Status of Moluccans Act

Last update: 17 May 2022

Through the Status of Moluccans Act (in Dutch: Wet betreffende de positie van Molukkers), Moluccans who do not have Dutch nationality are treated as Dutch citizens under Dutch law. Find out more about this law.

Moluccans who come under the Act

There are 2 groups of Moluccans who come under this law.

  • Group 1: Moluccans who were brought to the Netherlands as a group by the Dutch Government in 1951 or 1952, and were living in the Netherlands on 9 September 1976 without Dutch nationality.
  • Group 2: Moluccans who started living in the Netherlands before 1 October 1965, who made a request to come under the Status of Moluccans Act, and who were living in the Netherlands when they made the request. These Moluccans can make a request to the local council where they live, or where they were living last if they are now living abroad. The local council will give them a statement to prove that they will be treated as Dutch citizens.

These 2 groups of Moluccans are treated as Dutch citizens under Dutch law.

Children of Moluccans

Non-Dutch children of Moluccans who come under the Act will also be treated as Dutch citizens.

Children also come under the Act if they were adopted or born between 9 September 1976 and 1 January 1985 to a Moluccan mother who is treated as a Dutch citizen. These children will also be treated as Dutch citizens.

Spouses of Moluccans

The spouse of a Moluccan from group 1 can ask to be treated as a Dutch citizen after at least 3 years of marriage.

The spouse of a Moluccan from group 2 can make a request to the local council where they live.

Applying for a Dutch passport

Moluccans who are treated as Dutch citizens can apply to their local council for a passport.

Travel abroad

Moluccans who want to travel abroad can apply for a return visa at the IND. With the return visa it will be easier to return to the Netherlands. Without the return visa you may have troubles at customs of the country from which you which to return to the Netherlands.

No voting rights

Moluccans who come under the Act are not Dutch citizens. Therefore, these Moluccans are not allowed to vote for the House of Representatives or Senate of the Dutch Parliament (States General), Provincial Council or European Parliament. Neither can they stand for election. For other elections they do have voting rights, for example for the local council.

Applying for Dutch nationality

Moluccans who are treated as Dutch citizens are not Dutch citizens. If they want to become Dutch citizens, they can apply for Dutch nationality through naturalisation or option. They do not have to pay for their application.

Exemptions when applying for Dutch nationality

For these applications, they are exempted from a number of conditions:

  • They do not need a residence permit.
  • They do not need to complete a civic integration programme.
  • They do not need to revoke their original nationality.

All other conditions for becoming a Dutch citizen still apply.

Loss of treatment as Dutch citizen

A Moluccan who is treated as a Dutch citizen can lose this special treatment. The rules for this are the same as for Dutch citizens. Find out more about losing Dutch nationality.