Dutch citizenship law being updated

People born before 1985 to a Dutch mother and a non-Dutch father may become eligible for Dutch citizenship. The Dutch House of Representatives, de Tweede Kamer, approved a motion today and Justice Minister Ballin will take the measure into consideration.

While children born to a Dutch father and foreign mother have always been eligible for Dutch citizenship, people born before 1985 to a Dutch mother and a foreign father are not. This strange distinction was a legacy from an old law from 1892, which was revised in 1985. Since January 1, 1985 children born to either a Dutch mother or a Dutch father have been eligible for a Dutch passport.

There was a grace-period in the late 1980's where people in this situation could apply for Dutch citizenship but this did not reach everybody on time. The ministry of Foreign Affairs describes the existing regulations for people in this situation (in Dutch).

The proposal is part of a larger overhaul of the law on Dutch citizenship, including more measures to prevent dual citizenship and additional rules to revoke citizenship of terrorists in certain cases. More information on this proposed change and others on the website of the Dutch House of Representatives.

Update: this law will go in effect on October 1st, 2010. Read more about it.

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I am very glad to hear about this law proposal. My daughter was born in 1970 and would like to become a Dutch citizen. I still have my citizenship, and a Dutch passport. Please let me know if and when this law is passed, and how she can obtain her citizenship.

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Margaretha, two good official sources of information are:

* Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst - ("the Dutch USCIS"): http://www.ind.nl/EN/inbedrijf/actueel/
* The Royal Netherlands Embassy & consulates in the US: http://www.netherlands-embassy.org

Check under 'passports' on the website of the Dutch embassy in DC. And/or call the Dutchhelp phone number. It's a bit of a slog getting all the right information, but not impossible and definitely worth it!

The IND issued a press release a few days ago, in Dutch, emphasizing that this is only a bill and still requires approval by the House of Representatives and Senate of the Netherlands.

If approved, it may take up to a year before the law goes into effect, according to the statement.

http://www.ind.nl/nl/inbedrijf/actueel/Wetsvoorstel_latente_Nederlanders...

I have both parents born in Netherlands and I lived there until 22. I have been here since the 1960's and became a US
citizen in 1967. did I lose my Dutch citizenship.??? Or did I retain it? Thanks. Jackie !!

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Yes, you lost your Dutch citizenship when you became an American citizen. EXCEPT if you were married to a US citizen at the time.

Dutch law was changed in 2003 to allow Dutch citizens to keep their Dutch nationality if they take the nationality of their spouse.

The law works retroactively, so again, if you were married to a US citizen at the time you became an American, you can get your Dutch passport back.

This law needs change because it had caused misery to families with one of the parents not being Dutch citizen.

I was born in the Netherlands prior to 1985, emigrated to the US prior to that date, became a US citzen when my parents did since I was a minor at the time. Am I a dual Dutch/US citizen?

Anonymous, two good official sources of information are:

* Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst - (“the Dutch USCIS”): http://www.ind.nl/EN/inbedrijf/actueel/
* The Royal Netherlands Embassy & consulates in the US: http://www.netherlands-embassy.org

No, you are not a dual Dutch/US citizen even though you were born Dutch, not by virtue of the fact you had a Dutch mother, but because you were born prior to 1985 AND your father was Dutch AND both your parents were married when you were born. Both of your parents naturalized when you were a minor. You automatically lost your Dutch nationality when they did. It does not matter you may not have known it or if it was against your will.

I am in the same situation, except that I didn't realize I had lost my citizenship until recently, when under the assumption that I could finally naturalize (married to an American) approached the INS about getting my documents. So, I have had a Dutch passport until recently. Anyway, curious if you have any resolution on this

The folks at the Royal Dutch Embassy are very helpful; please contact them for the best information.

http://dc.the-netherlands.org/Services/Consular_services/Dutch_Nationality

this is really nice to read..informative post is very good to read..thanks a lot!
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Hello,

My situation is similar except i was born in the U.S. to Dutch parents had not yet become American citizens, so at that point i had dual citizenship because my parents had Dutch citizenship. I was also a minor at the time my parents became American citizens but wonder if my dual citizenship was taken away at that time or if i've always had it and didnt realize it.
Anyway let me know what you find out and i'll do the same.
Take care
Art Rietveld

You do not give enough information and dates in your posting. As a general rule, if your parents both naturalized US and you were a minor when they naturalized, you automatically lost your Dutch nationality when your parents did.

