Questions about Dutch citizenship? Ask Miriam van Kempen, mobility Consultant at Expat Management Group.

I want to be a Dutchie!

Imagine this. You came here five years ago as a Highly Skilled Migrant, made tons of money as Software Developer, and now the butcher in your street, your favorite store in the world, asks you to become his BBQ-chef. Your dream job. Making fire all day. Grill stuff on a hot BBQ. You can see yourself standing outside, in the sun, with a cold beer (or apple juice) and… Never mind, you get the point. But, this nice butcher will never éver be able to become a Recognized Sponsor at the IND and offer you the required salary. Did your dream just end here? Not necessarily. There are options. One of them, is to become a Dutchie. Or, for the professionals amongst us: to go through the process of naturalization. Of course, being a Dutchie is one of the Greater Privileges in Life, so you have to meet a couple of conditions to qualify:


Patience. The procedure will take around twelve to eighteen months. And you have to be 18 years or older, which you probably are, but won’t harm to mention this;


You have lived uninterruptedly in the Kingdom of the Netherlands for at least 5 years with a valid residence permit. You have always extended your residence permit in time, and your residence permit must be (still) valid during the complete procedure. This must be a permanent residence permit or a temporary residence permit with a non-temporary purpose of stay. This is an important detail. Have you been here as an au pair? Temporary. Doesn’t count. Study? Same deal. But have you worked here on a self-employed basis? Bingo! Check all the options via this link:

There are a number of exceptions to this 5-year rule:

  1. You are married to or are the registered partner of a Dutch citizen. After 3 years of marriage or registered partnership and having uninterruptedly lived together during that period, you can submit an application. These 3 years may also have been spent abroad. You must be living together during the whole procedure.
  2. Did you live together unmarried in the Kingdom of the Netherlands during these 3 years? You can count this period for the period of 3 years. (Living together unmarried outside the Kingdom does count for your love life, but not for the 3 year period).
  3. You already live in the Kingdom of the Netherlands for 3 uninterrupted years with a Dutch partner (not married) and with a valid residence permit. You must be living together during the whole procedure.
  4. You are a former Dutch citizen. You have had the Dutch nationality and you lost it. In some cases, you can make use of the “option procedure”. This procedure is quick and easy, but not applicable to many of you. Still, if you are curious, you can click this link:
  5. You are stateless. You can submit an application for naturalization after at least 3 years.
  6. You were acknowledged as a minor or legitimized by a Dutch citizen. Also, you were cared for and brought up by this Dutch citizen for 3 years. You are now 18 years or older. You can submit an application after 3 years.
  7. You have lived in the Kingdom of the Netherlands for a total of 10 years with a valid residence permit. The last 2 years of which you have lived uninterruptedly in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. You can submit an application after 2 years.
  8. You were, after coming of age, adopted in the Kingdom of the Netherlands by at least 1 Dutch citizen.

Third, a tricky one:

You are sufficiently integrated. This means that you can read, write, speak and understand Dutch.

You show this with the civic integration diploma, which you receive after passing the so-called Staatsexamen.

In this Examen, there are five sections with questions concerning Dutch laws and customs:

  • Knowledge of Dutch society
  • Speaking competence
  • Listening competence
  • Reading competence
  • Writing competence

A lot of Dutch language courses offer lessons to prepare for this test.


In the previous 4 years you have not received a prison sentence, training or community service order or had to pay a large fine either in the Netherlands or abroad. There must also be no ongoing criminal proceedings against you. With respect to a large fine, this is an amount of €810 or more. In the last 4 years you may not have received multiple fines of €405 or more, with a total amount of €1,215 or more either.”

Number five:

You must renounce your current nationality. There are some exceptions to this rule.

  • Your country’s legislation does not allow you to give up your nationality;
  • You are married to or are the registered partner of a Dutch citizen;
  • You are younger than 18 years;
  • You have an asylum residence permit;
  • Upon submitting the application for naturalization you are living in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. You are also born in the Kingdom of the Netherlands;
  • You are a national of a state that is not recognized by the Netherlands;
  • You will have to pay a large sum of money to the authorities in your country of origin in order to renounce your nationality;
  • You will lose certain rights when giving up your current nationality. You stand to lose a lot of money, for example, because the laws of succession no longer apply to you;
  • You have to fulfil (or buy out) your military service before being able to renounce your nationality.

Is your situation not listed? Or would you like more information? You can always contact EMG to see if there are other solutions.

And how does this renouncing work?

Upon submitting your application for naturalization you sign a declaration. This declaration states that you are prepared to renounce your existing nationality. After having become a Dutch citizen, you renounce your original nationality. This is called a “renunciation procedure”. You start this procedure with the authorities of your country of origin. It is often possible to do this at the consulate or embassy of your country in the Netherlands.

When the renunciation procedure has been completed, you will receive an official declaration from the authorities of your country. You send this declaration to the IND. If you do not renounce your current nationality even though you are required to, the IND may revoke your Dutch citizenship.

And we top this off with a small piece of Improvisation Theater:

You must take the declaration of solidarity. ​Either the municipality, the Dutch representation, the Lieutenant Governor or the Cabinet of the Governor will organize this naturalization ceremony. During this ceremony the meaning of becoming a Dutch citizen is highlighted.

You will not become a Dutch citizen until you attend the ceremony and make the declaration of solidarity. You agree that the laws of the Kingdom of the Netherlands also apply to you. The declaration of solidarity must be done in person. If you do not make the declaration of solidarity, you cannot become a Dutch citizen.

At the ceremony, the decision, stating that you have become a Dutch citizen, will also be issued to you.

If you cannot attend the first ceremony, you will get an invitation for a next ceremony. You must attend the ceremony within 1 year following the decision. If you fail to do so, you will not receive Dutch nationality. After 1 year, you will need to submit a new application to become a Dutch citizen.

You are not supposed to wear Carnaval clothes to this ceremony. Black tie will do.

Still enthusiastic about the job offer to become the Grillmeister at the local butcher? Contact EMG via 020 – 70 70 551 or email me on, and let’s roast this little piglet together!