dutch national at that time, the minor will keep their Dutch nationality.
  • A parent loses legal parenthood. As a result, the minor can no longer derive Dutch nationality from that parent. For example, if the parent denies parenthood or withdraws the adoption or acknowledgement. Is the second parent a Dutch national at that time? Then the minor will keep their Dutch nationality.


Exceptions to losing Dutch nationality as a minor

There are situations in which minors will still maintain their Dutch nationality. Find out all the rules in the brochure ‘Minors and loss of Dutch nationality’.
 

Dutch nationality revoked by the Goverment

In some cases, the Dutch Government can revoke the Dutch nationality of an adult or minor. This can happen in one of these situations:

  • You committed fraud in the process to become a Dutch national. For example, fraud that has to do with your identity. You commit fraud if you make a false statement, mislead or hide important facts. You would not have been able to get the Dutch nationality if you had not committed the fraud. 
  • You have been convicted of a crime against the interests or safety of the Kingdom. These are actions that can seriously damage the interests of the Kingdom. For example, a war crime or a crime with a terrorist motive.
  • You are 16 years old or older and you serve voluntarily in an army (the armed services) of a foreign state. And this state is fighting against the Kingdom of the Netherlands or one of its Dutch allies.
  • You are 18 years old or older, you are abroad and have joined one of the listed organisations that pose a threat to national security. 
  • You are an adult and, after your naturalisation, you did not do everything you could to renounce your other nationality. But you did make this promise when you applied for naturalisation or option.
     

Did I lose my Dutch nationality?

On the website of Nederland Worldwide you can fill in an online questionnaire to see if you have lost your Dutch nationality (in Dutch only).