ImmigrationNews
REVISED ARTICLE

NOTE: The following article was originally published on March 3, 2019. Due to many of the comments and questions, the author Paul Munsell has graciously revised the article. The article was revised and updated on TIP website on May 21, 2019.

INTRODUCTION

A short time ago, there were several heavy-duty discussions on Facebook about retaining dual or the reinstatement of a Dutch nationality. People had many questions.  Mr. Paul Munsell, who has intently studied Dutch nationality laws and regularly follows updates to any legislation regarding the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap, has painstakingly written up an article that will explain some of the most very complicated requirements under Dutch law.

LOSS AND RESTORATION OF DUTCH NATIONALITY / VERLIES EN HERKRIJGING VAN HET NEDERLANDERSCHAP: A BRIEF HISTORY AND EXPLANATION

by Paul Munsell

This is information to give a bit of understanding of how Dutch nationality law with regard to cases of dual nationality has evolved over time as there is a definite distinction amongst everyone regarding when they were born and their own personal circumstances and those of their families with regard to the loss or reinstatement of Dutch nationality (Nederlanderschap).

The Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap (1985) (the Kingdom Act on Netherlands Nationality) entered into effect on 1 January 1985 and is still in effect today.  This Act, formally signed by Koningin Beatrix on 19 December 1984, replaced the former Wet op het Nederlanderschap en het Ingezetenschap (1892) (WNI (1892)), which was signed by Queen-Regent Emma in 1892 as Queen Wilhelmina was not yet 18 years of age.

If you were born prior to 1 January 1985, then you acquired (or did not acquire) Dutch nationality under the provisions of the WNI (1892).

Wet op het Nederlanderschap en het Ingezetenschap (1892)

The initial public policy of the Netherlands at the time the WNI (1892) and the RWN (1985) entered into effect remains unchanged:  dual nationality should be limited as much as possible.  However, there are exceptions.

When the WNI (1892) entered into effect, Dutch nationality hinged in almost all circumstances on two important principles:  1) dual nationality should be restricted to the greatest extent possible and 2) the child acquired Dutch nationality at birth primarily via the Dutch father only under Article 1 which states:

Artikel 1

Nederlanders door geboorte zijn:

  1. het wettig, gewettigd of door de vader erkend natuurlijk kind, waarvan tijdens de geboorte de vader de staat van Nederlander bezit.

This means that Dutch nationality was primarily acquired via the child’s Dutch father only on the child’s date of birth following the ascending patrilineal blood line (in Latin:  jus sanguinis a patre).  Only in certain circumstances was Dutch nationality prior to 1 January 1985 acquired via the Dutch mother only (jus sanguinis a matre), such as when the father was stateless and only the mother was a Dutch national on the child’s date of birth.  Place of birth is irrelevant.

 

Loss of Dutch nationality under the WNI (1892)

Article 7 of the WNI (1892) sets forth the basic cases in which Dutch nationality would automatically be lost.  These include:

  1. by naturalizing to another country as an adult (minor-aged children would also lose Dutch nationality by having shared in the naturalization of either parent);
  2. by a revocation decision (vervallenverklaring) from the Dutch authorities at the request of an adult who held another nationality in addition to Dutch nationality and who had lost both nationalities and without the individual having willfully made such circumstance known to the Dutch authorities and the individual resided outside the Netherlands;
  3. by having willfully accepted a foreign nationality (a Dutch women would retain her Dutch nationality if she did not willfully accept the acquisition of a foreign nationality at the time of her marriage to a foreigner and whose nationality she automatically would have acquired at marriage under the laws of her husband’s country);
  4. by willfully having agreed to serve in the military forces or to enter into the civil service of another country without prior permission from the Dutch authorities; and
  5. Dutch nationals who were born outside the Kingdom and outside of the Republic of Indonesia would lose Dutch nationality (except those who were in the service of the Kingdom) and who resided for ten (10) continuous years outside of the Kingdom, unless they gave notice to the Dutch authorities they wished to retain Dutch nationality before the 10-year period expired (i.e., by age 31). Another 10-year period would start to run on the day such notification was given.  As for minor-aged children, the 10-year period would start to run on the day they reached the age of majority (21 years at the time in the Netherlands).
Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap (1985)

On 1 January 1985, the RWN (1985) entered into effect.  RWN (1985), Chapter 2, Article 3 (Hoodstuk 2:  Verkriging van het Nederlanderschap van rechtswege) states:

Artikel 3

Nederlander is het kind waarvan ten tijde van zijn geboorte de vader of de moeder Nederlander is, alsmede het kind van een Nederlander die voordien is overleden.

This is an important distinction from Article 1 of the WNI (1892) as henceforth a child acquires Dutch nationality either via the Dutch father or via the Dutch mother.  Place of birth is irrelevant.

Now here is where Dutch nationality law gets complicated.

It is recognized under Dutch law and international law that an individual cannot lose his/her nationality if he/she only has one nationality (in this case, Dutch nationality).  Otherwise, the individual would become stateless.  Therefore, if you are a Dutch national only, you cannot lose your Nederlanderschap.

Loss of Dutch nationality under RWN, Article 15(c):  Loss of Dutch nationality if a dual Dutch national lives outside of the Netherlands after his/her 28th birthday

Artikel 15

(c) Het Nederlanderschap gaat voor een meerderjarige verloren wanneer de betrokkene na zijn meerderjarigheid gedurende een ononderbroken periode van 10 jaren woonplaats buiten Nederland, onderscheidenlijk de Nederlandse Antillen, heeft in het land waarin hij is geboren en waarvan hij eveneens de nationaliteit bezit, anders dan in een dienstverband met Nederland, de Nederlandse Antillen dan wel een internationaal orgaan waarin het Koninkrijk is vertegenwoordigd, of als echtgenoot van een person met een zodanig dienstverband.

This new article 15(c) (hereafter referenced as “article 15(c) (oude)”) unequivocally states that a dual Dutch national born outside the Netherlands who possessed both Dutch nationality and the nationality of the country of birth and who resided in the country of birth would lose his or her Dutch nationality if, after attaining the age of majority, he/she lived in his/her country of birth for an uninterrupted period of 10 years and he/she was a citizen of that country.

What does this mean?

 

As a result, many dual Dutch nationals, either knowingly or unknowingly and living abroad, lost their Dutch nationality on or subsequent to 1 January 1995 (1 January 1985 (effective date of the RWN (1985) and article 15(c) (oude)) + 10 years = 1 January 1995).

Many of these former Dutch nationals live in:  Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States).  Why these countries more specifically?  Because, historically, it is to these countries to which the greatest amount of Dutch emigrants went in the past.

The February 2000 revisions to the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap.  Article 15(c) (oude) replaced by article 15, paragraphs 1 (c) and 2.

Artikel 15

1 Het Nederlanderschap gaat voor een meerderjarige verloren:

c. indien hij tevens een vreemde nationaliteit bezit en tijdens zijn meerderjarigheid gedurende een ononderbroken periode van tien jaar in het bezit van beide nationaliteiten zijn hoofdverblijf heeft buiten Nederland, Aruba, Curaçao en Sint Maarten, en buiten de gebieden waarop het Verdrag betreffende de Europese Unie van toepassing is, anders dan in een dienstverband met Nederland, Aruba, Curaçao of Sint Maarten dan wel met een internationaal orgaan waarin het Koninkrijk is vertegenwoordigd, of als echtgenoot van of als ongehuwde in een duurzame relatie samenlevend met een persoon in een zodanig dienstverband;

2 Het eerste lid, aanhef en onder a, is niet van toepassing op de verkrijger

a. die in het land van die andere nationaliteit is geboren en daar ten tijde van de verkrijging zijn hoofdverblijf heeft;

b. die voor het bereiken van de meerderjarige leeftijd gedurende een onafgebroken periode van tenminste vijf jaren in het land van die andere nationaliteit zijn hoofdverblijf heeft gehad; of

c. die gehuwd is met een persoon die die andere nationaliteit bezit.

As RWN (1985), Article 15 (c) (oude) was subsequently considered quite restrictive (loss of Dutch nationality by a dual Dutch national not residing in the Netherlands and who had attained age 28), the Dutch legislator wished to change the law so that former Dutch nationals, who had lived in the country of their birth for a period of ten uninterrupted years after having reached the age of majority, could have their lost Dutch nationality reinstated via option procedure.  Therefore, dual Dutch nationals living outside of the Netherlands on or past age 28 would no longer automatically lose their Dutch nationality as such had been the case under Article 15(c) (oude).

The implementation of this new article would mainly apply to former Dutch nationals who had lost their Dutch nationality subsequent to ten years after the RWN (1985) was implemented on 1 January 1985.

Three bills were drafted to amend the RWN (1985), article 15(c) (oude), the last of which passed the Tweede Kamer in April 2000 and was approved by the Eerste Kamer in December 2000.  RWN (1985) 15(c) (oude) was thus revised.  The new articles governing the loss and retention of Dutch nationality were added and became article 15, 1(c) and article 15, 2.

These revisions were implemented and entered into effect in three (3) separate stages.

STAGE 1

(former Dutch nationals who lived for more than ten uninterrupted years in the country in which they were born and whose nationality they possessed and who were issued with a Dutch passport or proof of Dutch nationality after 1 January 1990).

On February 2001, Stage 1 of the new article 15 entered into effect. Stage 1 applied to former Dutch nationals who had lost their Dutch nationality on our subsequent to 1 January 1995 by 1. having been born in the country whose nationality they possess; 2. who lived in that country for more than ten (10) uninterrupted years past age 18; and 3. had been issued with an NL passport or Bewijs van Nederlanderschap on or subsequent to 1 January 1990.

This Stage 1 provision ensured that Dutch nationality would automatically be reinstated to former Dutch nationals who lost their Dutch nationality under RWN (1985) Article 15 (c) (oude) if, on or subsequent to 1 January 1990, they had been issued with a Dutch passport or Dutch nationality certificate (Verklaring van Nederlanderschap/Bewijs van Nederlanderschap).  Under this Stage 1 option procedure, Dutch nationality will be deemed never to have been lost.  The provision would also apply to minor-age children if the parents had requested such a document for them.

As stated, this legislative revision would be applicable to individuals to whom a Dutch passport or a Verklaring van Nederlanderschap /Bewijs van Nederlanderschap (Dutch nationality certificate) had been issued on or subsequent to 1 January 1990.

Therefore, it would be necessary to determine on which date the Dutch passport or Dutch nationality certificate had been issued and from which date a new period of 10-years would start to run in order to avoid the loss of Dutch nationality.  This loss provision did not begin earlier than 1 January 1994.  It also would apply to children who also had lost Dutch nationality along with the parents.

As from 1 February 2001, the former Dutch national who lost his/her Dutch nationality under the Stage 1 provisions by having had a valid Dutch passport on the day Dutch nationality was lost under Article 15(c) (oude) could apply for a Dutch passport.  As stated, under this Stage 1, Dutch nationality will be deemed never to have been lost.

Exclusions to Stage 1

The reinstatement of Dutch nationality under Stage 1 was not open to the following former Dutch nationals:

(i) Former Dutch nationals who lost their Dutch nationality prior to 1 January 1985 because:

a. they were born outside of the Netherlands;

b. they had lived for an uninterrupted period of 10 years outside the Netherlands after reaching the age of majority (21 years at the time); and

c. 3) they did not submit notification to the Dutch authorities by age 31 they wished to retain their Dutch nationality (21 age of majority + 10 years = age 31).

This mainly concerned former Dutch nationals who were born abroad prior to 1 January 1954.

(ii) Former Dutch nationals who renounced their Dutch nationality (Verklaring van Afstand); and

(iii) Former Dutch nationals whose Dutch nationality was withdrawn (ingetrokken).

(iv) Former Dutch nationals who lived for more than ten (10) uninterrupted years in the country in which they were born and whose nationality they possessed and who were not issued with a Dutch passport or proof of Dutch nationality on or subsequent to 1 January 1990.

Why would Dutch nationality not be reinstated to former Dutch nationals who were born abroad with Dutch nationality prior to 1 January 1954 and subsequently lost Dutch nationality?

As explained above, under the WNI (1892), a dual Dutch national, who lived outside the Kingdom of the Netherlands and who did not notify the Dutch authorities within 10 years after reaching the age of majority (which was age 21 up to 1 January 1988) he/she wished to retain Dutch nationality, would lose Dutch nationality automatically.

Now, if we do the math, here is how the dates work for the exclusion of this option possibility and how 1 January 1954 is not some arbitrary date.  The time line is entirely logical.

Example1 January 1954 + 21 years (age of majority in the Netherlands at the time) = 1 January 1975 + 10 years (in which to request a Dutch passport as a dual Dutch national residing overseas) = 1 January 1985 (implementation date of the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap/loss of Dutch nationality).

STAGE 2

(former Dutch nationals who lived for more than ten uninterrupted years in the country in which they were born and whose nationality they possessed and who were never issued with a Dutch passport or proof of Dutch nationality after 1 January 1990).

On 1 April 2003, Stage 2 of the revised Article 15(c) oude entered into effect.  This Stage 2 option provision applied to former Dutch nationals who had lost their Dutch nationality subsequent to 1 January 1985 under RWN (1985) Article 15(c) (oude) because:

  1. they had been born in the country whose nationality they possess; and
  2. they had lived in that country for more than ten (10) uninterrupted years subsequent to age 18; and
  3. they had never been issued with a Dutch passport or Dutch nationality certificate on or subsequent to 1 January 1990. This means they were not in possession of a valid Dutch passport at all since at least 1 January 1990.

If you had never been issued with a Dutch passport or Dutch nationality certificate on or subsequent to 1 January 1990 under the above conditions, it was possible to have Dutch nationality reinstated with retroactive effect to the day it was lost by written option request made to the Dutch authorities.

This Stage 2 option window began on 1 April 2003 (implementation date of Stage 2) and ended on 31 March 2005.

What is the significance of the 31 March 2005 Stage 2 option expiration date which equals 10 years?

The time period for “renewing” Dutch nationality if the dual Dutch national lives outside the Netherlands (including the Western Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba), Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten or any other Member State of the European Union henceforth always runs in ten-year incremental periods.

Example31 March 2005 (Stage 2 option procedure expiration date to request and receive a Dutch passport or Dutch nationality certificate) – 10 years = 1 January 1995 (initial loss of Dutch nationality for dual Dutch nationals living abroad when RWN (1985) article 15(c) (oude)) went into effect.

Now, if the loss of Dutch nationality by dual Dutch nationals living outside 1. the Netherlands (including Bonaire, Sint Eustatius or Saba) or 2. Aruba, Curaçao or Sint Maarten or 3. a member state of the European Union (since 1 January 1985) always operates in 10 year incremental periods, then if 1 January 1995 was the date on which loss of Dutch nationality under article 15(c) (oude) would take effect, if we subtract ten 10 years (because 10 years is the duration in order for Dutch nationality to be lost under RWN (1985), Article 15(c) (oude) = 1 January 1985 (implementation date of the RWN (1985). [1 April 2005 (Stage 2 implementation date) – 10 years = 1 January 1995 – 10 years = 1 January 1985]

The time line is entirely logical!

STAGE 3

(remaining cases for reinstatement of Dutch nationality for former Dutch nationals who lost their Dutch nationality as adults prior to 1 April 2003 (the implementation date of the Article 15, 1(c) and 2)

On 1 April 2003, the new article 15, 1(c) and 2 entered into effect, thereby replacing RWN (1985) 15(c) (oude).

Restoration of Dutch nationality under the Stage 3 option procedure window applied to the following former Dutch nationals who had lost their Dutch nationality prior to 1 April 2003, but who could not have it reinstated under Stage 1 or Stage 2.

This option procedure applied to those former Dutch nationals who do not reside in the Netherlands and who, after reaching the age of majority, had lost Dutch nationality because they had acquired a foreign nationality as an adult.

The three (3) distinct option cases were:

(i) a former Dutch national who lost Dutch nationality as an adult, because he/she was born in the country whose nationality he/she subsequently acquired as an adult, and he/she was living in that country at the time the foreign nationality was acquired;

(ii) a former Dutch national who, before turning 18, had lived for an uninterrupted period of at least five (5) years in the country whose nationality he/she subsequently acquired as an adult; or

(iii) a former Dutch national who, when he/she acquired the nationality of another country and lost Dutch nationality automatically because of this naturalization, was married to or in a registered civil partnership (which can be recognized under Dutch law) with a national of that same country.  Example:  A Dutch woman who married a U.S. national and she voluntarily naturalized American prior to 1 January 1985 while married to her American husband, in which case she automatically would have lost her Dutch nationality in so doing under the WNI (1892).

If the former Dutch national fell under one of these three cases, he/she had between 1 April 2003 and 31 March 2013 (another 10-year window!) to have his/her lost Dutch nationality reinstated via option.

The 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2013 period also was the 10-year time frame during which an individual who fell under the Stage 1 option period would need to apply for and receive in hand a new Dutch passport, Dutch national identification card or Bewijs van Nederlanderschap/Dutch nationality certificate.  Once one of these documents is issued, a new 10-year period begins to run.

What is the significance of the 31 March 2013 Stage 3 option expiration date which equals 10 years?

