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.