No, you are not a dual Dutch/US citizen even though you were born Dutch, not by virtue of the fact you had a Dutch mother, but because you were born prior to 1985 AND your father was Dutch AND both your parents were married when you were born. Both of your parents naturalized when you were a minor. You automatically lost your Dutch nationality when they did. It does not matter you may not have known it or if it was against your will.

No, you are not a dual Dutch/US citizen even though you were born Dutch, not by virtue of the fact you had a Dutch mother, but because you were born prior to 1985 AND your father was Dutch AND both your parents were married when you were born. Both of your parents naturalized when you were a minor. You automatically lost your Dutch nationality when they did. It does not matter you may not have known it or if it was against your will.

No, you are not a dual Dutch/US citizen even though you were born Dutch, not by virtue of the fact you had a Dutch mother, but because you were born prior to 1985 AND your father was Dutch AND both your parents were married when you were born. Both of your parents naturalized when you were a minor. You automatically lost your Dutch nationality when they did. It does not matter you may not have known it or if it was against your will.

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If I'm Canadian, marry a Dutch Citizen and live in the Netherlands...Could I keep my Canadian Citizenship? I know that the Dutch and the Canadians have that friendship due to the Liberation of the Netherlands from Nazi rule. Also the fact that we housed the Crown Princess and she had Magriet in Canada.

Canada allows its citizens to hold dual (or triple!) nationality. Whether the Netherlands will allow to you keep your canadian citizenship if you become a dutch citizen, I don't know.

Has the law been updated yet, i have 3 daughters born before 1985 and only one after 1985. i am a dutch mother married to a south african and still have my dutch citizen ship and dutch passport.

Jose, the new law will take effect on October 1st.

Your 3 daughters born prior to Jan. 1, 1985 can get Dutch citizenship via OPTION. Your daughter born subsequent to Jan. 1, 1985 was automatically born Dutch because on that date, Dutch women married to foreign husbands could transmit their Dutch nationality automatically to their children. So all your 4 daughters have a chance. The really fortunate one is your daughter born after 1985. In 1985, Dutch citizenship law was changed so that the Dutch woman's nationality became completely independent from the man's. Remember: since your first 3 daughters were born prior to Jan. 1, 1985, they were only born US (and will never be considered Dutch automatically). But now they can apply for the option procedure and they will start to be Dutch on the day that option is signed by the Dutch authorities. The option only goes forward in time. Options are not the same as naturalization. Remember that too.

Awesome ... so what do these 'children' need to apply for NL citizenship starting Oct 1? Or should we just have them call the Embassy?

Conrad, we have asked the Embassy for an official comment; stay tuned.

In the mean time, this Facebook group has some unofficial info and experiences from other folks:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=68157121128&v=wall

This law will go into effect on October 1st, 2010:

http://www.dutchinamerica.com/2010/09/26/dutch-citizenship-law-changes-e...

sorry i have a one question. i will be happy, if you can help to me.
i was born in holland at 1983 but my family left for emigration from holland at 1985 and i haven't got netherland citizenship. im turkish.. can i have netherland citizenship now? i dont know nothing about acquis.. i hope you can explain to me.
thanks for your time

You do not give enough information in your posting. When you say you were born in NL in 1983, does that mean none of your parents had Dutch nationality either? Being born in the Netherlands does not automatically give one Dutch citizenship. Many people do not understand this. You are Dutch because one of your parents is Dutch, because primarily the acquisition of Dutch nationality comes through the bloodline (i.e. whether or not one parent had Dutch nationality on the day one was born on or subsequent to January 1, 1985, or only from the father if born prior to January 1, 1985 (unless the child was born out of wedlock to a Dutch woman and a foreigh father). From what you wrote, both of your parents are Turkish and do not have Dutch nationality as well. You have no claim under these circumstances to acquire Dutch citizenship via an option procedure. The only way for you (or anyone else in similar circumstances) is by naturalization.

