How to Get a Dutch Citizenship

The advantages of becoming a Dutch citizen are numerous, and among them is the freedom to live and work anywhere in the European Union. Check out our helpful guide to discover everything you need to know about obtaining Dutch citizenship.

How to Get a Dutch Citizenship

The Netherlands is exceptional because it grants citizenship to foreign-born people, those with specific ties to the Netherlands who reside abroad, and those who marry Dutch nationals. It's essential not to take becoming a Dutch citizen lightly because it's neither quick nor straightforward. To ensure that your application is successful, you must follow all the procedures because the Netherlands has stringent citizenship criteria.

There are many benefits to obtaining Dutch citizenship. Although the process can be long and somewhat tedious, it’s worth the effort if you spend enough time in the Netherlands or have other reasons to stay in the country permanently. Here’s what you need to know about how to become a Dutch citizen.

What is Dutch Citizenship?

Dutch citizenship is a legal status that entails citizens with specific rights, duties, protections, and benefits in the Netherlands. Dutch citizenship means you’ll be able to live in Germany indefinitely. Citizenship is conferred primarily by birth to a Dutch parent, irrespective of place of birth. Children born in the Netherlands to two foreign parents do not acquire Dutch citizenship at birth unless particular criteria are met.

To gain citizenship in the Netherlands, you must fulfill several requirements. It is not always as simple as moving there and filling out paperwork; many candidates are rejected simply because they don’t meet all of the Netherlands’ citizenship requirements. Though gaining Dutch citizenship can be lengthy, it will ultimately benefit your entire family. If you want to become a citizen of the Netherlands, read on for everything you need to know about how to become a Dutch citizen. 

Becoming a Dutch citizen may take several years, so plan accordingly. Even after meeting these requirements, you may appeal the decision within six months if you're denied citizenship. If your application is rejected again, you can appeal it in court. If you are granted citizenship and become an official resident of The Netherlands for five consecutive years, you will be eligible for full citizenship.

Types of Dutch Citizenship

There are three types of Dutch citizenship:

  • Naturalization: You have lived in the Netherlands (or the Dutch Caribbean) for an uninterrupted five-year period and meet other conditions mentioned below.
  • The option procedure: If you have continuously lived in the Netherlands since birth or early childhood, or if you meet other requirements that qualify you as eligible for the option procedure.
  • By law (by birth or family relations): If you are born to a Dutch father or mother, if your Dutch father acknowledges paternity, or if Dutch parents adopt you, you can apply for Dutch citizenship by law.

However, the two main paths to getting Dutch citizenship are option procedure and nationalization.

Dutch Citizenship by Option Procedure

The option procedure is a simpler and quicker way of acquiring Dutch citizenship than naturalization. Thus, it is worth seeing if you qualify for the process. Moreover, there are certain advantages to applying for Dutch citizenship through this process over the naturalization procedure. They include:

  • there are fewer requirements to apply;
  • the process is usually quicker, taking up to three months instead of one year;
  • fees are also cheaper than the naturalization application.

However, find out whether you can get Dutch citizenship by option. You are eligible to apply for Dutch nationality with a request for an option. One of these situations applies to you:

  • You live in the Netherlands with a residence permit.
  • You live in the Netherlands or a Dutch territory as an EU national. An EU national has the nationality of an EU, EEA country, or Switzerland. The application procedure for becoming a Dutch national if you live outside the Netherlands differs from that in the Netherlands.
  • Moreover, you have been married to or lived with a Dutch citizen for at least three years and have lived in the Netherlands for at least 25 years.

Dutch Citizenship by Naturalization

You can naturalize to become a Dutch citizen if you reside in The Netherlands and have been a resident there for five years. You'll need to demonstrate, among other things, that you have sufficient financial resources and health insurance. Through the process of naturalization, a non-citizen can acquire Dutch citizenship. However, if you have lawfully resided in the Netherlands for five years, you can naturalize to become a Dutch citizen. Applications are sent to your municipality for naturalization. The Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst - IND will receive the application (Immigration and Naturalization Service).

Requirements for Dutch Naturalization

Furthermore, you must have a valid residence permit and meet the following conditions.

  • You are more than 18 years old.
  • You have lived legally in the Netherlands or the Dutch Caribbean (Bonaire, Saint Eustatius, Saba, Aruba, Curaçao, or Saint Martin) for an uninterrupted five-year period (some exceptions apply, see below).
  • You hold a valid Dutch residence permit or a residence permit for a non-temporary purpose.
  • You can speak, read, write and understand Dutch. You must have passed the Dutch Civic Integration Exam at the A-2 level to prove this. Exceptions to this requirement are possible if you have already received an equivalent diploma, such as the NT2 State Exam.
  • You have not received a prison sentence, community training, or fine of 810 euros or more in the last four years.
  • You are willing to give up your current nationality (some exceptions apply, see the section on dual nationality below). Your new Dutch citizenship may be revoked if you do not do this.
  • You must attend a citizenship ceremony to declare your allegiance to the Netherlands.

How to Become a Dutch Citizen Through Naturalization

Applying for Dutch citizenship is done through your local municipality, and up-front costs are involved. Your request will be sent to the IND after the municipality has reviewed your information and received the mayor's recommendation. The IND will then decide if you can apply for Dutch citizenship. The maximum length of the decision-making process is twelve months. If you reside abroad, you may apply for citizenship at a Dutch embassy or general consulate. The civic integration test, which you can also take at a Dutch embassy or general consulate, is a requirement for citizenship applicants.

Moreover, the following documents will be required:

  • Passport
  • Residence permit
  • Birth certificate and those of your children (if applicable)
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Civic integration certificate or another diploma.

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Dutch Citizen?

The Netherlands has relatively low naturalization fees. Here is the cost of becoming a Dutch citizen:






Naturalization request - one person


€ 945.00



Naturalization request together with partner

€ 1206.00



​Co-naturalize children younger than 18




Request by a stateless person or asylum permit holder




Request by a stateless person or permit holder asylum together with partner 

€ 965.00







Option request - one person

€ 200.00



Option request together with partner




Co-opting child younger than 18

€ 22.00


However, as application fees for Dutch citizenship are frequently updated at the start and middle of the year, you may always check the latest fees.

Additional Notes

Furthermore, you must attend a naturalization ceremony if your application is successful. You can only become a Dutch national once you have attended the ceremony. This includes a solidarity declaration that states the freedoms and rights of Dutch citizenship and the obligations and duties. You must declare (in Dutch) your allegiance to uphold Dutch law.

Moreover, the naturalization ceremony is an annual event; it is compulsory to attend the ceremony. If you fail to do so, you will have to apply for citizenship all over again. Meanwhile, at the naturalization ceremony, you will receive a declaration of your Dutch citizenship, which you will use to apply for your Dutch passport.

Official Related Links You Need

You have the best Guide on Immigration, Education, and Employment details for you to Get more out of what you need to know, and it is all free of charge: 

Get More Guide -

Immigration -

Education -

Employment -

US Immigration -

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, online resources provide details on how to apply for and obtain foreign citizenship. However, we've seen that most articles either concentrate on specific European nations or generic U.S. immigration. You should get in touch with an immigration lawyer in your state or country and ask them for guidance if you want to learn everything you need to know about becoming a citizen of the Netherlands. To learn more, click the link below.

What's Your Reaction?