Example31 March 2013 (Stage 3 option expiration date) – 10 years (to apply for reinstatement of Dutch nationality via option under Stage 3 in one of the three specific aforementioned cases back to the implementation date) = 1 April 2003 (Stage 3 implementation date of article 15, paragraphs 1 and 2 replacing RWN (1985) 15 (c) (oude) for the retention of Dutch nationality under the 3 specific cases mentioned above).

Exclusions to Stage 3

The reinstatement of Dutch nationality under Stage 3 was not open to the following former Dutch nationals:

(i) Former Dutch nationals who lost their nationality when Suriname and Indonesia gained independence;

(ii) Former Dutch nationals who lost their nationality as a result of the conclusion of the Council of Europe convention to reduce the number of cases of multiple nationality. The Netherlands has been a party to this Convention since 10 June 1985.  An example here would be a former Dutch national who acquired Norwegian, Danish or Austrian nationality;

(iii) Former Dutch nationals who lost their Dutch nationality as minors by acquiring the nationality of a parent;

(iv) Former Dutch nationals who lost their Dutch nationality prior to 1 January 1985 because they were born outside NL, lived for an uninterrupted period of 10 years outside NL after reaching age 21 and they did not submit notification they wished to retain their Dutch nationality (once again those born abroad prior to 1 January 1954);

(v) Former Dutch nationals who renounced their Dutch nationality (Verklaring van Afstand); and

(vi) Former Dutch nationals whose Dutch nationality was withdrawn (ingetrokken).

How can I retain my Dutch nationality if I am a dual Dutch national and I don’t live in the Netherlands (including Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba), Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten or any member state of the European Union?

With the implementation of the revised article 15, paragraphs 1 and 2 which entered into effect, as explained on 1 April 2003 and which are still in effect today, while the acquisition of a foreign nationality by an adult age 18 or over in addition to Dutch nationality has been restricted to the three (3) exceptions as explained under Stage 3, the possibility for a dual Dutch national to retain Dutch nationality has been expanded.

There are two (2) ways in which to “reset” the 10-year clock if and only if you are a dual Dutch national and you live outside:

1) the Netherlands (including Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba); or

2) Aruba, Curaçao or Sint Maarten; or

3) any other Member State of the European Union.

Option 1:  Obtain a new Dutch passport, Dutch national identification card or Bewijs van Nederlanderschap/Dutch nationality certificate once every 10 years.

All you need to do is to request and receive in hand (merely requesting such document is not sufficient; one must actually receive the issued document) one of these documents once every ten (10) years and before the expiration date of the previously-issued document.  If a new document is not issued by the expiration of the previously-issued document (i.e. before the 10-year period ends), you will lose your Dutch nationality.  No exceptions!

On the date one of these three documents is issued to you, a new ten (10) year period begins to run. (Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap, Artikel 15(4).)

Example:  Dutch passport is issued on 1 April 2018.  The passport will be valid for 10 years and will expire on 31 March 2028.  A new document must be requested and issued before 31 March 2028.  Otherwise, you, as a dual Dutch national, will lose your Dutch nationality [1 April 2018 + 10 years (document validity) = 31 March 2028 (expiration date; loss of Dutch nationality if a new document has not been requested and received)].

Option 2:  Move back to the Netherlands (including Bonaire, Sint Eustatius or Saba), Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten or any other member state of the European Union in the year immediately preceding the year in which your document will expire and reside there officially for one uninterrupted year .

If you then leave again, a new 10-year period begins to run.

Since 9 March 2014, all Dutch passports, Dutch national identification cards or a Bewijs van Nederlanderschap/Dutch nationality certificate issued to individuals 18 years of age or older are henceforth valid for ten (10) years.

Dutch passports or Dutch national identification cards issued to a minor (those under 18 years of age) are valid for five (5) years only.

Dutch passports and Dutch national identification cards must be applied for in person at any Netherlands embassy or consulate worldwide.  This is required by a European Union Regulation that all passports and identification cards of a member state must contain biometric data taken by the authorities of that member state when the new document is requested.

A Bewijs van Nederlanderschap/Dutch nationality certificate may be applied for via post from the Netherlands embassy or consulate in your geographic area.  There is no need to appear in person for the Bewijs.

While it is not a travel document, the Bewijs is confirmation that you hold Dutch nationality on the date the Bewijs was issued.  From its issuance date, a new 10-year period begins to run.

Always remember the 10-year rule and always keep your document up-to-date.  Do not let your document expire.  Also be sure to retain all of your original former Dutch passports, Dutch national identification cards and/or your Bewijs van Nederlanderschap/Dutch nationality certificates.

Lastly, be aware that if you acquire a foreign nationality voluntarily by naturalization as an adult, the main rule is that you will automatically lose your Dutch nationality, unless you fall under one of the three (3) exceptions discussed above which entered into effect on 1 April 2003.

Therefore, it is good to remember that although you may be in possession of a valid Dutch document, you might have lost your Dutch nationality in the interim if you acquire a foreign nationality voluntarily and you don’t fall under one of the exceptions!  A Dutch passport is confirmation that you held Dutch nationality on the date the passport was issued.  A passport is merely a travel document.  A voluntary life event may have occurred in the meantime which resulted in the loss of your Dutch nationality.

If you have any concerns, contact the Netherlands embassy or consulate in your geographic area or contact the Immigratie- en Naturalisatie Dienst via e-mail at:  https://ind.nl/contact/Paginas/E-mail.aspx

In order to e-mail the IND, your question may only be written in Dutch or English.

You can also leave a question for The Indo Project below.  I’ll be happy to respond!

Paul Munsell is Dutch and American and owes his Dutch-Indonesian heritage to his Dutch mother and Opa, who was born in Banjarmasin (Borneo) and raised in Surabaya (Java).  Paul has intently studied Dutch nationality laws and regularly follows updates to any legislation regarding the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap.  You can follow his Facebook group specifically on Dutch nationality at:  Netherlands/Dutch Nationality Law Changes 2010 & Latent Dutch.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this article is information provided by the author and not The Indo Project. This advice does not constitute legal advice. The advice you are receiving as a result of your questions is provided for informational purposes only.

298 Comments

  1. Hi Paul ,
    I am a Filipina married to a dutch national since January 12 , 1997 .. and i got a naturalisation May 12,2000 as married to a dutch husband , but since 2001 we moved out to Netherlands and lived in Spain .. before moving out from the Netherlands in 2001 my son was born there on May 29,2000 .. since we moved to Spain in 2001 and until now at present 2024 we are resident in Spain .. my son and me did the dual Citizenship in Philippines Embassy in Den haag in 2016 , now am going to renue my passport this February 2024 , in which 10 years valid and it will expire on this february 2024 .. my question is i have an option of not loosing the Netherlands passport right while i did dual nationality with a Phillipine ? And my son is allowed to have dual also while he is 24 years old now ? Holding Dutch passport also ..
    thanks a lot and hope to have reply from you soon ..
    Greetings
    Nene

  2. Hello Paul, thank you for all your great research and detailed responses.

    For the last year I have been exploring options to obtain a second Passport. Most avenues seemed out of reach as I don’t have $100k lying around to “donate” or invest in another country, I’m not an Olympic athlete or a brilliant scientist. I was elated to learn about Citizenship by decent. I did a great deal of research, bugging my dad for records and digging though his old files.

    My dad was born in the Netherlands, and emigrated to the US at age 14. He never became a US Citizen, was drafted and served in Vietnam, and has always retained his Dutch citizenship. My mother is (and always was a US Citizen). I was born in February 1973 in the US. I did spend a month in the Netherlands with my father in 1983 (which I know is irrelevant). Bolstered by my apparently inadequate and incomplete research I gathered the following documents:
    My Father’s Dutch Birth Certificate, copies of his green card from around the time I was born, the time I turned 18, and his current card. I also had a copy of my parents marriage certificate and my birth certificate Apostilled for use by the Dutch Embassy. From my research I decided I simply WAS a dual US / Dutch Citizen, and just needed to apply for a Dutch passport and it should be granted.

    I made an appointment at VFS Chicago to get fingerprinted, etc for my Dutch passport, paid a crazy amount for parking, and the processing fees and waited for my new passport to arrive.

    Imagine my disappointment when I got a rejection email from the embassy telling me that I had lost my citizenship at my 28th birthday, 10 years after I turned 18. I contacted a few immigration attorneys in the US and Netherlands within the 6 week reply period but was pretty unanimously told that unless some laws changed (and there were a couple possible changes working though parliament that might be helpful in the future barring Geert Wilders striking them down) I was stuck. If only I’d have known at the time I would have found the money to get by passport back then…

    Thanks for listening to my sad story up to this point. My question is this, in about 5 years I think I could have the resources set aside to reside in the Netherlands, Aruba or Curcio for a year. I suspect it won’t be nearly as easy as taking a year long vacation however. Can you elaborate on what specifically constitutes a NON-temporary residence? Do I have to be actually employed by a Dutch company? My US (government, no Dutch ties) employer could probably be convinced to let me work remote for a year. I have two aunts who live in the Netherlands, and various cousins, would living with one of them work out or would I have to prove paying rent, buying property etc.? Can I even bank, buy a house, etc. with only US residency? Lots more questions but this space is too short.

    Thanks so much in advance for what I assume will be an amazing well thought out answer!

    • Hello James.

      Your situation is quite clear from the facts you have presented: you were born a Dutch national in 1973.

      However, from your 18th birthday in February 1991 up to your 28th birthday in February 2001, you resided uninterrupted in your country of birth and of which you were also a national (the USA).
      RESULT: automatic loss of Dutch nationality on your 28th birthday in February 2001 pursuant to Artikel 15c RWN (1985)(oud).

      If you had applied for a Dutch passport at any time prior to your 28th birthday in February 2001, a Dutch passport would have been issued to you.

      Your possible reacquisition of Dutch nationality fell under the “Stage 2” transitional arrangement for certain categories of former Dutch nationals to reacquire Dutch nationality: former Dutch nationals who lost Dutch nationality at age 28 and who had NEVER been issued with a Dutch document on or after 1 January 1990 as an adult up to the date of automatic loss of Dutch nationality.

      Since it does not appear from the facts you have shared that you ever applied for a Dutch passport as an adult up to age 28, then from 1 April 2003 through and including 31 March 2005 (an exact 2-year period), you could have applied for reacquisition of Dutch nationality by option statement.

      On the option approval date, your Dutch nationality would have been restored with retroactive effect to its date of loss: your 28th birthday in February 2001.

      Thereafter, you would be subject to the “renewal” provision (sometimes referred to as the “10-year clock” or “10-year renewal period”) that entered into effect on 1 April 2003 and that applies to any dual adult Dutch national residing uninterrupted outside 1) the Kingdom of the Netherlands; or 2) any other EU member state or geographic territory to which the Treaty on the European Union applies. Artikel 15(1) RWN, which entered into effect on 1 April 2003.

      From 1 April 2022, the “renewal period” is 13 years from date of issue of the last Dutch document.

      Long-term/non-temporary purpose visa categories include:
      -Residence as an adopted or foster child. This purpose of stay is non-temporary if the family member with whom the child resides has the following nationality or residence permit:
      -The family member is a Dutch citizen.
      -The family member is an EU/EEA citizen or Swiss national.
      -The family member has a permanent regular or asylum residence permit.
      -The family member has a temporary regular residence permit for a non-temporary purpose.
      -Employment as non-privileged military or non-privileged civilian personnel.
      -Employment as an employee.
      -Self-employment.
      -Foreign investor (wealthy alien).
      -Economically inactive EC long-term resident.
      -EU long-term resident.
      -Holder of an EU Blue Card.
      -Knowledge migrant.
      -Non-temporary humanitarian grounds.
      -Undetermined period.
      -Scientific research according to directive 2005/71/EC.
      -Research according to directive (EU) 2016/801.
      -Residence with family member. The family member with whom you are staying has the following nationality or residence permit:
      -The family member is Dutch citizen.
      -The family member is an EU/EEA citizen or Swiss national.
      -The family member has a permanent regular or asylum residence permit.
      -The family member has a temporary regular residence permit for a non-temporary purpose.
      -Residence according to decision of the Staatssecretaris, if the decision states that the right of residence is non-temporary.
      -Residence in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement for Britons and their family members.
      -Residence with minor Dutch child (Chavez-Vilchez).

      This information is readily available from the official IND website.

      You were born and raised abroad. Therefore, you are ineligible for the special Wedertoelating (Re-Entry) visa only issued automatically to former Dutch nationals who were both 1) born (geboren); and 2) raised (getogen) uninterrupted in the Kingdom from age 4 to age 12 and who obtained all their primary education (basisonderwijs) in the Kingdom. Their residence in their current country of nationality (and the nationality they currently hold) are irrelevant.

      You might wish to look into the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty which might provide you an opportunity to immigrate to The Netherlands. Being a former Dutch national is insufficient on its own. The Wedertoelating visa is long-term, non-temporary purpose and is only issued for residence in the European Netherlands (not for Aruba, Curaçao, Sint-Maarten, or the BES islands). I state this for background information despite your ineligibility in the USA.

      It would not be possible just to go to the Dutch Caribbean or The Netherlands and work remotely there. You would be required to have legal, long-term residence there which would also permit you to work. Plus, there are tax implications for your employer. This does not appear to be an option.

      If one is a legal resident in The Netherlands, then one may bank in The Netherlands. Having a bank account in The Netherlands is unrelated to the acquisition or retention of Dutch nationality.

      If you reside with anyone in the Netherlands, there could be income tax obligations for the individual in whose home you are residing. The fact you have relatives who are Dutch nationals or who reside in the Netherlands is not a way in which Dutch nationality is acquired or retained.

      The Netherlands does not have some sort of “Golden Passport” immigration scheme based on Dutch nationality in exchange for an investment (Malta does, however to name one EU member state).

      The fact your US-based employer could allow you to work remotely abroad has tax implications for your employer and for you. How would you obtain the right to work for this employer in the Netherlands? Approval from the Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst (IND) would be required. This is an issue you must consider.

      It is advisable not to use the terms “nationality” and “passport” interchangeably. The terms do not mean the same thing.

      It is being in possession of Dutch nationality that permits the issuance of a Dutch passport (a travel document) or a national identification card. It is having the nationality that gives the right to a travel document, not the other way around.

      The ways in which Dutch nationality is acquired, retained, re-acquired, and lost are enumerated point-by-point in the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap.

      If one holds Dutch nationality, a Dutch passport or national identification card may be issued.

      If one does not hold Dutch nationality, an application for either one of these documents simply will not be processed.

      Dutch nationality is not acquired by applying for a travel document (a passport).

      Having relatives in The Netherlands, “feeling Dutch,” celebrating Dutch customs, spending vacations in The Netherlands, having Dutch ancestry for generations and generations in the ascending line, not being familiar with the provisions of the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap, etc. are not ways in which Dutch nationality is acquired or retained. (these are examples people often state.)

      Your issue is simply that while having been born Dutch in 1973, you lost Dutch nationality automatically at age 28 in February 2001.

      Given you had never been issued with a Dutch passport, identification card, or Certificate of Dutch nationality at any time from age 18 and your 28th birthday, automatic loss of Dutch nationality at age 28 in your case, as explained. There was no possibility to avoid this given your uninterrupted residence from age 18 in the USA.

      As stated, the period for you to reacquire Dutch nationality with retroactive effect to your 28th birthday was to apply at any Netherlands representation in the USA (and be approved) to reacquire Dutch nationality you had lost under the former Artikel 15c RWN (1985)(oud) between 1 April 2003 through and including 31 March 2005

      I hope this information is helpful.

      All the best.

      ========================
      LEGAL TEXTS
      ========================
      On your birth abroad as a Dutch national in February 1973:

      Artikel 1a, Wet op het Nederlanderschap en het Ingezetenschap (1892) in effect from 1 July 1893 through and including 31 December 1984.
      “Nederlanders door geboorte zijn: het wettig, gewettigd of door de vader erkend kind waarvan tijdens de geboorte de vader de staat van Nederlander bezit.”

      ================
      RWN (1985) Artikel 15c (oud) in effect from 1 January 1995 through and including 31 March 2003.

      On the automatic loss of Dutch nationality by dual Dutch nationals born abroad and who were residing in their country of birth of which they were also nationals, and despite whether they had a valid Dutch document or not.

      The Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap entered into force on 1 January 1985 (i.e., exactly 10 years earlier) and replaced the former Wet op het Nederlanderschap en het Ingezetenschap (1892) in force from 1 July 1893 through and including 31 December 1984 and under whose provisions your father and you were born.

      *** This means that between 1 January 1985 through and including 31 December 1994, a dual adult Dutch national such as yourself, born abroad, residing in his/her country of birth and of which he/she was a national could lose Dutch nationality under this Artikel 15c (oud) no earlier than: 1 January 1995 (exactly 10 years after 1 January 1985). ***

      “Het Nederlanderschap gaat voor een meerderjarige verloren wanneer de betrokkene na zijn meerderjarigheid gedurende een ononderbroken periode van 10 jaren woonplaats buiten Nederland, onderscheidenlijk de Nederlandse Antillen, heeft in het land waarin hij is geboren en waarvan hij eveneens de nationaliteit bezit, anders dan in een dienstverband met Nederland, de Nederlandse Antillen dan wel een internationaal orgaan waarin het Koninkrijk is vertegenwoordigd, of als echtgenoot van een persoon met een zodanig dienstverband.”

