• Dutch Citizenship Eligibility Criteria to be Restricted
  • August 3, 2016
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • A law that is likely to be passed would increase the minimum residence period for foreign nationals seeking citizenship to seven years, and would require those applying for citizenship based on a relationship with a Dutch national to have resided with the Dutch national in the Netherlands for at least three years. Those who have already resided with the Dutch national in the Netherlands for more than three years once the new law is implemented will be subject to the five-year requirement.

    Currently, the minimum residence period in the Netherlands for foreign nationals seeking citizenship is five years, and those applying for citizenship based on a marriage or a registered partnership with a Dutch national are eligible for citizenship even if they live with the Dutch national outside of the Netherlands.

    Increased Loss of Citizenship Period

    Additionally, the law will likely increase the period of time for dual nationals who have lived outside the Netherlands without a Dutch passport or declaration of Dutch nationality to automatically lose their citizenships after 15 years, instead of the current 10 years.


    All other requirements for citizenship would apply, including passing a civic integration examination (or meeting the exemption criteria) and attending a naturalization ceremony.

    This law is expected to be implemented once it passes the Senate. Foreign nationals with pending nationality applications on or after the date of passage will not be affected by the change.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    Foreign nationals should be aware of the likelihood of citizenship criteria restrictions and employers should plan to apply for work permits for long-term assignments beyond five years.

    Foreign nationals living abroad with a Dutch national who are considering applying for Dutch citizenship should do so prior to the implementation of the new law.