IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The Dutch Parliament has struck down an amendment to the Dutch Nationality Act that would have increased the period of residence required for citizenship eligibility.

What does the change mean? Naturalization applicants will continue to be able to apply for citizenship if they have resided in the Netherlands for five years, provided they meet other eligibility criteria. Naturalization applications will also continue to be accepted from non-Dutch nationals living abroad who have been married to and living with a Dutch national for at least three years. Finally, Dutch nationals will continue to automatically lose their citizenship if they remain outside the European Union for 10 years without a valid passport.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Citizenship applications (naturalization).
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals seeking Dutch citizenship.
  • Business impact: Employees seeking to apply for Dutch citizenship will not be subject to the longer residency period that the bill had proposed.

Background: The Dutch Parliament had appeared poised to pass the amendment to the Nationality Act, but two political parties–the Labour Party and 50Plus–whose members had supported the amendment in the House of Representatives voted against it in the Senate. The bill was thus defeated.

BAL Analysis: The bill’s defeat is a setback for supporters who argued that non-Dutch nationals needed to integrate more fully into Dutch society before becoming citizens. It will be welcomed, however, by eligible foreign nationals seeking to become Dutch citizens.