      [“An adult shall lose Dutch nationality when the individual concerned has his permanent residence for a period of ten (10) years outside the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles, respectively, in his country of birth and of which he is also a national, except if he is employed in the civil service of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles or by an international body in which the Kingdom is represented, or as the spouse of an individual having such employment.”].

      ===========================
      Artikel 6(1)f Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap

      On the possibility to reacquire Dutch nationality by option statement as a former Dutch national. Note: A return to the Kingdom for at least one (1) uninterrupted year with a long-term residence permit for a non-temporary purpose (verblijfstitel langdurig verblijf voor een niet-tijdelijk doel).

      “Na het afleggen van een daartoe strekkende schriftelijke verklaring verkrijgt door een bevestiging als bedoeld in het derde lid het Nederlanderschap:
      f. de meerderjarige vreemdeling die te eniger tijd het Nederlanderschap of de staat van Nederlands onderdaan-niet-Nederlander heeft bezeten en in het Europese deel van Nederland, Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten of de openbare lichamen Bonaire, Sint Eustatius en Saba tenminste één jaar toelating voor onbepaalde tijd en hoofdverblijf heeft tenzij hij het Nederlanderschap heeft verloren op grond van artikel 15, eerste lid, onder d of e.”

  3. Hi Paul,

    My mother was born in the Netherlands in 1966 and moved over to Australia when she was 5 (both her parents were dutch – therefore she can prove she lived the first 10 years of her life before she was 10 in the country that she obtained citizen). In 2010 she renewed her Dutch passport and in 2011 she obtained Australian nationality. Due to COVID-19 and lockdowns she was unable to renew her passport and hence, as per article 15 her dutch citizenship was automatically lost on in June 2021. This was advised to us when we tried to obtain a dutch nationality certificate in mid 2023.

    My questions are:

    1) Is there any exceptions with article 15 due to the COVID-19 lockdowns and being unable to renew documents etc. (as in Australia you must visit the consulate in person)?

    2) Is there any option for me her son, to obtain Dutch nationality (I am 23 and at the time of my birth (2000) my mother was a dutch citizen and not a dual citizen)?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!

    • Hello Luca.

      1. Dutch nationality is not acquired by birth anywhere in the Kingdom of The Netherlands. Dutch nationality is acquired primarily and almost exclusively through the bloodline (“jus sanguinis” in Latin), and depending on two (2) facts cumulatively: i) the date of birth of the child (before 1 January 1985) or on or after 1 January 1985, and depending on ii) exactly WHICH parent was the Dutch national.

      2. Your mother acquired Dutch nationality at birth because I shall assume on her date of birth in 1966, her FATHER was a married Dutch national. If her mother was also, then that fact is irrelevant. Her birth in the Netherlands is also irrelevant. Artikel 1a Wet op het Nederlanderschap en het Ingezetenschap (1892) in force from 1 July 1893 through and including 31 December 1984.

      3. Therefore, when you state that she can prove she lived the first 10 years of her life, this has nothing to do with anything, and is an erroneous assumption. Her residence in The Netherlands at any time is entirely irrelevant in the acquisition of Dutch nationality at birth through her FATHER.

      4. Effective 2011 your mother became a dual Dutch national residing in Australia, a country which is not an EU member state. In this case, your mother was required not only to apply for, but also be issued with, either a new Dutch passport, national identity card/NIK, or Certificate of Dutch nationality (Verklaring omtrent het bezit van het Nederlanderschap) before ten (10) years had elapsed since since her Australian naturalization date (because from that moment onward, she was a dual Dutch national).

      This provision under Artikel 15(1)c RWN entered into effect on 1 April 2003, and was already in force for a few years when your mother naturalized Australian in 2011.

      5. Whether your mother was aware of this “renewal” obligation or not is irrelevant. Dutch courts have consistently ruled that it is the responsibility of the adult Dutch national to remain up-to-date on revisions to Dutch nationality laws, and how naturalization to a foreign nationality could affect this DUAL adult Dutch national’s Dutch nationality or how Dutch nationality can be lost automatically when the dual adult Dutch national resides uninterrupted outside the Kingdom or any other EU member state or geographic territory to which the Treaty on the European Union applies.

      6. You state your mother’s last Dutch passport was issued in 2010. But that is irrelevant. Your mother could not have begun to lose her Dutch nationality for failure to renew her Dutch passport on a timely basis due to uninterrupted residence in Australia before her Australian naturalization date: that was in 2011, which is a year later.

      7. If one analyses mother’s timeline: 2011/mother’s Australian naturalization + 10 years/uninterrupted residence outside the Kingdom or any other EU member state = 2021/automatic loss of Dutch nationality.

      On the exact 10-year anniversary date of mother’s Australian naturalization, she lost Dutch nationality automatically because she did not apply for, and was not issued with, a new Dutch document by said 10-year Australian naturalization date. Artikel 15(1)c Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap.

      “Timely” (“tijdig” in Dutch) means: the document must not just be applied for, it must indeed be issued before the 10-year period expires.

      8. The fact that mother was unable to renew her Dutch passport due to COVID restrictions would be irrelevant: while it is mandatory that any EU member state national must renew a national identity document in person (this applies to every EU member state based on an EU directive to this effect; the Netherlands is not applying some mandatory rule alone. It is because biometrics are taken in each case so as to prevent the falsification of documents and prevent identity theft, etc.), to apply for, and be issued with, a Certificate of Dutch nationality, on the other had, your mother was NOT required to be issued with this document in person. She was not obligated to travel to Sydney or any other Netherlands representation abroad to apply for, and be issued with, this Certificate of Dutch nationality in order to “reset” her 10-year clock.

      The Certificate is NOT a travel document and contains no biometrics. Therefore, it can be applied for remotely; provided, however, the Dutch national submit all the required documentation (which would have been the same documentation as for the passport or national identity card renewal, except for the photograph). The document attests that, on the date it is issued, the individual is in formal possession of Dutch nationality.

      9. This information that it was unnecessary to travel to be issued with this document was clearly indicated on the official website of Netherlandsworldwide; The Netherlands Consulate-General in Sydney also had this information on its website (and still does).

      10. Therefore, your mother is unable to invoke that, at that time, she was unable to travel to Sydney due to COVID restrictions in Australia: the Verklaring is one of the documents for which she could have applied to “renew” her Dutch nationality, and that can be done by mail/remotely.

      11. A court case as recent as one year ago heard in the Netherlands dealt with this same issue. The Dutch court ruled that since the Certificate of Dutch nationality can be applied for abroad, the former Dutch national who was unable to travel to renew a passport or national identity card due to COVID restrictions could very well have applied for a Certificate by mail since no in-person requirement exists for this Certificate to be issued. The 10-year window “resets” on the issuance date.

      12. Therefore, No, unfortunately in response to your question. There are no exceptions due to the lockdown as the Verklaring can be applied for and can be issued remotely.

      13. You were born in 2000. You were born a Dutch national. There was nothing for you to “apply for.” Artikel 3(1) Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap (1985). Perhaps neither you nor your mother knew this, but that does not change the situation.

      And until your 18th birthday in 2018 (your entire minority), you were never obligated to hold a valid Dutch document: your Dutch nationality and its retention was entirely incumbent on your mother’s not losing hers before your 18th birthday in 2018. Artikel 16(2)a and 16(1)dc RWN.

      14. On your 18th birthday in 2018, your mother’s Dutch nationality (or loss thereof) no longer affected you.

      15. Since you turned 18 in 2018, your mother was still a Dutch national, you retained your Dutch nationality, and based on the facts you have shared, you are still a Dutch national. There is no Dutch nationality for you to “apply for.”

      16. Since you are a Dutch national, you may apply for a Dutch passport or national identity card. You can find all the required documents you must submit in person on the official Netherlandsworldwide website or on the website of the Netherlands Consulate-General in Sydney.

      17. Provided you do not lose your Dutch nationality by naturalizing to a foreign nationality without falling under an exception as an adult, you have until your 31st birthday in 2031 to apply for, and be issued with, a new Dutch passport, national identity card, or Dutch nationality certificate. But since you have never held a Dutch document as an adult, you may currently only apply for a Dutch passport or national identity card presently.

      18. Since 1 April 2022, the 10-year “renewal” period for individuals such as your mother has been increased by 3 years, for a total of 13 years since the last Dutch document was issued. The law goes forward in time. It cannot apply retroactively to your mother.

      Mother lost her Dutch nationality before 1 April 2022, before the new 13-year period went into effect. She was not still within the 10-year window on 1 April 2022, having lost her Dutch nationality by operation of law in 2021 (before the revision entered into force).

      19. The only way for your mother to reacquire Dutch nationality by option statement as a former Dutch national is to return to the Kingdom with a long-term, non-temporary purpose residence permit. After one year of legal residence in the Kingdom with such a residence permit, she can apply for reacquisition of her Dutch nationality by option statement, and retain any other nationalities she currently holds (Australian) as far as Dutch law is concerned. This is the quickest and easiest way for your mother, as it does not appear from the facts you have shared that on the date in 2021 on which she lost her Dutch nationality, she was availing herself of EU Citizens’ rights, such as voting in Dutch elections, owning immoveable property in the Kingdom, or other such things. Being a former Dutch national is insufficient to re-acquire Dutch nationality under this proportionality test. Your mother must prove by written, objective evidence that on the date in 2021 or on a date proximate thereto (usually a 6-moth period around that milestone date) on which she lost her Dutch nationality, she was, indeed, availing herself of EU citizens’ rights.

      20. Lastly, please discard the erroneous notion that your mother was only a Dutch national on your date of birth. Your mother could have been in possession of multiple nationalities on your date of birth. It would not have mattered. Nor does your birth outside the Kingdom. What matters only is that on your date of birth, your mother was in formal possession of Dutch nationality. Full stop. There was no Dutch nationality for you to “apply for.” And there is no Dutch nationality for you to “apply for” now. As a Dutch national, you may apply for a national passport (a travel document).

      21. If one is a Dutch national, one may apply for, and be issued with, a Dutch document.

      If one is not a Dutch national, then an application for a Dutch document (passport; national identification card; or Certificate of Dutch nationality) simply will not be processed.

      Dutch nationality is not “applied for” when once is born with it. It is “applied for” either by option statement or naturalization. Neither of those apply to you.

      I hope this information helps you and your mother understand your and her respective situations. It is general in nature, and should not be construed as legal advice.

      Best Regards.

      ====================
      Legal Reference 1.

      On the 10-year renewal provision applying to any dual adult Dutch national residing uninterrupted outside the Kingdom of The Netherlands or any other EU member state or geographic territory to which the Treaty on the European Union applies.
      Implementation date: 1 April 2003.

      “Het Nederlanderschap gaat voor een meerderjarige verloren: indien hij tevens een vreemde nationaliteit bezit en tijdens zijn meerderjarigheid gedurende een ononderbroken periode van tien jaar in het bezit van beide nationaliteiten zijn hoofdverblijf heeft buiten Nederland, Aruba, Curaçao en Sint Maarten, en buiten de gebieden waarop het Verdrag betreffende de Europese Unie van toepassing is, anders dan in een dienstverband met Nederland, Aruba, Curaçao of Sint Maarten dan wel met een internationaal orgaan waarin het Koninkrijk is vertegenwoordigd, of als echtgenoot van of als ongehuwde in een duurzame relatie samenlevend met een persoon in een zodanig dienstverband.”

      ====================
      Legal Reference 2.
      10-year period to renew Dutch passport, national identity card/NIK, or Verklaring omtrent het bezit van het Nederlanderschap (Certificate of Dutch nationality) during uninterrupted residence outside the Kingdom of the Netherlands or any other EU member state or geographic territory to which the Treaty on the European Union applies. Once a new document is issued, a new 10-year period begins to run if main residence is maintained outside the Kingdom or any other EU member state or geographic territory.
      In force date: 1 April 2003

      “De periode, bedoeld in het eerste lid, onder c, wordt gestuit door de verstrekking van een verklaring omtrent het bezit van het Nederlanderschap dan wel van een reisdocument, Nederlandse identiteitskaart of vervangende Nederlandse identiteitskaart in de zin van de Paspoortwet. Vanaf de dag der verstrekking begint een nieuwe periode van tien jaren te lopen.”

      Note: commencing on 1 April 2022, the 10-year period has been increased by 3 years, for a total of 13 years since the last Dutch document was issued.

      However, your 10-year period ended in 2021 (during Corona; on the 10-year anniversary date of mother’s Australian naturalization) when the 10-year “renewal” period was still in force. “De wet heeft geen terugwerkende kracht.” [The law has no retroactive effect]

      ====================
      Legal Reference 3.
      Dual Dutch national MINOR loses Dutch nationality if the parent loses Dutch nationality under Artikel 15(1)c RWN.
      Artikel 16, lid 1, aanhef en onder d RWN [You were already age 18 in 2018, three (3) years before mother last her Dutch nationality]
      In force date: 1 April 2003

      “Het Nederlanderschap gaat voor een MINDERJARIGE verloren:
      indien zijn vader of moeder het Nederlanderschap verliest ingevolge artikel 15, eerste lid, onder b, c of d, of ingevolge artikel 15A.”

  4. Hi Paul,

    Thank you so much for going into great detail about the legal status of Dutch Citizenship. Even so I still have a hard time figuring out my personal case regarding my right of dual citizenship and the ability/eligibility of regaining my Dutch citizenship.

    I was born in 1972 and raised in the Netherlands to two Dutch parents and got married to an American citizen in December of 1998 in my hometown of Franeker, The Netherlands. In October of 1999 our son was born in Almere, The Netherlands. In May of 2001 we emigrated to the United States and in May of 2006 I lastly renewed my Dutch passport at the consulate in San Fransisco. A few months later in July of 2006 I got naturalized in the United States and at that point I had dual citizenship.

    In 2017 I contacted the Dutch consulate to ask about the status of my son’s Dutch citizenship since he was about to turn 18 (he possessed an expired Dutch passport). I was then presented with the fact that he had lost his citizenship based on the fact that I had lost my citizenship! Obviously this was shocking since I had no knowledge about the 10-year rule. I always thought my citizenship was a given and that my passport was simply a travel document and nobody, at the time of my renewal, had mentioned anything about a 10-year rule. To top it all is that I was late by a matter of months for renewal.

    It’s really hard for me fathom that I would lose my Dutch citizenship automatically based on a number (of years) especially when I read in the Dutch newspaper that an israeli born minor who’s only tie to the Netherlands is a Dutch born grandfather, is granted Dutch Citizenship??

    Anyway, I wanted to ask you your professional opinion on my status/case and my son’s status (he now is 24).

    Best Regards,
    Petra Rainbolt-Haitsma

    • Hello Petra.

      It would be preferable not to compare an Israeli-born minor’s situation with another’s. Many cases appear similar, whereas the background information is not the same, and the laws that apply to one situation do not necessarily apply to the other situation. The situations are disparate.

      Effective 1 April 2003 and going forward in time only (“de wet heeft geen terugwerkende kracht”, “de wet” meaning The Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap), a Dutch national spouse or registered civil partner of a foreigner may naturalize to the foreign spouse’s or foreign registered civil partners’s nationality and retain Dutch nationality in so doing. Artikel 15, lid 2, aanhef en onder c RWN.

      When did you naturalize American during your marriage to your U.S. national spouse? in May 2006, three (3) years after Artikel 15(2)c RWN was already in force.

      Since May 2006, I shall assume you resided uninterrupted in the USA, a country which is neither the Kingdom of The Netherlands, nor any other EU member state or geographic territory to which the Treaty on the European Union applies.

      Hence, at any point between May 2006 through and including May 2016 (the 10-year anniversary date of your U.S. naturalization), you did not apply for, and were not issued with any one (1) of the following three (3) documents: a new Dutch passport, national identity card/NIK; or Verklaring omtrent het bezit van het Nederlanderschap. Artikel 15, lid 1, aanhef en onder c RWN.

      Once one of these documents had been issued to you during this exact 10-year time period, a new 10-year period would have begun to run again, and you would be required to apply for, and be issued with one of these three documents again, before another 10 years had expired since the last Dutch document was issued. Artikel 15, lid 4 RWN (also in force since 1 April 2003)

      From the facts you have stated, at no time after your U.S. naturalization date in May 2006 through the exact 10-year anniversary date of said naturalization in May 2016 did you apply for and were issued with any one of these three documents given your uninterrupted permanent residence in the USA, the country of which you are also a national.

      This resulted in your automatic loss of Dutch nationality effective May 2016, on the exact 10-year anniversary date of your May 2006 U.S. naturalization. Once again, pursuant to Artikel 15, lid 1, aanhef en onder c RWN.

      Your son was born a dual Dutch-U.S. national. His birth in The Netherlands is irrelevant. You were a married Dutch national on his date of birth, and his father was a married U.S. national.

      However, in May 2016, your son was age 17, i.e., he was still a minor under Dutch law.

      Since your son has a second nationality (USA) and you, the parent, lost Dutch nationality pursuant to Artikel 15(1)c RWN, your son also lost Dutch nationality in May 2016: Artikel 16, lid 2, aanhef en onder d RWN. Also, your minor-age son no longer had at least one Dutch national parent on the date you lost Dutch nationality: his father is a US citizen, not a Dutch national.