My Dad was born in the Netherlands and immigrated to Australia in the 50s and as such had to give up his Dutch citizenship. I was born in the 1984 while he didn't have Citizenship. He re-claimed his Citizenship in 2004 and now has dual Aus/Dutch Citizenship. I was wondering if I am now able to get it? My Mum is an Aussie.

No, you cannot get Dutch nationality, because your father was stateless at the time you were born. He was no longer in possession of his Dutch nationality with which he was born. You were 20 years old in 2004, the year your father regained his lost Netherlands nationality. The Dutch age of majority was 21 until 1988, when it was lowered to 18. You can only acquire NL nationality through naturalization. Your father's (regained) NL nationality has no effect on you.

My Dad was born in the Netherlands and immigrated to Australia in the 50s and as such had to give up his Dutch citizenship. I was born in the 1984 while he didn’t have Citizenship. He re-claimed his Citizenship in 2004 and now has dual Aus/Dutch Citizenship. I was wondering if I am now able to get it? My Mum is an Aussie. Pardon me. I misread your initial posting as your posting was unclear. I understand now you meant your father didn't have his NL citizenship anymore and not that he was stateless. Your father was still Australian only at the moment you were born. He was not in possession of Netherlands nationality on the date of your birth. He thus could not transmit a nationality to you which he himself did not have. His reacqusiition of Dutch nationality in 2004 still has no effect on you.

i am iraqi born and raised in kuwait 1984, my dad and mom are divorced since 1991, he left us and went to Holland ever since, he got the nationality, and i am still living here in kuwait as i am working here, is it posiible for me to get the dutch nationality from my dad?

Hi Hisham, since every situation is unique you're best off asking your question here:

* Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst - (“the Dutch USCIS”): http://www.ind.nl/EN/inbedrijf/actueel/
* The Royal Netherlands Embassy & consulates in the US: http://www.netherlands-embassy.org

No, you cannot acquire Dutch nationality through your father since you appear to have already been 18 or older on the day your father acquired Netherlands nationality. The only way for you to acquire Dutch nationality is through naturalization.

Hi -
I had lengthy discussions with the LA consular office re my situation in 2006 or 07. At that time, they concluded that because I became a naturalized US citizen at age 17, I could not apply to have my Dutch citizenship restored automatically. Somehow, the TIMING of my US naturalization was critical. They initially said "yes" when they saw my age (12) when I first applied for US citizenship, but then reversed that view when they saw that I was 17 when it was finalized. (I'm not sure, but I may no longer have been a minor to them after age 16.)

In any event, I was born in the Netherlands, to Dutch born mother and father. Father died as a Dutch citizen, while my mom and I along with two twin sisters were naturalized at 17 and 16, respectively.

Is there anything in the new provisions that might change the 'advice' given to me several years ago? Thank you immensely!

The new provisions eliminate the difference between having a Dutch mother w/ non-Dutch father vs. Dutch father w/ non-Dutch mother. It seems that this does not change your case, but this is not professional legal advice.

We'd recommend that you contact the LA consular office to find out.

Good luck!

You lost your Dutch nationality. Your father was deceased already and you and your mother both acquired US nationality. After Jan. 1, 1985, the age of majority became 18 in the Netherlands. Your mother was no longer married to a Dutch citizen on the day she or you naturalized US, because death and divorce break the marital bond. It is irrelevant you were born in the Netherlands. The fact is that your father was deceased and your mother subsequently became a US citizen along with you. Had your father not died before you received US nationality, you would still be Dutch even if you had naturalized with your mother and your father did not.

I apologize. The age of majority in Holland became 18 in 1988. But it still is irrelevant in your case. At 17 you renounced your Dutch citizenship automatically, unbeknownst to you, along with your mother, whether you wanted to or not. You see, had one of your parents remained a Dutch citizen on the day your naturalized, you would still be Dutch. Having naturalized with your mother on the same day subsequent to your father's death results in the automatic loss of NL citizenship. The only way for you to get your Dutch nationality back would be by naturalization. And even then, you would have to renounce your US nationality UNLESS YOU ARE MARRIED TO A DUTCH NATIONAL ON THE DAY YOU RE-ACQUIRE DUTCH NATIONALITY. But then and only then can you retain your US citizenship when naturalizing Dutch. The requirements for naturalization are very difficult and you would have to move to Holland or live in a country for which you do not hold the nationality and fulfill all the requirements.

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