Obtaining Dutch nationality

Obtaining Dutch nationality

Do you want to come to the Netherlands to work, study or stay with your family/partner? A residence permit can be issued if you have a legitimate purpose of stay. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) issues residence permits for both temporary and permanent residence depending on your situation.

After continuous legal residence in the Netherlands of at least five years, it is possible to apply for a permanent residence permit. If some additional strict conditions are met, it is even possible to apply for Dutch nationality through naturalisation. Naturalisation is a complex and expensive application procedure submitted to the municipality. The procedure can take less than one year to up to two years. In this blog, I will discuss which conditions, among others, you need to meet to apply for naturalisation.

Given the complex nature of the procedure, it is advisable to hire a lawyer who can guide you through the process and focus on your specific and individual situation. After all, you will not get the high application fee back in case of a negative decision.



Naturalisation requires that you are 18 years or older and have been living in the Netherlands continuously for 5 years or more with a valid residence permit. At the moment you apply for naturalisation, it is important that you have one of the residence permits listed below:

  • Residence permit asylum indefinite or regular indefinite;
  • EU long-term resident residence permit;
  • Fixed-term residence permit with a non-temporary purpose of stay;
  • Residence document as a family member of a Union citizen;
  • Nationality of an EU, EEA or Swiss country; or
  • Residence document Article 50 Withdrawal Agreement Brexit (TEU Withdrawal Agreement) for UK citizens and their family members.

For a positive result, it is also important that you do not pose a danger to the public order or national security of the Netherlands. Finally, you should be prepared to renounce your current nationality, if possible, unless you can invoke a ground for exemption.

Moreover, although there is an age requirement, it is possible for your children to naturalise with you under certain conditions.

Required documents

To apply for Dutch nationality, you must – apart from a valid residence permit or other proof of lawful residence – be in possession of valid identification such as a passport. A birth certificate from the country of origin must also be presented. It is also required to submit an integration diploma, other proof of integration or proof of (partial) exemption or dispensation from the integration requirement.

The municipality will use the Basisregistratie Personen (BRP) to check how long you have actually lived in the Netherlands.


Naturalisation should be applied for at the municipality. You should be prepared to renounce your current nationality if possible – in case of a positive decision.

The IND has 12 months to decide on your application. The letter from the IND will state the period within which they will make a decision on your application. The decision period starts when you have paid the application fee. After receiving a positive decision, follow-up steps need to be taken to actually assume Dutch nationality. If the decision is negative, you can object to the decision within 6 weeks.

Option procedure

It is possible to acquire Dutch nationality the easier and faster way, namely by option. For more information on this, please refer to our blog on the option procedure.


Do you have questions regarding immigration law or would you like us to help you further with your naturalisation application? Then feel free to contact Aylin Selamet, lawyer at Law & More at aylin.selamet@lawandmore.nl or Ruby van Kersbergen, lawyer at Law & More at ruby.van.kersbergen@lawandmore.nl or call us at +31 (0)40-3690680.

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