      Moreover, neither your son, nor you became stateless as a result of losing Dutch nationality: you both are U.S. nationals.

      One of the general principles of the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap is that a minor child should necessarily follow in the acquisition, retention, or loss of Dutch nationality as its parent(s) so that uniformity and cohesion of Dutch nationality (or the absence thereof) within the family unit is maintained and ensured to the greatest extent possible. This is in the protection of the family unit and in the interests of any minor-aged child. (i.e., “Eenheid van de Nederlandse nationaliteit van het gezin tussen de ouders en alle minderjarige kinderen.”)

      A Dutch civil servant is not obligated or required to inform you that you risk losing your Dutch nationality. Otherwise, this could put the civil servant in a situation of legal liability, which would be undesirable.

      Dutch courts have consistently ruled that, “Met de IND is de rechtbank van oordeel dat, vanuit een oogpunt van eigen verantwoordelijkheid, van Nederlanders die zich zoals verzoeker-vrijwillig en duurzaam buiten de EU vestigen, mag worden verlangd dat zij zich adequaat laten voorlichten over de op dat moment geldende regelgeving die ziet op (het behoud van) het Nederlanderschap. Dit betekent dat het op de weg van verzoeker lag om zich te vergewissen van de consequenties die vrijwillig verblijf als bipatride Nederlander in een ander land de Nederland, Aruba, Curaçao, Sint-Maarten of een van de landen waar het Verdrag betreffende de Europese Unie van toepassing is, zou hebben van zijn Nederlanderschap. Het feit dat verzoeker dit heeft nagelaten komt voor zijn eigen risico.”

      There have always been provisions in place for the automatic loss of Dutch nationality under certain situations, and such, since at least 1 July 1893. While the provisions as to their scope have varied over decades and decades, the absolute retention of Dutch nationality in any and all circumstances (for life) does not exist under Dutch laws when a second nationality comes into play, or that other nationality is acquired which, under the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap, does not provide for the retention of Dutch nationality.

      At present if you and/or your son (who is now an adult) apply for a Dutch passport, the passport application will most certainly not be processed, given the loss of Dutch nationality in May 2016 under the exact conditions explained hereabove. You will be provided with an explanation of the relevant legislation in force in May 2016 that has been quoted here.

      Lastly, the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap clearly stipulates that Dutch nationality is also not acquired, re-acquired, or retained by:

      1) General administrative order/basic protection measure (Algemeen maatregel van bestuur);

      2) Legitimate expectations (upon which you may rely (Vertrouwensbeginsel)) [this explains why it is not required any civil servant inform you you could risk losing your Dutch nationality, such as information given by a civil servant. A civil servant may also remain silent]; or

      3) General principle of proper administration (Algemeen beginsel van behoorlijk bestuur).

      This is also a reason why it is important to be aware that no one “took [your] Dutch nationality away”, or “[your] Dutch passport was taken away or confiscated.” The loss of Dutch nationality occurs by operation of law (“van rechtswege”). A civil servant merely may assess the situation/facts against what the provisions of the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap stipulate on the date in question, and merely applies the law to the situation.

      This is why you were told you had lost Dutch nationality in May 2016. It is obvious the civil servant at The Netherlands consulate-general in San Francisco applied the facts you had stated, and when comparing the facts of your situation and applying them to the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap, you were informed you had lost your Dutch nationality for failure to “renew” your Dutch nationality at any time between May 2006 (your U.S. naturalization date) and May 2016 (its 10-year anniversary) given your uninterrupted residence in the USA since May 2006 based on a legal provision (Artikel 15(1)c RWN)) in force since 1 April 2003 that directly applied to you (and by default, to your dual national son).

      Your son was never required always to be in possession of a valid Dutch passport as a minor: his retention and loss of Dutch nationality were entirely dependent on your retaining your Dutch nationality until his 18th birthday (i.e., “eenheid van de Nederlandse nationaliteit van het gezin”).

      Had you lost Dutch nationality for any reason after his 18th birthday in 2017, this would not have affected your son at all: he would henceforth be an adult and would have retained his Dutch nationality on his own, independent of you.

      Best regards.

      • Hello again Petra.

        Erratum: I had erroneously posted your U.S. naturalization was in May 2006. The “10-year” time period started to tick for you in July 2006, on your U.S. naturalization date.

        Nevertheless, the outcome is the same: loss of Dutch nationality in July 2016 for you, exactly 10 years after your U.S. naturalization date in July 2006 given uninterrupted residence in the USA as a dual national through July 2016. Artikel 15(1)c RWN

        Your son was born in October 1999. In July 2016, he was age 15 and nine months (still a minor under Dutch law). Loss of Dutch nationality also in July 2016 as you, the parent, lost Dutch nationality under Artikel 15(1)c RWN: Artikel 16(1)d RWN applies to your son.

        To be issued with a new Dutch document in a timely manner (“tijdig”) means “de aanvraag is niet voldoende. Het document moet men echt verstrekt krijgen alvorens de periode van 10 jaren komt te vervallen.”

        If you missed the 10-year anniversary renewal date by even one day, Dutch nationality is lost. The law must be applied absolutely. There is no provision in the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap that Dutch nationality is still retained even if the applicant may be tardy by a few hours, days, weeks, or months before the 10-year period runs out pending the issuance of a new Dutch document.

        The new document must, indeed, be issued before the 10-year period expires, and not just applied for.

        • Legal references:

          ====================
          Reference 1.
          On the 10-year renewal provision applying to any dual adult Dutch national residing uninterrupted outside the Kingdom of The Netherlands or any other EU member state or geographic territory to which the Treaty on the European Union applies.
          Implementation date: 1 April 2003.

          “Het Nederlanderschap gaat voor een meerderjarige verloren:indien hij tevens een vreemde nationaliteit bezit en tijdens zijn meerderjarigheid gedurende een ononderbroken periode van tien jaar in het bezit van beide nationaliteiten zijn hoofdverblijf heeft buiten Nederland, Aruba, Curaçao en Sint Maarten, en buiten de gebieden waarop het Verdrag betreffende de Europese Unie van toepassing is, anders dan in een dienstverband met Nederland, Aruba, Curaçao of Sint Maarten dan wel met een internationaal orgaan waarin het Koninkrijk is vertegenwoordigd, of als echtgenoot van of als ongehuwde in een duurzame relatie samenlevend met een persoon in een zodanig dienstverband.”

          ====================
          Reference 2.
          Exception 3 for a dual adult Dutch national to retain Dutch nationality when naturalization to the nationality of the foreign spouse or registered civil partner.
          Implementation date: 1 April 2003

          “Het eerste lid, aanhef en onder a, is niet van toepassing op de verkrijger:
          c. die gehuwd is met een persoon die die andere nationaliteit bezit.”

          ====================
          Reference 3.
          10-year period to renew Dutch passport, national identity card/NIK, or Verklaring omtrent het bezit van het Nederlanderschap (Certificate of Dutch nationality) during uninterrupted residence outside the Kingdom of the Netherlands or any other EU member state or geographic territory to which the Treaty on the European Union applies.
          In force date: 1 April 2003

          “De periode, bedoeld in het eerste lid, onder c, wordt gestuit door de verstrekking van een verklaring omtrent het bezit van het Nederlanderschap dan wel van een reisdocument, Nederlandse identiteitskaart of vervangende Nederlandse identiteitskaart in de zin van de Paspoortwet. Vanaf de dag der verstrekking begint een nieuwe periode van tien jaren te lopen.”

          Note: commencing on 1 April 2022, the 10-year period has been increased by 3 years, for a total of 13 years since the last Dutch document was issue.

          However, your 10-year period ended in July 2016 when the 10-year “renewal” period was still in force. “De wet heeft geen terugwerkende kracht.”

          ====================
          Reference 4.
          Dual Dutch national minor loses Dutch nationality if the parent loses Dutch nationality under Artikel 15(1)c RWN.
          Artikel 16, lid 1, aanhef en onder d RWN
          In force date: 1 April 2003

          “Het Nederlanderschap gaat voor een minderjarige verloren:
          indien zijn vader of moeder het Nederlanderschap verliest ingevolge artikel 15, eerste lid, onder b, c of d, of ingevolge artikel 15A.”

  5. Good day Mr Paul,

    Firstly, thank you for the wonderful work you do! I

    Mr Paul my Grandfather (mother’s father ) was born on The Netherlands in 1936 he left during WW2 for South Africa, my Grandfather has now passed away but retained his Dutch citizenship during his stay in South Africa. My mother was born in South Africa in 1965 she never applied for her formal Dutch citizenship she is a South African citizen.

    My Uncle ( Mother’s Brother ) applied quite some time ago and he managed to get Dutch citizenship for him and his children.

    I have found some information on the Embassy website to be contradicting / confusing. My Uncle contacted the Dutch Embassy in Dublin for me ( he lives in Ireland ) they suggested we contact an immigration lawyer to get my mother’s Dutch passport, but surely, she needs to be a formal citizen first also it really necessary to work through an immigration lawyer as they are quite costly.

    I apologize for this lengthy message. The question is does my mother have a way of applying and if so through which procedure and can I consequently then also apply?

    Thanking you in advance Mr Paul!

    • Mr Paul correction my Grandfather had dual citizenship he served in the South African Navy. My grandmother was not Dutch but they were married at the time of my mother’s birth.

      • Hello Monnique.

        Thank you for your post.

        Nevertheless, there appear to be some incorrect statements and assumptions.

        1. “Nederlanderschap wordt verloren door zonder Ons verlof zich to begeven in vreemde krijgs- of staatsdienst.”
        [Artikel 7(4) Wet op het Nederlanderschap en het Ingezetenschap (1892) in effect from 1 July 1893 through and including 31 December 1984.]

        2. Your uncle did not “apply” for Dutch citizenship. You (and possibly your uncle) may have misstated the concept.

        The ways in which Dutch nationality is acquired, retained, and lost are clearly enumerated point-by-point in the former WNI (1892) and in the current Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap (1985) in force since 1 January 1985 and through today.

        3. This means your uncle was born a Dutch national because his father was still a married Dutch national on your uncle’s date of birth (which you have omitted from specifically stating; your post being too general), or your uncle acquired Dutch nationality in some other manner at a later time (such as through naturalization).

        4. Dutch nationality is NOT (emphasis added) acquired — I repeat, NOT acquired (emphasis added) — because an individual applies for a Dutch passport. A passport is a travel document only; it allows the bearer to cross international borders. That is all a passport is.

        – If the individual is in formal possession of Dutch nationality ALREADY (emphasis added), then a Dutch passport may be issued to the individual.

        If the individual is NOT (emphasis added) in formal possession of Dutch nationality, an application for a Dutch passport simply will not be processed. It really is that simple.

        5. An individual can be in possession of a valid Dutch passport. However, if certain life events occur during that passport’s validity that under Dutch law result in the automatic (i.e., instantaneous/immediate) loss of Dutch nationality, then the Dutch passport is immediately invalid: the individual is no longer a Dutch national. No formal renunciation is required. A valid Dutch passport is never a “safeguard” that Dutch nationality is retained always, in and of itself.

        Perhaps the individual is unaware of this, but if he applies for a Dutch passport later, a new Dutch passport simply will not be issued.

        6. If your uncle was issued a Dutch passport, it is because it was determined on review that your uncle was already a Dutch national and had not lost Dutch nationality in the interim. Your uncle certainly did not acquire Dutch nationality by applying for a travel document (i.e., a Dutch passport). I often hear individuals make the same statement that they “got” Dutch citizenship later. This is an erroneous statement to make.

        7. How do you know with certainty your grandfather retained his Dutch nationality upon military service in South Africa? Is that an assumption by your uncle? Or is it a fact because even after his South African military service, your maternal grandfather continued to be issued with a Dutch passport upon his request?

        8. I draw your attention to the fact that the official Netherlands government website never explains ways in which Dutch nationality law operated in the past. This is why you are finding no information or confusing information online. Dutch nationality is extremely intricate because so many laws and provisions have been in effect regarding it since at least 1838, even if a lot of provisions have been revised since that time.

        9. If your maternal grandfather was still a Dutch national on your uncle’s date of birth because if it was determined he did not lose his Dutch nationality automatically prior to 1 January 1985 by serving in military of a foreign country (South Africa) without Royal assent, or your maternal grandfather did not naturalize South African voluntarily, then your uncle was born a Dutch national in the first place.

        And if your maternal grandfather subsequently lost his Dutch nationality after your uncle’s birth, this would not have affected your uncle: your grandfather acquired the “other” nationality your uncle already had (in this case: South Africa), resulting in the automatic/immediate loss of Dutch nationality by your grandfather, but retention of Dutch nationality by your uncle (and even if your uncle was still a minor on that date prior to 1 January 1985).

        10. I am surprised that a consular staff worker notified your uncle to obtain the Dutch passport of your mother. Firstly, copies of Dutch passports are not held, retained, or archived by any Netherlands embassy or consulate-general abroad, nor by the Dutch government.

        If your mother has never been issued with a Dutch passport, there is not going to be some “copy” of it. Additionally, one does not need an immigration lawyer to acquire documentation. Lawyers cannot acquire private birth certificates on behalf of a client without a formal mandate to do such: it would be the interested party to obtain such information himself. And that is easy to do in and of itself in an individual capacity.

        11. If your mother’s father was still a Dutch national on her date of birth in South Africa in 1965 (and I am not saying that he was still a Dutch national, because of Points 2 and 7 hereabove; the facts you have provided are still unclear), then your mother was born a Dutch national. Full stop. Artikel 1a WNI (1892) in effect in 1965.

        Any other nationalities your mother acquired at birth, place of birth, and her mother’s nationality are entirely irrelevant. Artikel 1a WNI (1892) as cited.

        12. However, if on 1 January 1985 your mother was age 19-20 — the date the RWN (1985) entered into effect — and from 1 January 1985 (age 18/19) through and including 31 December 1994 (age 29/30) your mother had been residing uninterrupted in South Africa (an exact period of 10 years since 1 January 1985) (the country in which she was born and of which she was a national also), then your mother automatically lost her Dutch nationality effective 1 January 1995 under Artikel 15c RWN (1985), whether she did not wish such or she was unaware this automatic loss of Dutch nationality would happen.

        13. No valid Dutch passport on that date would have prevented your mother’s automatic loss of Dutch nationality on that date. This is what Artikel 15c RWN (1985) stipulated. This is important for you and your mother to understand. The only way that your mother could have prevented this automatic loss of Dutch nationality effective 1 January 1995 would have been to reside for at least one (1) uninterrupted year outside South Africa between 1 January 1995 through and including 31 December 1994.

        14. If it is determined your mother was a Dutch national on your date of birth in 1991 (and I am not saying she was born a Dutch national, because your maternal grandfather’s situation is still unclear from the facts missing in your posts), then you were born a Dutch national pursuant to Artikel 3(1) RWN (1985).

        15. However, since your mother lost her Dutch nationality on 1 January 1995 pursuant to Artikel 15c RWN (1985), then you, as a minor age 4 on 1 January 1995, lost Dutch nationality also pursuant to Artikel 16(1)c RWN (1985) because cumulatively 1. you had another nationality also (South Africa), and 2. did not become stateless as a result of said automatic loss.

        16. Hence, in your mother’s and your situation, there can only be one (1) of two (2) scenarios:

        i) your mother was not born a Dutch national in 1965 because her father was no longer a Dutch national on her date of birth due to his military service in South Africa performed prior to her date of birth. Artikel 7(4) WNI (1892). This would mean you were never born a Dutch national either; or
        ii) your mother was born a Dutch national, but she lost Dutch nationality automatically (no formal renunciation required) on 1 January 1995 pursuant to Artikel 15c RWN (1985), and hence, so did you (Artikel 16(1)c RWN (1985)).

        17. Therefore, in any event, both your mother and you are not Dutch nationals at present. A Dutch passport, national identity card, or Certificate of Dutch nationality cannot under law be issued to either of you at this time.

        If you have any children, they are also not Dutch nationals, nor have they ever been.

        18. If your mother was a Dutch national on her date of birth through and including 31 December 1994 (once again, I am not saying she was because there are facts missing in your and your uncle’s explanations), I shall assume at any point from 1 January 1990 through and including 31 December 1994 your mother had never been issued with either a Dutch passport or Certificate of Dutch nationality (none would have been issued to her on or after 1 January 1995 anyway), then from 1 April 2003 through and including 31 March 2005 (an exact period of 2 years), your mother had the opportunity to reacquire Dutch nationality by option statement in South Africa since she had previously lost Dutch nationality pursuant to the (former) Artikel 15c RWN (1985), which was amended in December 2000.

        The amended to this Artikel 15c would provide for the subsequent reacquisition of Dutch nationality to certain, specific categories of Dutch nationals who had lost Dutch nationality under Artikel 15c in the past.

        Nevertheless, Artikel 15c RWN (1985) remained in effect through and including 31 March 2003.

        19. In this case, upon approval of your mother’s option, your mother’s (lost) Dutch nationality would have been restored with retroactive effect to its date of loss (1 January 1995).

        If your name had been specifically mentioned in your mother’s option statement, you would have reacquired Dutch nationality also since you were still under age 18.

