How can I acquire Dutch nationality
There are three ways of acquiring Dutch nationality:
On this page:
- By law (automatically)
- By birth
- By acknowledgement before birth
- By acknowledgement after birth with submission of DNA evidence
- By legitimation by marriage of the parents without prior acknowledgement
- By adoption subject to certain conditions
- By judicial declaration of paternity subject to certain conditions
- By option
- By naturalisation
By law (automatically)
Every child born of a married Dutch father or mother automatically acquires Dutch nationality, even if he or she is born outside the Netherlands, as does the child of an unmarried Dutch mother.
NB: Children born before 1 January 1985 of a Dutch mother and a foreign father did not as a rule acquire Dutch nationality by birth.
By acknowledgement before birth
The child of a foreign mother who is acknowledged before birth by an unmarried male Dutch citizen automatically acquires Dutch nationality.
By acknowledgement after birth with submission of DNA evidence
As of 1 March 2009 any child who is seven or older but younger than eighteen and who is acknowledged after birth by an unmarried Dutch citizen automatically acquires Dutch nationality provided that DNA evidence of the man’s biological paternity is submitted within a year after acknowledgement.
By legitimation by marriage of the parents without prior acknowledgement
As of 1 March 2009 an unacknowledged minor child who is legitimated after birth under foreign law by the subsequent marriage of its parents automatically acquires Dutch nationality from the marriage date.
By adoption subject to certain conditions
For information on adoption please apply to the Dutch embassy or consulate-general in the country in which you live. Click here for a list of countries that have signed up to The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. The Netherlands has been a signatory since 1 October 1998. If you live in the Netherlands and wish to adopt a foreign child, go to the website of Stichting Adoptievoorzieningen for more information.
By judicial declaration of paternity subject to certain conditions
For more information contact the Dutch embassy or consultate-general in your country of residence.
Under certain circumstances it is possible to acquire Dutch nationality by making a declaration that you wish to become a Dutch citizen. This procedure is open to certain groups of people living in the Netherlands. Abroad, only certain former Dutch nationals and foreign minors who were acknowledged by a male Dutch citizen between 1 April 2003 and 28 February 2009 may make use of the procedure.
For more information and the conditions that apply, see the booklet ‘How can you regain your Dutch nationality? Option and naturalisation procedures for former Dutch nationals’ . Click on the link 'Former Dutch citizens' under the heading 'Becoming a Dutch citizen'.
Do you live in the Netherlands? You can check the conditions applying to the option procedure on the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).
Naturalisation is the third way for foreign nationals to acquire Dutch nationality. Some former Dutch citizens can apply abroad to have their nationality restored through naturalisation. Foreign nationals who have been married to or in a registered partnership with a Dutch citizen for at least three years and who live with this partner at the same address may apply abroad for naturalisation. The partnership must be one that is registered in the Dutch civil register or a partnership registered abroad on or after 1 January 2005 which can be recognised in the Netherlands on the basis of sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Registered Partnership (Conflict of Laws) Act.
The foreign national may not live in the country of which he/she is a national and in most cases he/she will have to have passed the civic integration examination for naturalisation before submitting an application.
If you live in the Netherlands, you can check the conditions applying to the option procedure on the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).