Want a Dutch Passport?
Posted on July 28, 2016
Here’s Our Know-It-All Guide for a Dutch Citizenship
A foreigner can seek a Dutch citizenship under various terms, especially if they have stayed in the Netherlands for a period of 3-5 years at least. This prerequisite for stay could further decrease if one has close family who have a Dutch citizenship. Documents required for processing of the citizenship depend on an individual’s personal circumstances. In cases where you are not eligible for a Dutch citizenship, one can opt for an European or Dutch PR visa that is available to a foreigner post five years residence in Netherlands allowing them to live indefinitely in the country without the need to apply for a work permit separately. However, the PR bestows slightly lesser rights on PR holders than it does upon a Dutch citizen.
PR Versus Dutch Citizenship: What’s Your Pick?
Let’s start with the commonality: Dutch Citizenship or a PR will allow you to stay in the Netherlands for an indefinite period, however, you would have to renew your PR once in every five years. Just like in a Dutch citizenship, you can work freely in the Dutch Labor market without applying for a work permit. Civic rights however, are restricted to Dutch citizenship in some cases with privileges of voting and in some cases the foreigners have to renounce their previous citizenship before taking up Dutch citizenship. Exceptions to this rule have been made in some cases, where the individual has been allowed to retain dual citizenship.
Procedure for Dutch Citizenship
There are two ways by which you can get a Dutch citizenship:
* Through Naturalization
* Through Option
If you have blood relatives or family in Netherlands (Dutch-born or Dutch parentage, which includes cases of adoption and overseas birth) and meet certain criteria laid by the Immigratie en Naturalisatiedienst (IND), then you qualify for citizenship.
Citizenship through Option:
It is advisable that you first assess your eligibility for citizenship under this route as this is the easiest way one can get a Dutch citizenship. It is far more simplified than the naturalization process and we have listed some of the advantages for you below:
1) The process has fewer requirements for application.
2) It is faster and you get the outcome of your application in three month’s time than a year.
3) Slightly lesser fee than the fee applicable for naturalization.
In order to apply for citizenship through this route you must have a valid Dutch residence document and fall under any one of the categories mentioned below:
1) You have resided in the Dutch territory or Netherlands for a major part of your life.
2) You have been continuously living in the Netherlands for a period of 15 years and married or lived with a Dutch citizen for a period of 3 years.
3) You are aged 65 years and above and have been staying in the Netherlands for a minimum duration of 15 years.
4) You have one or both parents/guardians who are Dutch and you have stayed over with them for a minimum period of three years at the time of submitting your application. To know the complete and up-to-date information read the requirement criteria for Option process at the IND website. Getting a citizenship through this process takes at the most three months’ time.
Citizenship through Naturalization:
Another way of getting a citizenship status is to apply through the process of Naturalization, where an applicant needs to have a residence permit at the time of submitting the application and also fulfil the criteria mentioned below:
1) You are an adult aged 18 years and above.
2) You should continuously reside in the Netherlands for five years on a residence permit; marry or live continuously with a Dutch citizen for a period of three years (includes periods of stay overseas with the partner); or you have reside in the Netherlands for 10 years on a residence permit, of which there should be a minimum of two years of uninterrupted stay in the country.
3) You have acclimatized and adjusted well to the Dutch culture and society and can fluently speak, read and write Dutch and provide proof of the same by taking up the A2-Level in civic integration examination. You are exempt from the requirement in cases where you have a diploma or degree that was administered in Dutch language.
4) You should not have been served a training order, custodial sentence, penalty and fines worth more than EUR 810 or a community service order since the last four years leading to the time of your application submission.
5) Other than the exceptional cases which allow for a dual citizenship, you should be ready to give up your existing citizenship in return for a Dutch citizenship.
6) You hold a valid permanent or temporary residence permit at the time of submitting your application.
It usually takes a years’ time to get a Dutch citizenship through naturalization.
Application process for Dutch Citizenship:
Applications for citizenship have to be initiated at your local municipal office with an upfront payment towards the fee for processing your application. Upon receiving your application along with the fee the municipal office would check your credentials and send across your request to the IND along with a letter of recommendation from the Mayor’s office. Upon receiving the request, the IND will evaluate your profile for a Dutch citizenship. You would be required to submit the following documents at the time of applying for the citizenship:
* Your existing Passport that has been issued by the home country.
* Your Dutch Residence permit.
* Birth certificates of children, marriage certificate and your civic integration certificate or degree/diploma in Dutch medium (wherever applicable).
Applying for citizenship for Children:
Children aged 16 or under they are eligible for citizenship through naturalization if they have been residing in the Netherlands for a period of three years or more on a valid residence permit at the time of submitting the application. If you are the main applicant, you need to include your children in your application for citizenship. Should your children near 18 years of age during this process, they should demand for naturalization and the same is applicable for children who are under 17 years of age. (Applications for citizenship are void if children turn 18 years of age before getting the citizenship status).
Fluency in Dutch:
The biggest prerequisite for getting a citizenship through naturalization is that you have demonstrated the ability to adapt to the Dutch culture and society, which is evaluated on your ability to fluently read, write and speak Dutch; and live as an integral part of the Dutch society. You are also required to prove your language proficiency by passing the A2-Level of Civic Integration examination, which is an indicator of your ability to converse and correspond fluently in Dutch language.
Anyone who wished to become a naturalized Dutch citizen must compulsorily take up the civic integration examination with the exception of people who demonstrate fluency in Dutch through degrees/diplomas that have been delivered in Dutch language.
We list the specific cases where you might be exempt from taking up the exam below:
1) Passing a state-level exam: A university or professional degree delivered in Dutch medium.
2) Upper/Higher vocational education programs with provision for Dutch language: Language requirement for people who opt for vocational education programmes in the Netherlands at the upper senior levels.
3) Courses delivered in Dutch language at the vocational, secondary, university or professional levels. For more information on exemptions refer to the Language requirements and exceptions section at IND website.
Renouncing your existing citizenship:
Other than the exempt cases, most applicants would have to give up their existing citizenship that they hold at the time of submitting their applications. We list some cases of exemption for you below:
1) Legislation of your home country dissuades you from giving up your citizenship.
2) You have a Dutch partner or spouse.
3) You have been conferred with a refugee status by the IND.
4) For some valid reasons you cannot contact the immigration authorizes at your home country.
5) You have valid reasons to retain your existing citizenship which would be assessed by the IND.
6) Your home country is not recognized by the government of Netherlands.
7) You would be required to part with a huge sum of money at your home country in order to renounce your citizenship, which has to be substantiated with sufficient proof.
8) That you might be at a loss of claiming certain financial rights like inheritance etc. as a result of giving up your citizenship. This needs to be substantiated with sufficient proof.
9) That you have to buy out your veteran status before you renounce your citizenship, which needs to be substantiated with sufficient proof.
Application Cost for a Dutch citizenship
As per the latest update Dutch citizenship fee for the year 2016 is as follows:
Fee for citizenships through Option: EUR179 for an individual and EUR 840 for citizenships through Naturalization.
Fee for Children, Reapplication and Refugees are lower. Fee changes are usually effected at the start or middle of the year. To check the latest fees applicable for citizenship check the IND website here.
For more news and updates, assistance with your visa needs or for a Free Assessment of your profile for Immigration or Work Visa’s just visit www.y-axis.com