        You both would have been permitted to retain any other nationalities you hold (South African).

        20. There is currently no possibility to reacquire Dutch nationality by option statement abroad for either of you as (possible) former Dutch nationals. It is also impermissible to naturalize Dutch when one has one’s permanent residence in one’s country of current nationality (South Africa). By option statement is the quickest and easiest way, but this can only eventually ever been applied for after at least one (1) full year of uninterrupted main legal residence in the Kingdom of the Netherlands with a long-term visa for a non-temporary purpose (not temporary!) purpose.

        21. After one (1) full year, then an application for reacquisition of Dutch nationality can be submitted in the Netherlands. All other nationalities may be retained. Artikel 6(1)f RWN.

        This option for eventual reacquisition of Dutch nationality is open to any former Dutch national. Your issue presently is whether you can qualify on your own merits for a long-term residence permit for a NON-TEMPORARY (emphasis added) purpose in order to immigrate to the Kingdom, such as permanent, authorized employment.

        22. Lastly, it would have been helpful had it been explained exactly how your uncle acquired Dutch nationality. It most certainly was because your uncle was born a Dutch national. Nonetheless, your uncle certainly did not acquire Dutch nationality by “applying for it.”
        He either had Dutch nationality to begin with, or he acquired Dutch nationality later, such as through naturalization, but in now way because he “applied” for a Dutch passport or other identification document.

        23. The article explains in great detail how the former Artikel 15c RWN (1985) specifically operated. It also explains exactly how certain categories of former Dutch nationals (such as your mother) could reacquire Dutch nationality in the past during specific time periods (under the caveat it is determined with certainty your mother was born a Dutch national).

        24. Artikel 15c RWN(1985) was in force from 1 January 1995 (it entered into effect exactly 10 years after the RWN (1985) entered into effect on 1 January 1985, as explained) through and including 31 March 2003.

        Since 1 April 2003, Artikel 15c RWN (1985) no longer is in force.

        25. It is important to establish with definitive facts whether, despite his South African military service, your maternal grandfather retained his Dutch nationality, or how he reacquired it thereafter (and before your mother’s birth).

        This would explain whether your mother herself was ever born a Dutch national to begin with under Artikel 1a WNI (1892).

        I would strongly encourage your no longer to use such expressions or assume that your mother ever had to “apply” formally for Dutch nationality. One is born a Dutch national, or one is not.

        If anyone is misstating this concept to you, then they are mistaken in their assumption and in their syntax.

        Your mother was born a Dutch national under Artikel 1a WNI (1892) in 1965, or your mother was not. I shall repeat: Dutch nationality is not acquired by “applying” for it. It is my impression that individual mistakenly believes that by applying for a Dutch passport (a travel document), they somehow acquire Dutch nationality from that moment. This is an erroneous assumption. This must be stressed.

        Dutch nationality is acquired in most cases because the parent is a Dutch national on the child’s date of birth, and depending on i) exactly WHICH parent was the Dutch national on the child’s date of birth and ii) in EXACTLY WHAT YEAR (1. prior to 1 January 1985 through the married Dutch national father only, or unmarried Dutch national mother); or 2. on or after 1 January 1985 through either the married Dutch national father or mother, or unmarried Dutch national mother).

        26. It is not required your mother submit a copy of any former Dutch passport ever issued to her. It could quite easily be determined by official paperwork on your maternal grandfather and your mother and by applying the former WNI (1892) and the RWN (1985) to the facts whether your mother acquired Dutch nationality at birth, and whether she retained Dutch nationality at least through and including 31 December 1994 (automatic loss nevertheless effective 1 January 1995 in your mother’s case under Artikel 15c RWN (1985)), and the opportunity your mother had from 1 April 2003 through and including 31 March 2005 to apply for reacquisition of Dutch nationality by option statement in South Africa for herself (and for you) during the aforementioned 2-year period.

        If your mother lost Dutch nationality under Artikel 15c RWN (1985), her situation is entirely classic.

        Automatic loss of Dutch nationality pursuant to Artikel 15c RWN (1985) affected tens of thousands of former dual Dutch nationals, born abroad, and who were residing in their countries of birth for ten uninterrupted years as adults age 18 or older:

        i) On 1 January 1995: if on 1 January 1985, the individual was age 18 or older (but had not yet reached age 31), and if on 1 January 1995, the individual was age 28 (but had not yet reached age 41); OR
        ii) At age 28, if the individual turned age 28 on or after 2 January 1995 (but before 31 March 2003).

        I trust the aforementioned detailed explanation assists you.

        =======================================================
        Artikel 15c RWN (1985) (oud), in effect from 1 January 1985 (became operational on 1 January 1995, exactly 10 years later) through and including 31 March 2003, stated:
        “Het Nederlanderschap gaat voor een meerderjarige verloren wanneer de betrokkene na zijn meerderjarigheid gedurende een ononderbroken periode van 10 jaren woonplaats buiten Nederland, onderscheidenlijk de Nederlandse Antillen, heeft in het land waarin hij is geboren en waarvan hij eveneens de nationaliteit bezit, anders dan in een dienstverband met Nederland, de Nederlandse Antillen dan wel een internationaal orgaan waarin het Koninkrijk is vertegenwoordigd, of als echtgenoot van een person met een zodanig dienstverband”.
        ———————————-
        Artikel 16(1)c RWN (1985):
        “Het Nederlanderschap gaat voor een minderjarige verloren: indien zijn vader of moeder het Nederlanderschap verliest ingevolge artikel 15, onder b, c of d.”

        ———————————-
        Artikel 1a Wet op het Nederlanderschap en het Ingezetenschap (1892)/WNI (1892)
        [in force from 1 July 1893 through and including 31 March 1984]

        “Nederlanders door geboorte zijn:

        a. het wettig, gewettigd, of door de vader erkend natuurlijk kind, waarvan tijdens de geboorte de vader de staat van Nederlander bezit”.

  6. Hi Paul,

    I am hoping you can confirm whether or not I may qualify for Dutch citizenship. I suspect I may have lost my nationality as a minor.

    My grandparents were born and married in The Netherlands. They came to Canada in 1952. My grandmother became a Canadian citizen, but my grandfather never did and was only a permanent resident of Canada all his life. They had my mother in Canada in April of 1965. I assume that my mother inherited her father’s Dutch citizenship and also held Canadian citizenship.

    My mother had me when she was 27 years old in February of 1993 in Canada. My understanding is that she had 10 years from the age of majority to maintain her Dutch citizenship. If I understand correctly, that means I was born with Dutch nationality, but my mother and I lost it in either April of 1993 or April of 1996 depending on which age of majority we use (18 vs 21).

    Where I am confused is the future provisions. My mother did not take advantage of the option procedures. Does this mean I lost my Dutch nationality as a minor? If I did retain it and the time clock began ticking when I reached the age of majority in that case, would I have lost it in February of 2021?

    Does this mean there is no recourse for myself or my mother to get out Dutch citizenship?

    Thank you

    • Hello Cody.

      I regret to inform you and your mother that you both are no longer Dutch nationals, and have not been since 1 January 1995 based on the facts you have provided.

      Also, there appear to be some misunderstandings in your statement about how the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap operates, and how its operation affected your mother and you in the past and through today.

      *************
      – Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap (1985) effective date: 1 January 1985-present.
      – Artikel 15c RWN (1985) (oud): implementation date: 1 January 1995 (exactly 10 years after the RWN (1985) entered into force on 1 January 1985)

      *************
      1. Artikel 15c RWN (1985) (oud), in effect from 1 January 1985 (became operational on 1 January 1995, exactly 10 years later) through and including 31 March 2003, stated:

      “Het Nederlanderschap gaat voor een meerderjarige verloren wanneer de betrokkene na zijn meerderjarigheid gedurende een ononderbroken periode van 10 jaren woonplaats buiten Nederland, onderscheidenlijk de Nederlandse Antillen, heeft in het land waarin hij is geboren en waarvan hij eveneens de nationaliteit bezit, anders dan in een dienstverband met Nederland, de Nederlandse Antillen dan wel een internationaal orgaan waarin het Koninkrijk is vertegenwoordigd, of als echtgenoot van een person met een zodanig dienstverband.”

      2. Commencing on 1 January 1985, the age of majority for Dutch nationality issues under the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap (1985) was lowered to 18 (no longer age 21).

      3. You are applying the “renewal” period of 10 years which applies to any dual adult Dutch national residing permanently outside 1) the Kingdom of the Netherlands; or 2) any other E.U. member state or geographic territory to which the Treaty on the European Union applies under Artikel 15(1)c RWN to your mother’s situation. This is incorrect to do.

      4. Artikel 15(1)c RWN to which you refer only entered into effect on 1 April 2003. Its application goes forward in time only. This Artikel 15(1)c RWN does not apply to individuals who lost Dutch nationality due to long-term residence abroad prior to 1 April 2003. The law has no retroactive effect (“de wet heeft geen terugwerkende kracht”).

      5. From 1 January 1985 through and including 31 March 2003, an entirely different article applied: Artikel 15c RWN (1985) (cited at the beginning).

      6. There was no “10-year” renewal provision in place at all from 1 January 1985 through and including 31 March 2003. As stated above, the law has no retroactive effect.

      7. It is important to distinguish the two (2) time periods:

      a) 1 January 1985-31 March 2003 period;

      from the

      b) 1 April 2003-through present period.

      Different legislation applied to these time periods and to dual Dutch nationals residing permanently abroad with a second or multiple nationalities.

      8. You state your mother was born in April 1965, and her father was a married Dutch national on her date of birth in Canada.

      9. Your mother was born a Dutch national automatically because: i) her father was a married Dutch national on her date of birth; and ii) she was born before 1 January 1985. Wet op het Nederlanderschap en het Ingezetenschap (1892) [WNI (1892) Artikel 1a [in force from 1 July 1893 through and including 31 December 1984]

      10. Before 1 January 1985, Dutch nationality was acquired solely through the married Dutch national father and not the Dutch national mother, unless the father’s nationality was unknown or he was stateless, or the Dutch national mother was unmarried. See Point 2 above.

      11. Place of birth and any other nationalities acquired at birth are also irrelevant in this acquisition of Dutch nationality at birth (acquisition of Dutch nationality at birth through her Dutch national father only, as explained. Her mother’s Dutch nationality is entirely irrelevant to your mother and to you).

      12. On 1 January 1985 the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap (1985) [RWN (1985)] replaced the WNI (1892) and goes forward in time only (repeat: “the law has no retroactive effect”).

      13. Under the RWN (1985) Artikel 15c cited hereabove, ANY (emphasis added) dual adult Dutch national would automatically lose Dutch nationality if cumulatively since 1 January 1985:

      a. he/she was born abroad on or after 2 January 1954 with another nationality; AND
      b. he/she was residing in his/her country of birth and of current nationality at age 28, AND
      c. he/she was living continuously/uninterrupted in his/her country of birth of which he/she was a national commencing at age 18, an exact period of 10 years.

      This means that Artikel 15c started to apply to dual adult Dutch nationals who, on 1 January 1985, were age 18 or older (but had not yet turned age 31); and on 1 January 1995, were age 28 or older (but had not yet turned age 41).

      14. From 1 January 1985 (age 19) through and including 31 December 1995 (age 29) I shall presume your mother was residing uninterrupted in Canada, her country of birth and of which she was also a national.

      15. Whether your mother was unaware or did not wish to lose Dutch nationality would not have prevented this automatic loss under the RWN (1985) Artikel 15c on 1 January 1995 (age 29). Also, commencing on 1 January 1985, your mother’s father’s (your maternal grandfather) Dutch nationality no longer affected your mother at all.

      16. Allow me to be very clear on this point (because I often hear people state that if they had renewed their Dutch passport at any time prior to 1 April 2003, they would not have lost their Dutch nationality). This is erroneous to state if one is dealing with a situation that occurred PRIOR TO 1 April 2003 (i.e., between 1 January 1995 and 31 March 2003).

      17. Even if your mother had a valid Dutch passport on 1 January 1995 (i.e., exactly 10 years after the RWN (1985) entered into force), she would have lost Dutch nationality anyway/regardless. The Dutch passport would have been no “safeguard” to retaining Dutch nationality at the time because: i) your mother was born in Canada, and acquired Canadian nationality at birth in that country, ii) on 1 January 1985 she was age 19 (thus over age 18); and iii) since 1 January 1985 (age 19) through and including 31 December 1994 (age 29), your mother was residing uninterrupted/continuously in Canada, her country of birth and of which she was also a national.

      This is an exact period of 10 years as an adult age 18 and older.

      Automatic loss of Dutch nationality effective 1 January 1995 at age 29.

      18. The only way your mother would not have lost her Dutch nationality under Artikel 15c on 1 January 1995 would have required she resided for at least one (1) full year at any point between 1 January 1985 through and including 31 December 1994 in any other country but Canada in order to “stop” this 10-year countdown for her (and hence for you as a minor).

      19. Therefore, it would have been irrelevant even if your mother had had a valid Dutch passport (a passport is a travel document; it is nothing more than that) on 1 January 1995. Automatic loss of Dutch nationality, valid Dutch passport or not.

      20. As stated, this automatic loss under Artikel 15c RWN (1985) (oud) would enter into effect precisely 10 years after 1 January 1985: 1 January 1995.

      21. This automatic loss of Dutch nationality for dual Dutch nationals born abroad affected tens of thousands of individuals such as your mother, and whether or not the dual adult national, born abroad, with a second nationality and residing in the country of birth had a valid Dutch passport on that date (in your mother’s case: on 1 January 1995).

      22. No dual adult Dutch national in your mother’s exact situation could have lost Dutch nationality at all under Artikel 15c prior to 1 January 1995 (the individual was age 28, but had not yet attained age 41), or if he/she only turned 28 after 1 January 1995, then on the 28th birthday that necessarily fell on or after 2 January 1995.

      23. You were born in 1993. You were thus born a Dutch national through your Dutch national mother. Artikel 3(1) RWN (1985).

      24. One of the main objectives is that the retention and loss of Dutch nationality should be as uniform as possible between any Dutch national parent and all minor-age children in the interests of the protection of the family unit and all minor-age child(ren).

      25. Since your mother lost her Dutch nationality on 1 January 1995 by operation of said Artikel 15c RWN (1985) (oud), and you had a second nationality (Canadian) and would not become stateless as a result of losing Dutch nationality, you lost Dutch nationality at age 1.5 on 1 January 1995. Artikel 16(1)d RWN (1985) (oud).

      26. As you can see, uniformity of the possession of Dutch nationality (or loss) between any Dutch national parent and all minor-age child(ren).

      27. This Artikel 15c was revised in February 2000. It ceased to have force of law on 1 April 2003.

      28. Commencing on 1 February 2001, these revisions provided for the eventual restoration of Dutch nationality for certain categories of former Dutch nationals, and depending, on how the former Dutch national lost Dutch nationality previously.

      29. There were three (3) different stages that applied to certain categories of former Dutch nationals to give them an opportunity to reacquire Dutch nationality depending on how they lost Dutch nationality under Artikel 15c RWN (1985) (oud) previously.

      30. Your mother was eligible to have her Dutch nationality restored with retroactive effect to its automatic date of loss (1 January 1995) by option statement under “Stage 2”: Effective date: 1 April 2003 through and including 31 March 2005, a period of exactly 2 years.

      31. “Stage 2” applied to former Dutch nationals who had lost their Dutch nationality under this specific Artikel 15c, but who had NOT (emphasis added) been issued either a Dutch passport or a Dutch nationality certificate (Verklaring omtrent het bezit van het Nederlanderschap) on or after 1 January 1990.

      32. I shall presume your mother had not been issued with a Dutch passport or Certificate of Dutch nationality at any time from 1 January 1990 through and including 31 December 1994.

      33. No such document would have been issued to her anyway commencing on 1 January 1995: she would no longer be a Dutch national commencing on 1 January 1995.

      34. In this case, it was required your mother apply for restoration of Dutch nationality between those dates: between 1 April 2003 through and including 31 March 2005. The option would also have to have been approved before 31 March 2005.

      35. Dutch nationality would have been restored with retroactive effect to the day Dutch nationality was lost under said Artikel 15c, in your mother’s case: to 1 January 1995.

      36. If your name had been specifically included in her option application, you would have reacquired Dutch nationality along with your mother (once again, uniformity of Dutch nationality within the family unit) retroactive to its date of loss for you as the minor child: 1 January 1995. You were still a minor during this period, i.e., you would still have been under age 18.

      37. Unfortunately, this temporary option period of 1 April 2003 through and including 31 March 2005 is now closed.

      38. The quickest and easiest way for your mother and for you to re-acquire Dutch nationality would be to be issued with a long-term visa for a non-temporary purpose in order to reside in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, such as paid employment for which approval would be given to enter the Dutch labor market, for example.

      39. After one (1) year of uninterrupted residence under such a visa, you could opt to have your Dutch nationality restored via option statement and retain your current nationality.

      40. Any former Dutch national has the opportunity to have Dutch nationality restored by option statement. However, this possibility is only open after at least one (1) uninterrupted year of legal residence in the Kingdom of the Netherlands under a long-term visa category for a non-temporary purpose. Not all long-term visas are considered to have a non-temporary purpose. They are limited as to their scope. Artikel 6(1)f RWN.

