Legal Requirements for Obtaining Citizenship in the Netherlands

Obtaining Citizenship in the Netherlands

Updated on Wednesday 23rd September 2015

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Legal-Requirements-for-Obtaining-Citizenship-in-the-Netherlands.jpgBecoming a Dutch national

The legal requirements for obtaining citizenship in the Netherlands include several conditions for individuals. Those who want to become Dutch citizens have the following options to apply for citizenship:
- if one of the parents is Dutch;
- use the option procedure (voluntary application for citizenship);
- naturalization.
The experts at our law firm in the Netherlands can help you apply for the option procedure and/or undergo the naturalization process.

Conditions for becoming a Dutch national

The option procedure is available for individuals who satisfy the following conditions for obtaining Dutch citizenship:
- aged 18 or over, born in the Netherlands or the other parts of the Kingdom, and you have been living here continuously your entire life;
- born in the Netherlands, have been living legally for a period of at least 3 years in the country and are stateless since birth;
- married to a Dutch citizen for at least 3 years and have been living legally and uninterruptedly in the country for at least 15 years;
- minor under joint guardianship and one of the parents is a Dutch national who has been a caregiver for at least 3 years;
- aged 65 or over and have been legally lived in the Netherlands uninterruptedly for at least 15 years.
The experts at our Dutch law firm can give you complete details about the procedure and the documents required for the option procedure. If you qualify for this procedure, we can help you submit the application to the Dutch authorities.

The naturalization procedure

Individuals who want to become Dutch citizens and are not qualified for the option procedure must meet other requirements in order to be accepted for naturalization:
- at least 18 years of age;
- have legally lived in the Netherlands or other parts of the Kingdom for an uninterrupted period of 5 years;
- able to speak and read Dutch (proven by a Civic Integration Examination);
- have not received a prison sentence in the previous 4 years or any large fines (above 453 euros);
- prepared to renounce the current nationality;
- attend the citizenship ceremony during which allegiance is pledged to the Netherlands;
There are certain cases, like marriage to a Dutch national, in which the 5 year rule does not apply. The following documents must be submitted by the individual who requests Dutch citizenship:
- valid travel document;
- birth certificate (with an official translation and legalization in Dutch, English, French or German);
- Civic Integration Certificate or similar certificate.
Our lawyers can assist you during this procedure and submit your request to the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Individuals will have to wait approximately one year to receive their citizenship.
You can contact our law firm in the Netherlands for more questions about family law. We can help you with various legal services.