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Between 1 June 2021 and 1 May 2022, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) received 3,250 naturalisation applications from RANOV permit holders. This concerns both RANOV permit holders who were adults when they obtained their RANOV permits and RANOV permit holders who obtained their RANOV permits as minors. The IND has already handled and granted about 2,200 of these applications. The naturalisation applications of a small number of persons, around 50 cases, were rejected for various reasons.
Exemptions for RANOV permit holders
People with a RANOV permit (Regulation on Settlement of the Legacy of the Old Aliens Act) obtained several exemptions in 2021, enabling them to apply for Dutch citizenship. Since 1 June 2021 these have applied to those who were minors at the time (approximately 2,000) and since 1 November to those who were adults at the time (approximately 8,000). This whole group are no longer required to submit a birth certificate/birth registration certificate and a valid foreign passport (or another proof of nationality). In addition, this group no longer have to renounce their original nationality.
Number of applications and decisions
The IND is making efforts to decide on the naturalisation applications as quickly as possible. The legal period for this process is one year. In the period from 1 June 2021 to 1 May 2022, 3,250 naturalisation applications by RANOV permit holders were received. 2,230 applications have meanwhile been processed and granted by the IND. This means that they have received the Royal Decree or will soon receive it. The Certificate of Dutch Nationality will awarded officially during the naturalisation ceremony that each local council organises.
In the same period, around 50 naturalisation applications by RANOV permit holders were rejected for various reasons. Although the requirement to submit documents and renounce the original nationality has ceased to apply, the applicant must still meet all other requirements to become a Dutch citizen. For example, a person (usually) must have lived in the Netherlands with a valid residence permit for 5 uninterrupted years or longer, and not be a danger to public order or national security. Another requirement is to meet the obligation to participate in a civic integration programme. In addition, an application can be rejected if there are obvious doubts about someone's identity or nationality.
RANOV permit holders whose naturalisation application has been rejected can object to the decision and subsequently appeal against it. Their right of residence in the Netherlands will simply remain applicable.
What is the role of the IND in naturalisation?
An application to become a Dutch citizen must be submitted to the local council or a Dutch embassy abroad. All naturalisation applications are then assessed by the IND. The IND assesses whether someone is eligible for Dutch citizenship. This also applies to RANOV permit holders. The IND has informed all persons concerned as well as possible about the exemptions for this group. For example, all mayors have been informed of the applicable exemptions. Together with the Dutch Association for Civil Affairs (NVVB), the IND organised webinars to inform the staff of municipal civil affairs departments about the policy change. In addition, all RANOV permit holders have received a letter from the IND in which it is stated that they are eligible for the exemptions and can report to their local council to submit an application to become a Dutch citizen if desired.