      41. Nevertheless, this visa is not automatically issued irrespective of current country of residence and nationality to former Dutch nationals, who cumulatively were: a) born abroad; and b) were raised abroad with another nationality and who are living in their current country of nationality. Neither your mother, nor you, was both 1. born and 2. raised through at least age 12 in the Netherlands at all, which bars you both for automatic issuance of the Wedertoelating visa in Canada.

      42. As you both are living in Canada (I presume), your country of birth and of which you are nationals, you both do not qualify for this visa.

      43. Based on the facts you have presented, in your case there are no possibilities to re-acquire Dutch nationality either by option statement or by naturalization whilst residing in your country of current nationality: Canada.

      44. As explained, i) by option statement in the Kingdom of the Netherlands only, or ii) by naturalization either in the Kingdom or any other country but Canada. Yours is a situation of re-acquisition of Dutch nationality, not first-time acquisition of Dutch nationality by option statement.

      45. It is against Dutch public policy that a foreign national may naturalize Dutch if he/she is residing in his/her current country of nationality. Plus, the requirements for naturalization are more stringent, and the naturalization procedure takes longer in time.

      46. The ways in which Dutch nationality is acquired, retained, and lost are clearly enumerated point-by-point in both the (former) WNI (1892) and the present RWN (1985). Unfortunately, not having been aware or not having wished to lose Dutch nationality is not a way in which Dutch nationality is retained under the law. The loss is automatic and requires no formal renunciation. It occurs by operation of law (“van rechtswege”).

      47. Your mother’s and your situation are entirely classic. As you can see from my detailed explanation, since 1 January 1995 your mother and you have no longer been Dutch nationals pursuant to Artikel 15c RWN (1985) (oud).

      48. If you yourself have had children, they have never acquired Dutch nationality through you.

      49. As you currently are not a Dutch national, no 1) Dutch passport (a travel document only); 2) Dutch national identity card; or 3) Dutch nationality certificate may be issued to you.

      50. In conclusion, it is important to keep in mind that while Dutch nationality remains quite restrictive as to its acquisition, the ways in which Dutch nationality may be retained by long-term residence abroad as a dual adult national have been greatly expanded since 1 April 2003.

      51. All the dual adult Dutch national must do is apply for, and be issued with, either a new Dutch passport, national identity card, or Certificate of Dutch nationality before a period of 10 years has run since the last Dutch document was issued. Artikel 15(1)c RWN.

      52. ***This “renewal” provision applies only to dual adult Dutch nationals who reside permanently outside 1) the Kingdom of the Netherlands; or 2) any other E.U. member state or geographic territory to which the Treaty on the European Union applies.

      53. The automatic loss of Dutch nationality under Artikel 15c that was in effect from 1 January 1985-31 March 2003 (remember, Artikel 15c entered into force on 1 January 1995, exactly 10 years after the RWN (1985) entered into force on 1 January 1985) no longer exists. It has no longer in effect commencing on 1 April 2003.

      54. From 1 April 2003 through and including 31 March 2022, the “renewal” period was 10 years under the aforementioned conditions.

      55. From 1 April 2022 through today, this “renewal” period has been increased by 3 years, for a total of 13 years since the last Dutch document was issued under the aforementioned conditions.

      56. Once one (1) of these three (3) documents hereabove listed is issued, a new 13-year period begins to run if the dual adult Dutch national continues to reside outside either the Kingdom of the Netherlands or any other E.U. member state or geographic territory to which the Treaty on the European Union applies. Artikel 15(4) RWN

      57. In conclusion, as stated, since 1 January 1995 and through today, your mother and you have no longer been Dutch nationals pursuant to Artikel 15c RWN (1985) (oud). Your cases have nothing to do with obtaining Dutch nationality. You both were born with it. The issue is its re-acquisition. Dutch nationality is not acquired by applying for a Dutch passport (a travel document). The fact your mother never was issued with a Dutch passport if such is the case does not mean she never acquired Dutch nationality at birth. She was born with it through her married Dutch national and she was born prior to 1 January 1985. Your mother lost her Dutch nationality by operation of legislation. The same applies to you.

      58. The terms “nationality” and “passport” are not interchangeable terms, and do not mean the same thing. A passport is a travel document only. It allows the bearer to cross international borders. If one is a Dutch national to begin with, a Dutch passport may be issued. If one is not a Dutch national, an application for a Dutch passport (a travel document) will simply not be processed.

      59. As I stated, the ways in which Dutch nationality is acquired, retained, and lost are clearly enumerated point-by-point in the RWN. Applying for a Dutch passport is not a way in which Dutch nationality is acquired: one either is a Dutch national at the outset to be able to apply for a travel document, or one is not.

      Regards.

      • Good day Mr Munsell,

        Thank you for your indepth response.

        This is the sequence of events and as much information as I am able to gather with supporting documents.

        1. My Grandfather was born in 19 36 in Gravenhage ( Supporting Doc)

        2. He left in 1948 ( Supporting Doc)

        3. Grandfather Nautralised South-African 24 July 1956 ( Supporting Doc )

        3. He joined the South African Navy in 1962 ( Date on photo )

        4. Mother Born 1965 ( Supporting Doc)

        5. Uncle Born 1975 ( Supporting Doc )

        6. 1991 I was born a South African citizen I’m South Africa.

        6. Uncle reclaims Dutch Nationality ( Supporting Doc issued de Koninkrijk den Nederlanden in 2005 and reads “Gefiliciteerd, u bent wederom een Nederlands ondergaan” ) currently a Dutch national with valid passport.

        6. Grandfather last issued passport 1 Dec 2014 expiry 1 Dec 2024 ( Supporting Passport )

        7. Grandfather passed 2015 ( Supporting Doc)

        I thank you for your time spent doing this work in helping us understand Dutch Nationality law.

  7. Hi Paul,

    We are exploring whether my wife will be able to get a Dutch passport due to her mother being a Dutch national at the time of my wife’s birth.

    Wife: Born in January 1990 in US. She has lived in the US her entire life and has never had a Dutch passport or any sort of Dutch documentation. I dont think it matters, but I am also a US born citizen with American parents.

    Mother: Born in June 1958 in Netherlands to two Dutch parents. The entire family immigrated to US in 1966. She married a US citizen (wife’s father) in 1989 (still married today). Since marriage, she has never returned to the Netherlands or lived anywhere outside of the US (last visit to the Netherlands was in the late 1980s but was just for a visit, not living there). She gained citizenship in the US in 2004. She had a valid Dutch passport until becoming a US citizen in 2004. I am still waiting to get details on when that passport expired (if it even matters). When talking with her, she thinks she had to renounce her Dutch citizenship when becoming a US citizen but is not 100% sure on that. I believe that is a requirement when becoming a US citizen, so I think we can assume that she did renounce her Dutch citizenship when becoming a US citizen in 2004. Please correct me if that might not be the case.

    When going through the application questionnaire and list of required documents, we have all the documentation needed except for the last item which asks for proof of the mother’s Dutch nationality at the time my wife turned 18 years old (in 2008).

    Can you help shed some light on whether my wife will be able to obtain a Dutch passport? I would be happy to answer any further details you may need. Your expertise in this matter is greatly appreciated.

    • Hello Scott.

      Your wife is no longer a Dutch national since she turned age 28 in 2018 given the facts you have stated.

      Here’s why.

      QUESTION 1: WIFE WAS BORN A DUTCH NATIONAL
      The Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap that entered into force on 1 January 1985 and whose application goes forward in time only (i.e., it does not apply to situations that occurred prior to 1 January 1985) states the following:
      Artikel 3, lid 1 RWN (1985)

      “Nederlander is het kind waarvan ten tijde van zijn geboorte de vader of de moeder Nederlander is, alsmede het kind van een Nederlander die voordien is overleden.”

      Artikel 15(1)c RWN (this specific provision entered into effect on 1 April 2003 and whose application goes forward in time only) states:

      “Het Nederlanderschap gaat voor een meerderjarige verloren:

      indien hij tevens een vreemde nationaliteit bezit en tijdens zijn meerderjarigheid gedurende een ononderbroken periode van dertien jaar in het bezit van beide nationaliteiten zijn hoofdverblijf heeft buiten Nederland, Aruba, Curaçao en Sint Maarten, en buiten de gebieden waarop het Verdrag betreffende de Europese Unie van toepassing is, anders dan in een dienstverband met Nederland, Aruba, Curaçao of Sint Maarten dan wel met een internationaal orgaan waarin het Koninkrijk is vertegenwoordigd, of als echtgenoot van of als ongehuwde in een duurzame relatie samenlevend met een persoon in een zodanig dienstverband.”

      This means that if your wife since turning age 18 (2008) was residing anywhere outside 1. The Kingdom of the Netherlands or 2. Any other EU member state or geographic territory to which the Treaty on the European Union applies, she was required to be issued with either 1. A new Dutch passport; or 2) a national identity card; or 3. A Verklaring omtrent het bezit van het Nederlanderschap by age 28 (i.e., an exact 10-year period) given her uninterrupted residence in the USA from age 18 through and including her 28th birthday in 2018.

      Your wife was born a Dutch national in 1990. Her mother was a Dutch national on her date of birth in 1990, and remained a Dutch national until your wife turned age 18. Commencing on her 18th birthday, the Dutch nationality status of her Dutch national mother became irrelevant.

      Hence, there was no Dutch nationality to “apply for” since birth. Your wife was born a Dutch national as stated. The fact she never was issued before age 28 with a Dutch document changes nothing. All other nationalities acquired at birth and place of birth are also entirely irrelevant with regard to the automatic acquisition of Dutch nationality.

      Nevertheless, Dutch nationality can be lost due to long-term residence abroad (and certain other life events) if the Dutch national does not take active steps to retain it.

      This is what occurred in your wife’s situation: between age 18 (2008) and her 28th birthday (2018) she did not apply for, and was not issued with, one of the three aforementioned documents during this period.

      Once one (1) of these three (3) documents was issued to her as a dual Dutch national, a new 10-year period would begin to run again for her if she continued to reside outside 1. The Kingdom or 2. any other EU member state. Artikel 15(4) RWN.

      In conclusion, whereas your wife was born a Dutch national even if she or her parents did not know this and even though she may have not been aware of these provisions under the RWN—she is no longer a Dutch national.

      Since she is no longer a Dutch national since age 28 (2018), a Dutch passport or any other official Dutch document cannot be issued to her.

      A passport is a travel document only. It is not proof of Dutch nationality, and does not act as a safeguard that Dutch nationality will be retained just because a Dutch national has a valid Dutch passport. Certain life events automatically trigger immediate loss of Dutch nationality in certain situations.

      It is being in formal possession of Dutch nationality that results in the issuance of a Dutch passport (a travel document) or other identification document.

      If an individual is no longer in formal possession of Dutch nationality, an application for a Dutch passport simply will not be processed.

      Given the aforementioned explanation based on the facts you have stated, if your wife applies for a Dutch passport at this time, the application will not be processed, and the aforementioned explanation will be provided to her, i.e., no issuance of Dutch document before age 28 (for a first time Dutch document request since turning age 18).

      QUESTION 3: THE 10-YEAR v. 13-YEAR PERIOD
      The 10-year “renewal” period was in effect between 1 April 2003 through and including 31 March 2022.

      Since 1 April 2022, the 10-year “renewal” period has been increased by three years, for a total of 13 years since the last Dutch document was issued to the dual Dutch national adult residing uninterrupted outside 1. The Kingdom or 2. any other EU member state.

      However, as explained previously, the law only goes forward in time. It does not apply to situations that occurred prior to 1 April 2022 regarding the “renewal period.”

      Since the 10-year “renewal period” was in effect in 2018, your wife lost Dutch nationality in 2018.
      If, after 1 April 2022, the 10-year “renewal” period had not yet run out for your wife (i.e., your wife only turned age 28 after 1 April 2022), then she would still have retained her Dutch nationality: your wife would have had until age 31 to be issued with a Dutch document.

      But this did not occur. The 10-year “renewal” period had already run out three years prior (2018). As explained, had your wife only turned 28 after 1 April 2022, she would still be a Dutch national today.

      QUESTION 3: PROVING MOTHER RETAINED DUTCH NATIONALITY THROUGH YOUR WIFE’S TURNING AGE 18 (2008)
      As to your second question, the Dutch authorities would be able to determine that your wife’s mother retained her Dutch nationality through your wife’s turning age 18 (if her mother had always remained a Dutch nationality during your wife’s minority).

      If her mother was no longer a Dutch national on your wife’s date of birth, or if her mother had lost her Dutch nationality during your wife’s minority for any reason, your wife (still a minor) would have lost her Dutch nationality also.

      No formal renunciation of Dutch nationality is required. Artikel 16, lid 1, aanhef en onder c RWN. Your wife simply did not have at least one parent that retained Dutch nationality during her minority, and your wife did not become stateless as a result.

      Proof of mother’s Dutch nationality on your wife’s 18th birthday could be proven by a Dutch passport issued to mother so the Dutch authorities could determine whether, in 2004 mother had retained Dutch nationality in connection with marriage to a U.S. national on that date, and in 2008 (when your wife turned 18).

      And if mother never formally renounced her Dutch nationality when she naturalized American in 2004 (i.e., under U.S. law she did not formally renounce her Dutch nationality or was not required to), or mother did not formally renounce her Dutch nationality before the Dutch authorities, then mother retained her Dutch nationality in 2004.

      WIFE’S MOTHER’S SITUATION
      Your wife’s mother was born a Dutch national because 1. She was born prior to 1 January 1985; and 2. (I shall presume) her father was a married Dutch national on her date of birth.

      Her mother’s Dutch nationality and mother’s place of birth are irrelevant. Artikel 1a Wet op het Nederlanderschap (1892) in force from 1 July 1893 through and including 31 December 1984.

      Since 1 April 2003, an adult Dutch national may retain Dutch nationality under three (3) specific exceptions.

      Mother was married to a foreign national in 2004 when she voluntarily naturalized American. She retained her Dutch nationality as a result. Artikel 15, lid 2, aanhef en onder c RWN as far as Dutch law is concerned. Whether mother knew this or not is irrelevant.

      That means that starting on her U.S. naturalization (2004), mother was required to be issued with one of the three aforementioned documents by the 10-year anniversary date of her U.S. naturalization if since 2004, she was residing uninterrupted in the USA as a dual Dutch-U.S. national (2014).

      Interestingly, mother also retained her Dutch nationality following her U.S. naturalization under another of the three exceptions: mother had resided uninterrupted in the U.S.A. as a minor (age 21 in mother’s case since prior to 1 January 1985, the age of majority under Dutch law was 21; mother turned age 21 in 1979) before naturalizing U.S. as an adult in 2004. Artikel 15, lid 2, aanhef en onder b RWN.

      Result: Retention of Dutch nationality in 2004 also.

      Since your wife turned age 18 in 2008, any eventual loss of Dutch nationality by mother after that date would not have affected your wife at all; provided, however, mother never formally renounced Dutch nationality under U.S. law, or she did not formally renounce her Dutch nationality in order to naturalize U.S.

      Under the RWN at least, mother was not required to renounce her Dutch nationality: she naturalized after 1 April 2003, and was still married to a U.S. national, on the U.S. naturalization date (I shall presume).

      Once again, whether mother was aware of these provisions or not that she risked losing her Dutch nationality for failure to renew her Dutch document at any time between 2004 and 2014 due to uninterrupted residence in the U.S.A. is irrelevant.

      As a former Dutch national, your wife is unable to re-acquire Dutch nationality by option statement abroad. By option statement is the quickest and easiest way.

      However, this re-acquisition of Dutch nationality by option statement could only eventually occur after at least one (1) full year of uninterrupted long-term residence for a non-temporary purpose in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Artikel 6, lid 1, aanhef en onder f RWN. Your wife may retain any other nationalities she currently holds (i.e., no renunciation of any other nationalities under the RWN in this case). This is the only option category for which your wife could ever qualify for as a former Dutch national. Any other option categories simply do not apply to her: they only deal with acquisition (not re-acquisition) of Dutch nationality.

      For naturalization, your wife could eventually naturalize Dutch either in the Kingdom or any other country but the U.S.A. It is impermissible under Dutch law to naturalize Dutch whilst residing in one’s country of current nationality. Naturalization is much more difficult as it has many more requirements, all of which your wife must fulfill. By option statement, as explained, is the quickest and easiest way (but only after long-term residence in the Kingdom).

      I hope the aforementioned detailed explanation clarifies your questions.

      Could you be so kind to confirm to us here at The Indo Project you have received this explanation given the time taken to answer your questions?

      Best regards.

      • Hi Paul, you are a saint for providing such detailed information to those in need of proper explanations. We figured this might be the case. We are planning on some long term travel for a few years and will look into the option method. I will do some more research on the non-temporary purposes that might qualify for a long-term residence permit.

        Assuming we were able to get a non-temporary residence permit and live in Amsterdam, how do they define ‘uninterrupted’ in terms of the 1 year requirement? Would she be allowed to travel within the Schengen area during this 1 year period or remain within the borders of the Netherlands the entire year?

        • “Uninterrupted” implies the domicile/the main residence is in the Netherlands, and not in some other country. One may have several “residences” but only one domicile.

          She must be registered at the gemeente in the Netherlands in which her domicile is located (“hoofdverblijf”). Of course, she may travel to other countries, but not remain out of country, and then show up in the Netherlands after one year. It’s not like she is held prisoner in the Netherlands and may not leave the confines of its borders.

          There are also tax implications when one remains in another country after a certain amount of days. That other country could consider that person to have his main domicile in that country and become subject to taxation, for example.

          Domiciled in the Netherlands. That doesn’t mean being held prisoner that one cannot travel temporarily outside its borders to go to Belgium for a day of sightseeing in Brugge.

          In Europe, one registers to reside in a municipality permanently. That is where one elects domicile. And when one leaves that municipality and goes to another municipality, one de-registers from that municipality (gemeente) and then re-registers in the new municipality (gemeente) And one must have the requisite long-term visa category in which to remain in country legally.

  8. Hi Paul,

    Was just wondering what would happen to an Australian Born woman that was Dutch by birth from her Father, who married another Australian in 1911. Do you think this would nullify that the Dutch Woman lost her dutch citizenship? Since she couldn’t obtain her husband’s Australian citizenship as she was already Australian.

    All births were within the 10 year rule for majority, only thing stopping the Dutch Citizenship by Option is the marriage and if it was lost.

    • Hello Andrew.

      Your post is not specific enough.

      Please provide additional information, and set forth the answers in numerical sequence so that all facts are easier to follow. Avoid one lengthy paragraph.

      1) years of birth of all individuals (no need to give exact birthdates for privacy reasons);
      2) places of birth of all individuals;
      3) all nationalities of all individuals; and
      4) your specific issue. It is unclear exactly what information you are seeking.

      It is only an assumption, and not a given, the female Dutch ancestor retained her Dutch nationality when any subsequent children were born.

      Nevertheless, the facts shared so far are insufficient.

      • Sorry, I’m trying to work out if my grandmother could to be a Latent Dutch and gain citizenship by the Option Procedure.

        Her great-grand father was born in 1850 in the Netherlands. Came to Australia
        Her Grandmother DOB: 1887 born in Australia and Dutch by her father. Married:1911 to an Australian

        Her Mother: DOB 1916 married to Australian unsure of date but before birth

        Her: DOB 1938

        She would like to apply for the latent Dutch on behalf of her mother who could now apply if she was still alive.

        The only real problem is if the marriage to an Australian would remove their Dutch citizenship at the time of marriage.

        All women at the time of birth were Australia and all married Australian men.

        Thank you

        • Thank you for the more specific details.

          1. In what year did the great-grandfather (born 1850) emigrate from the Netherlands to immigrate to Australia?

          Prior to 1 July 1893, a Dutchman who emigrated from the Netherlands lost Dutch nationality automatically after 5 years of absence from the Netherlands, unless he was involved in (commercial) or other trading business activity with the Netherlands. This was no longer the case commencing on 1 July 1893 and going forward in time after this date.

          Therefore, it is not necessarily so that his daughter (grandmother (born in 1887 in Australia)) was born a Dutch national at all.

          2. The loss of Dutch nationality by grandmother’s daughter (born in 1916) upon marriage to an Australian (who also had grandmother’s daughter’s “other” nationality) would not have occurred.

          A dual Dutch/foreign national who married a man with the same “other” nationality would have changed nothing, i.e., retention of Dutch nationality by the dual Dutch/foreign national woman.

          3. Please be advised that the “Latent Dutch” option is only available to: i) the “original” Latent Dutch individual (Generation 1), and ii) his or her child (Generation 2). This means the Latent Dutch option does not carry forward ad infinitam beginning with Child “3” (Generation 3), the grandchild (Generation 3) of the original Latent Dutch individual (Generation 1) under “i” hereabove and child of Generation 2 under “ii” hereabove. There is simply no such option under Dutch law that exists starting with Generation 3.

          This means the “Latent Dutch” option is only for the i. original Latent Dutch individual (Generation 1) and ii. Generation 1’s child (Generation 2). The status of Latent Dutch does not “cascade” to “i’s” grandchild (Generation 3) and “i’s” grandchild’s progeny (Generations 4 et seq., the child of (ineligible) Generation 3)) through the present day.

          The Latent Dutch option is restricted to the first two Latent Dutch individuals (“i” and “ii”) (Generations 1 and 2) in the descending line.

  9. Good evening, hope you are doing well,
    The situation I have is that my grandfather was dutch, my mom as well via birth, she has always lived in Mexico and born as well, her last dutch passport expired 17 years ago, when I was 5 years old, im 22 currently, my name is in her passport.

    My mom has 2 siblings living in the Netherlands, which renewed their passport on time. I contacted the IND when I visited the NL for 3 months and they told me options but didn’t make sense to do, like naturalization (if I don’t have residence permit… or family law, for my aunt to ask me as family member while is not possible as Dutch nationality) At the end they told me to go to juridisch loket.

    They advised me to apply directly to the dutch passport, and according to the results they would help me. If they reject the application, can I object? Hope you can see this, wish you the best.

    • Hello Salma.

      From the limited facts you have shared, it is still obvious you are not a Dutch national. If you apply for a Dutch passport presently, the application will not be processed.

      Your aunt is not able to sponsor you to immigrate to the Netherlands. She is a relative. She is neither your father, nor your mother. Additionally, it is difficult for a Dutch national to sponsor a foreign national parent to immigrate to the Netherlands, and the same applies for a Dutch national parent to sponsor the foreign national adult child. There are some very limited exceptions, but none apply to you.

      The fact your name is in your mother’s last Dutch passport does not mean that because of that fact, you have remained a Dutch national today. Prior to 9 March 2014, a minor child was customarily noted in the adult parent’s Dutch passport. Such is no longer the case.

      I shall presume you are also a Mexican national.

      It is necessary you provide a bit more facts for a more detailed explanation.

      1. Confirm your mother was also born a Mexican national.

      2. In what year was she born?

      3. Where was she living from 1 January 1985 through and including 31 December 1994? Confirm this was Mexico.

      This means: was your mother at least age 18 on 1 January 1985 (but had not yet reached age 31 on that date), and that on 1 January 1995 she was at least age 28 (but had not yet turned age 41)?

      4. The fact your mother has siblings residing in the Netherlands who are Dutch nationals is not a way in which your mother may reacquire Dutch nationality or for you to reacquire it. Their Dutch nationality has no effect on either your mother or you, and it is entirely irrelevant here.

      Dutch nationality is not retained just because one has a sibling who is a Dutch national.

      5. Confirm the issuance date of your mother’s last Dutch passport.

      Please answer these questions in order, point by point, and not in one paragraph.

      Regards.

      • Thanks for your reply.
        1. My mother indeed was born mexican national, lived in mexico ever since, just 3 months in the netherlands in 1995 or 1996 (she was registered for those 3 months).

        2. She was born in 1973.

        3. She was living in Mexico, didn’t have those ages you mention in the note.

        5. The issuance was January 2001, expired 2006.

        I’d love to be able to do something to regain nationality myself because I want to study and/or work in the NL and without BSN nummer its simply almost impossible for me. I appreciate in advance your response.

        • Thank you.

          Was your mother issued a Dutch passport or a Certificate of Dutch nationality at any time between 1 January 1990 through and including 31 December 1994, or before her 28th birthday?

          This means: was your mother issued any other Dutch document before the one issued in January 2001?

          Note: Possession of a Burger Service Nummer/BSN is not a way in which Dutch nationality is acquired or retained. Any individual residing in the Netherlands — Dutch national or foreigner — is issued a BSN when residing permanently in the Netherlands. Therefore, the BSN is not proof of Dutch nationality.

          • She has her cancelled dutch passport from 1996-2001, she doesn’t remember having other, she might have, but doesn’t remember. Thanks.

            • Your facts confirm my initial supposition how your mother (and you) lost Dutch nationality.

              Please confirm your mother was born on or after February 1, 1973.

              I am quite certain she was born on or after February 1, 1973.

              With your confirmation, I can explain the situation.

                • Thank you for the additional information.

                  Your mother’s and your case is as I had suspected: your mother (and you) lost Dutch nationality on 1 April 2013 by operation of Artikel 15 (1)c of the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap.

                  This article entered into force on 1 April 2003.

                  Your mother was born and raised in Mexico. Under the former Artikel 15c RWN (1985) (oud), a dual Dutch national, born abroad, in the country whose nationality he acquired at birth, would automatically lose Dutch nationality if, between ages 18 and 28, he was residing in his country of birth and of which he was also a national.

                  This Artikel 15c (oud) RWN (1985) entered into force on 1 January 1985 when the RWN entered into force. This Article 15c would take effect exactly 10 years later: 1 January 1995.

                  This means that if your mother was residing in Mexico uninterrupted from April 1991 (age 18) through and including the day before her 28th birthday in April 2001, she would automatically lose Dutch nationality.

                  The fact your mother resided in the Netherlands for a few months in 1995 or 1996 was not one (1) full year to “stop” this clock from ticking.

                  This means your mother would have lost her Dutch nationality on her 28th birthday in April 2001: she was born in Mexico, she was born a Mexican national also, and between ages 18 and 28, she was residing in Mexico.

                  Whether your mother wanted to lose her Dutch nationality or even if she had a valid Dutch passport in April 2001, this would have made absolutely no difference: automatic loss of Dutch nationality on her 28th birthday in April 2001.

                  However, this Artikel 15c was revised in December 2000, and some of its revisions provided for the re-acquisition of Dutch nationality to certain categories of former Dutch nationals who had lost Dutch nationality under the Artikel 15c.

                  The possibility to re-acquire Dutch nationality for certain categories of Dutch nationals would enter into effect in stages.

                  On 1 February 2001, if a former Dutch national, who lost Dutch nationality between 1 January 1995 through and including 31 January 2001 under the former Artikel 15c had been issued with a Dutch passport or Certificate of Dutch nationality on or after 1 January 1990, effective 1 February 2001, Dutch nationality would have been considered never to have been lost.

                  However, was your mother age 28 on 31 January 2001? No. She only turned 28 in April 2001. This means that Artikel 15c (oud) RWN (1985) never affected her: 1) she turned 28 only after 1 February 2001, and 2) she, indeed, had been issued with a Dutch document on or after 1 January 1990.

                  Because of this, your mother never lost her Dutch nationality.

                  You were born a Dutch national because on your date of birth, your mother was a Dutch national, and you were born on or after 1 January 1985. Artikel 3(1) RWN (1985)

                  However, commencing on 1 April 2003, during an exact 10-year period, your mother was required to apply for and be issued with a new Dutch passport, national identity card, or Certificate of Dutch nationality before 1 April 2013 since she was a dual Dutch national, and since 1 April 2003, she had her permanent residence outside 1) the Kingdom of the Netherlands; or 2) any other member state of the European Union or geographic territory to which the Treaty on the European Union applied.

                  Failure to do this would result in the automatic loss of Dutch nationality on 1 April 2013 for your mother: Artikel 15(1)c RWN

                  Your mother’s last Dutch passport was issued in January 2001. Before 9 March 2014, all Dutch passports were valid for 5 years only from date of issue.

                  This Dutch passport expired in January 2006. But what has been explained above? Artikel 15(1)c entered into force on 1 April 2003. That means your mother was required to be issued with a new Dutch passport at any time between 1 April 2003 through and including 31 March 2013 (an exact 10-year period).

                  Failure to do this would result in the automatic loss of Dutch nationality effective 1 April 2013.

                  Any child who was still a minor on 1 April 2013 — the date your mother lost Dutch nationality under Artikel 15(1)c RWN — and who also had a second nationality would share in the loss of Dutch nationality. Artikel 16(2)d RWN: “Het Nederlanderschap gaat voor een minderjarige verloren:
                  – indien zijn vader of moeder het Nederlanderschap verliest ingevolge artikel 15, eerste lid, onder b, c of d, of ingevolge artikel 15A.

                  Hence, since 1 April 2013, neither your mother, nor you have been a Dutch national.

                  After a new Dutch document was issued to your mother during this 10-year time period of 1 April 2003-31 March 2013, a new 10-year period would begin to run, and your mother would be required to be issued with a new Dutch document again before the 10-year period ran out. Artikel 15(4) RWN if she continued to reside in Mexico (i.e., outside the Kingdom of the Netherlands or any other E.U. member state or geographic territory).

                  I regret to inform you that if you apply for a new Dutch passport, or if your mother does, the application will not be processed for the aforementioned reason.

                  There is no possibility for you to re-acquire Dutch nationality by option statement in Mexico. To re-acquire Dutch nationality by option statement as a former Dutch national, you would be required to reside in the Kingdom of the Netherlands for at least one (1) uninterrupted year with a long-term residence permit for a non-temporary purpose (machtiging tot voorlop verblijf voor een niet-tijdelijk doel).

                  With such a residence permit, after one year of uninterrupted main residence in the Netherlands (i.e., long-term with a non-temporary (not temporary!) purpose), you would be able to apply for re-acquisition of Dutch nationality by option statement, and retain any other nationalities you currently hold (Mexico). Artikel 6(1)f RWN

                  This option is available to any former Dutch national.

                  Since you were neither born, nor raised in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, you are ineligible for the “Wedertoelating” (Re-entry) visa: you were not born or raised (i.e., you did not receive all of your basisonderwijs (primary education) in the Netherlands from age 4 to age 12). This Wedertoelating visa is a long-term, non-temporary purpose visa issued to any former Dutch national who was both born and raised in the Netherlands.

                  Unfortunately, this is neither your mother’s, nor your case.

                  Completing university studies in the Netherlands is a temporary purpose, and such, does not give any right to immigration status.

                  If you are somehow able to qualify for a long-term visa for a non-temporary purpose (such as paid employment for a position in the Netherlands that is approved by the IND under its criteria), then this would permit you to return to the Netherlands to legally reside and work. Eventually, you could qualify for the option statement hereabove described under Artikel 6(1)f RWN.

                  This is how, interestingly, by a mere matter of 2 months, your mother always retained her Dutch nationality from her date of birth in April 1973 up to 1 April 2013.

                  Had the Artikel 15c (oud) RWN (1985) never been revised before your mother’s 28th birthday in April 2001, and had she never been issued with a Dutch document on or after 1 January 1990, effective April 2001 on her 28th birthday, your mother and you would have lost Dutch nationality regardless.

                  Your mother’s case is most interesting.

                  Furthermore, it is not possible for you to naturalize Dutch if you have your main residence in Mexico, your country of current nationality. Naturalization would be possible only if residing in the Kingdom of the Netherlands or in any other country but Mexico. Plus, all requirements for naturalization must be met. Naturalization is a longer, more complicated process than re-acquisition of Dutch nationality by option statement. Being a former Dutch national gives no preferential treatment.

                  Even if your mother at the time was unaware of Artikel 15(1)c RWN that required her to “renew” her Dutch document between 1 April 2003 through and including 31 March 2013, her being unaware is not an affirmative defense: Dutch jurisprudence consistently states that it is the responsibility of a Dutch national to know the effects of the law on his Dutch nationality. The Dutch authorities are in no way obligated to inform an individual that he risks losing Dutch nationality.

                  I hope this detailed explanation helps you and your mother understand exactly what her situation was and how she and you lost Dutch nationality on 1 April 2013 under the current Artikel 15(1)c RWN, and why since that date, you are not Dutch nationals.

                  If you apply for a Dutch document now, it is my considered opinion the application will be rejected. You will have 6 weeks to appeal the decision before the statute of limitations for an appeal runs out.

                  But I am most certain that the initial ruling will not be overturned: it does not appear that on 1 April 2013 (date of loss of Dutch nationality), your mother was availing herself of any EU citizens’ rights. She would be required to prove that on 1 April 2013 or on a proximate date to that date, she was, indeed, availing herself of said rights. This is most difficult to prove by official, objective evidence on appeal, the details of which I have not elucidated here. The bar is high to overturn such a decision.

                  Best regards.

  10. Hi Paul

    I became Dutch due to the naturalization procedure, meaning I had to renounce the nationality of my birth.

    However if i return to the country of my birth, and resume my citizenship of that country (I lived in the country of my birth from birth to age 25, when i moved to the Netherlands and acquired my Dutch citizenship at the age of 37), would I be able to stay a dual national under the exception that I acquired the nationality of the country of my birth while residing in the country of my birth?

    Thank you

    • Hello Victoria.

      The retention of Dutch nationality in your case is not necessarily premised you need both to have been born and raised for at least five (5) uninterrupted/continuous years in your country of birth as a minor.

      Retention of Dutch nationality when re-acquiring the former nationality is also permitted if the Dutch national resided for at least five (5) uninterrupted/continuous years in that country as a minor. The birth in that country is not also required.

      Provided you are not re-acquiring Austrian nationality (Republik Österreich), you are permitted to re-acquire the nationality of your country of birth because you resided in that country for at least five (5) uninterrupted/continuous years as a minor prior to re-acquiring that nationality as an adult.

      This provision has been in effect since 1 April 2003 and going forward in time only pursuant to Artikel 15(2)b RWN.

      Regards.

  11. Hi Paul,
    Thank you for your detailed responses. My partner was born in Holland in 1950 and emigrated with his Dutch parents to Canada c. 1953 due to the extreme poverty experienced after WWII. Later his family emigrated to the US and as an adult he became a naturalized US citizen. He has never held a passport from the Netherlands. Is there any path for him to regain his citizenship and ultimately a passport?

    Pat

    • Hello Pat.

      1. I do not understand what you mean exactly by the word “partner”? “Partner” is just a generic word that does not define any civil status.

      2. Do you mean your spouse, i.e. husband?
      Or registered civil partner? Or civil partner? (because under Dutch law a “civil partner”/”common law” partner does not exist. A “registered civil partner” exists, but is a specific, legal term).

      3. Your “partner” was born in the Netherlands in 1950, and emigrated from the Netherlands, and immigrated to Canada at age 3 in 1953.

      4. He was born a Dutch national IF AND ONLY IF his father was a married Dutch national on his date of birth as obviously your “partner” was born prior to 1 January 1985. Artikel 1a Wet op het Nederlanderschap en het Ingezetenschap (1892) in force from 1 July 1893 through and including 31 December 1984.

      5. In this case, i) his mother’s Dutch nationality and ii) his birth in the Netherlands are entirely irrelevant facts in the acquisition of Dutch nationality at birth through his married Dutch national father only.
      A child does not acquire Dutch nationality by birth in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, barring a specific exception that does not apply to your him.

      6. Prior to 1 January 1985 a child did not acquire Dutch nationality through its Dutch national mother at all if 1. the parents were married and the father was a Dutch national; or, if the parents were unmarried, 2. the father was a Dutch national, but had not legitimated or acknowledged the child; or, 3. the father was not a Dutch national. If the father was a foreign national, and only the mother was a Dutch national, the child acquired the father’s foreign nationality and not the unmarried mother’s Dutch nationality.

      7. His never holding a Dutch passport does not change the situation: acquisition of Dutch nationality at birth through his married Dutch national father only. Dutch nationality is not acquired by holding a Dutch passport, nor is a minor-age child required always to be in possession of a Dutch passport at all to acquire or retain Dutch nationality.

      8. Hence, the fact he never held a Dutch passport as a minor is irrelevant as it also is until he naturalized U.S. Otherwise, he would have been stateless, and this is impermissible under Dutch law. A passport is a travel document only.

      9. Therefore, even though he was born in the Netherlands (“geboren”), he was not raised there (“getogen”). “Raised” in the Netherlands means the child acquired all its primary education (“basisonderwijs”) in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, basisonderwijs is given from age 4 to age 12.

      10. He naturalized U.S. voluntarily as an adult. You have not stated at what age he naturalized U.S. If he was already considered an adult under Dutch law at the time of naturalization, then he automatically (i.e., immediately; instantaneously) lost his Dutch nationality. No formal renunciation is required under Dutch law. And even if he did not wish to lose his Dutch nationality upon naturalization, or even if he was unaware he would lose it upon voluntary naturalization in another country, or no one informed him of such loss, are irrelevant facts: loss of Dutch nationality regardless on the U.S. naturalization date.

      11. Additionally, the fact his parents emigrated from the Netherlands because of extreme poverty is not a way in which Dutch nationality is retained under Dutch law. Therefore, this fact also is irrelevant.

      12. Since 1 April 2003, a Dutch national does not necessarily lose Dutch nationality under three (3) specific exceptions under the current Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap.

      13. These exceptions entered into force on 1 April 2003, and are still in effect today.

      14. Since the law only goes forward in time, it does not cover situations of loss of Dutch nationality that occurred prior to 1 April 2003. Nor do these exceptions apply to voluntary naturalization to the Austrian nationality at this time, in which case Dutch nationality always is lost when naturalizing Austrian under any circumstance.

      15. In order for certain categories of former Dutch nationals to re-acquire Dutch nationality, the Dutch legislator implemented a 10-year period for certain former Dutch nationals to re-acquire Dutch nationality by option statement abroad, and retain their foreign nationalities upon re-acquisition of Dutch nationality.

      16. This temporary option period ran: from 1 April 2003 through and including 31 March 2013 (an exact 10-year period).

      17. If he had resided for at least five (5) uninterrupted years in the U.S.A. as a minor before he voluntarily naturalized U.S. as an adult and before 1 April 2003, then he was required to apply to re-acquire Dutch nationality by option statement to the Netherlands representation in the U.S.A. during the aforementioned period. Upon approval of his option application, he would have reacquired Dutch nationality (but without retroactive effect to its date of loss, i.e., the U.S. naturalization date). He would be permitted to retain U.S. nationality.

      18. Unfortunately, this 10-year option period expired 10 years ago: on 1 April 2013.

      19. Conversely, if he resided for at least five (5) uninterrupted years as minor in Canada before naturalizing Canadian as an adult and prior to 1 April 2003, he could have submitted the same option application to the Netherlands representation in Canada.

      20. Currently, none of the limited categories for acquiring Dutch nationality by option statement that may be submitted abroad apply to him: he is dealing with the RE-ACQUISITION (emphasis added) of Dutch nationality by option statement, and NOT its first-time ACQUISITION.

      21. Since he was born in the Netherlands, but was not raised there (“getogen”), he is ineligible for automatic issuance of the special Wedertoelating (“Re-admission”) visa in order to re-immigrate to the Netherlands as a former Dutch national. Said Re-admission visa is only issued upon request to a former Dutch national both 1. born; and 2. raised in the Netherlands. Both criteria must be met. In this case, country of current residence and/or country of current nationality are irrelevant for issuance of this visa.

      22. The Re-admission visa is a long-term visa for a non-temporary purpose (visum langdurig verblijf voor een niet-tijdelijk doel). The visa must be non-temporary in nature.

      23. For him to be eligible for the Re-admission visa, in his case, given he was not raised in the Netherlands until at least age 12 since birth, he may not be residing in the U.S.A., the country of which he is also a national. He would be required to be residing permanently in another country, i.e., the Kingdom of the Netherlands or a third country. Additionally, he would be required to demonstrate he had obtained at least one-half of his primary education in a school system abroad based on the Netherlands school system. Additionally, he would be required to demonstrate effective ties to the Netherlands, such as employment with the Dutch civil service abroad or similar tie.

      24. The Re-admission visa is only issued for eventual residence in the European Netherlands, thus not for Aruba, Curaçao, or the Dutch side of Sint-Maarten.

      25. A former Dutch national both born and raised in the Netherlands does not have to demonstrate these effective ties.

      26. Naturalization is also possible. However, naturalization to the Dutch nationality is not permitted when the foreigner is residing in his current country of nationality, in this case the U.S.A. Further, main residence must be either in the Kingdom of the Netherlands with a long-term visa for a non-temporary purpose, or in a country other than the U.S.A. (a “third” country, as stated), and all other requirements for eventual naturalization must be met, which would include the fact he would qualify for a long-term visa for a non-temporary purpose to reside in the Netherlands in the first place.

      27. Additionally, naturalization is a lengthier process than re-acquisition of Dutch nationality by option statement.

      28. Upon main residence in the Kingdom of the Netherlands for at least one (1) uninterrupted year with a long-term visa for a non-temporary purpose, he could submit an application for re-acquisition of his Dutch nationality by option statement to the municipality in the Netherlands in which he has his main residence, and retain any other nationalities he holds. This is the only option statement that may eventually be submitted by any former Dutch national. Nevertheless, it requires main, long-term, non-temporary purpose residence in the Netherlands for at least one (1) uninterrupted year. Artikel 6(1)f Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap

      29. In sum, unless he can qualify for a long-term/non-temporary residence permit for the Netherlands, he is unable to re-acquire Dutch nationality by option statement abroad. This is the quickest and easiest way currently for a former Dutch national to re-acquire Dutch nationality by option statement. Solely being a former Dutch national not both born and raised in the Kingdom of the Netherlands is insufficient for issuance of the Re-admission visa.

      • If U.S. naturalization occurred as a single adult and prior to 1 January 1985, then automatic loss of Dutch nationality under Artikel 7(3) WNI (1892).
      • If U.S. naturalization occurred as a single adult on or after 1 January 1985, and before 1 April 2003, then automatic loss of Dutch nationality under Artikel 15a RWN (1985) (oud).
      • If U.S. naturalization occurred as an adult in the past, and before 1 April 2003, and he was married to a U.S. national on the U.S. naturalization date, then automatic loss of Dutch nationality under Artikel 15a RWN (1985) (oud), but the aforementioned 10-year temporary option period was open to him.
      • If U.S. naturalization occurred as a single adult in the past, and before 1 April 2003, and he had resided for at least five (5) uninterrupted years as a minor in the U.S.A., then automatic loss of Dutch nationality, but the aforementioned 10-year temporary option period was open him.

      In all cases above, loss of Dutch nationality was automatic, as stated. It occurs by operation of Dutch law (“van rechtswege”).

      Since he is not in possession of Dutch nationality currently, a Dutch passport (a travel document) cannot be issued to him.

      I hope this detailed information assists him and you.

      Best regards.

  12. Hello Paul,

    Thanks for posting the very informative article, and for your diligence in providing so many people with such detailed responses. I have gone through most of the responses looking for something similar to the situation my wife is in. While I believe a lot has been clarified, I have one outstanding question regarding how the impact of her losing her Dutch (and therefore EU citizenship) had a disproportionate impact on her. But first, here’s the background.

    My wife was born in June 1986 in Canada to her Canadian Mother and Dutch Father. Her parents were not married at the time, but he acknowledged his parentage of my wife at her birth; he is named as the Father on her birth certificate. My wife’s Dutch Father was a Dutch national at the time of her birth, and has maintained this status to present day. He currently holds a valid Dutch Passport, and has never taken on Canadian Citizenship but is a Canadian Permanent Resident. For these reasons, I interpret that my wife was a Dutch Citizen by birth. However, they never applied for any citizenship documentation or passport for her.

    Because my wife and her father were unaware of her status as a Dutch Citizen, they never made applications for documentation. She grew up in Canada up to and past her 18th birthday. She did not apply for any documentation during the ten year period after her 18th birthday while she lived as a Canadian Citizen in Canada. As a result of this, I understand that she thus lost her Dutch citizenship.

    In June 2018, we moved from Canada to live in Germany, where we live currently. Since that move, my wife has held a residence permit here in Germany, and has been employed for nearly that entire period. Our plans are to stay long term in Europe, with an interest in a possible move to the Netherlands as well. For this reason, my wife has an interest in re-gaining her Dutch Citizenship through the option process. As we are currently residing in the EU, her being deprived of her EU Citizen rights subjects her to periodic renewals of her residence permit with the German government to maintain her employment and permission to live here. She holds a position of importance with her employer, and should her residency status change it would negatively impact their business. As we also have a long-term interest in remaining, she wishes to take part in the democratic process and vote in EU parliamentary elections.

    My question is this: are the preceding reasons a demonstration of disproportionate impact? For the Dutch authorities, we can certainly demonstrate with documentation the duration of our residence in Germany, her employment and residence permit status, and bank statements, bills and our apartment lease tying us to our life here. Are they likely to find this compelling?

    Thanks in advance for any information you can provide. We appreciate it!

    • Hello Mitchell.

      There was no Dutch nationality for your wife’s father or for her ever to “apply” for. This means there was never any documentation or Dutch passport to apply for in order to acquire Dutch nationality. Your wife was born a Dutch national.

      The ways in which Dutch nationality is acquired, retained, and lost are clearly stipulated point by point in the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap.

      Applying for a citizenship document, etc. is not a way in which Dutch nationality is acquired.

      Also, the fact your wife’s father is still a Dutch national has been irrelevant to your wife since her 18th birthday since, as a dual adult Dutch national upon turning age 18, her retention of Dutch nationality (contrary to being a dual Dutch national minor) no longer was incumbent upon her father’s retaining his Dutch nationality.

      Moreover, the fact that perhaps neither her father, nor your wife knew she was born a Dutch national is irrelevant. The acquisition of Dutch nationality occurs by operation of the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap.

      There appears to be some misunderstanding about the proportionality test to which you are referring.

      The European Court of Justice has ruled that the Netherlands, as a sovereign nation, has the absolute right to determine under its laws who is and who is not a Dutch national, and the Netherlands (and any other country) has the right to stipulate in its laws how its respective nationality may be retained and lost due to certain factors.

      These factors for automatic loss of Dutch nationality, however, must be proportional to the effect such loss may have on the exercise of EU citizens’ rights at the moment Dutch nationality was lost, and NOT due to events that were not occurring on the date of loss under the RWN or that were not reasonably foreseeable within a short time period/proximate date around the date of loss.

      From the facts you have shared, your wife turned age 18 in June 2004. She turned age 28 in 2014. Between 2004 and 2014 she resided as a dual adult Dutch national uninterrupted outside the Kingdom of the Netherlands or any other E.U. member state or geographic territory to which the Treaty on the European Union applies (in Canada).

      During this 10-year period, she did not apply for, and was not issued with, either i) a new Dutch passport, or ii) national identity card, or iii) Verklaring omtrent het bezit van het Nederlanderschap (Certificate of Dutch nationality) by her 28th birthday in June 2014 in Canada.

      Whether she was aware of this requirement is irrelevant under Dutch law. Dutch jurisprudence and rulings from the Supreme Court of the Netherlands (Hoge Raad der Nederlanden) have consistently applied and reinforced the concept that it is the responsibility of a Dutch national to know what factors under Dutch law could result in the automatic loss of Dutch nationality, including, inter alia, its possible loss due to long-term residence abroad as a dual Dutch national.

      Therefore, the milestone date (the “peildatum”) regarding the proportionality of the automatic loss of Dutch nationality with regard to the exercise of any E.U. citizens’ rights or that your wife had every proximate intention to exercise them was on your wife’s 28th birthday in June 2014, and not now.

      You have stated you both moved to Germany in 2018, nearly four years later. That is not a date occurring on or around the milestone date of her 28th birthday in June 2014. Unless she can prove by unequivocal, objective evidence around her 28th birthday she was availing herself of, or was intending to avail herself of E.U. citizens’ rights at that time, then the proportionality test assessment for the reinstatement of Dutch nationality will most certainly fail.

      Future plans at a more distant date in the future—such as a move to, and subsequent employment in, Germany in 2018—ostensibly are unrelated to any exercise of E.U. citizens’ rights in June 2014.

      The fact her residence in Germany based on her German employer’s renewal of any residence visas/permits are unrelated to the exercise of E.U. citizens’ rights in June 2014. The fact she may be unable to obtain residency in Germany now by not being a Dutch national presently does not prevent her from entering the European Union as a Canadian.

      While you and she may have long-term plans now to remain within a European Union member state (Germany, at present) and/or relocate to the Netherlands (at a future date long after 2014), such are determinations that are being made now, and those have nothing to do with the exercise of E.U. citizens’ rights in June 2014, the year in which your wife lost Dutch nationality for failure to be issued with a Dutch document by age 28 in Canada as required by Artikel 15(1)c RWN. This Artikel 15(1)c has been in effect since 1 April 2003.

      The documentation from the German authorities and her employer in Germany are present documents. They do not date to the June 2014 milestone date, namely that unless your wife were a Dutch citizen in June 2014 that she would be unable to obtain the position in Germany at that time. This means that she would be unable to obtain that job in Germany in June 2014 unless she were a Dutch national.

      Those documents deal with residency in Germany since your move to that country in 2018, which is not the same thing as the exercise of E.U. citizens’ rights in June 2014, such as future plans to participate in the democratic process within the European Union now as a national of an E.U. member state.

      For example, if in June 2014 your wife could demonstrate that she had already participated in past Dutch or E.U. elections for the E.U. parliament, and that her non-timely issuance of a Dutch document on 28th birthday or on a proximate (“near future”) date after her 28th birthday impacted her ability to vote in future Dutch or E.U. parliamentary elections as a prior voter, then this could be evidence your wife has been disproportionately affected by the automatic loss of her Dutch nationality in 2014 pursuant to Artikel 15(1)c RWN.

      But it is now 2023, nine years after her 28th birthday in June 2014. The move to Germany occurred in 2018, four years after.

      This is the reason why the documents you currently have from your present situation in Germany are unrelated to the June 2014 milestone date. As such, these documents do not evidence the disproportionate loss of Dutch nationality had on any E.U. citizens’ rights you wife must have been exercising in June 2014 for a successful outcome now. For this reason, they do not appear to be compelling in relation to June 2014.

      It would be required to show tangible evidence/proof dating to the June 2014 milestone date from which one can determine the loss of Dutch nationality at that time was disproportionate to the exercise of E.U. citizens’ rights at that time (June 2014). For a successful outcome, your wife would be required to submit evidence from which it can be inferred that around the time of the loss—her 28th birthday in June 2014—she had concrete plans to settle in the Netherlands or another EU member state, for example.

      The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has ruled that, “the reference point at which the principle of proportionality must be assessed is the moment of the loss of Dutch citizenship.” The Court thus ruled that only facts and circumstances related to rights arising from European citizenship on the date of loss are relevant for the proportionality test.

      In a recent ruling from 2022, another court in the Netherlands ruled that, “[t]he court considered that, according to established case law of the highest administrative court . . . it was up to the claimant himself to ascertain the consequences of living as a dual Dutch national in another country for his Dutch citizenship.” (translation)

      While the above is in no way legal advice, I hope it sheds some light on how the proportionality test operates. Objective evidence dating to 2014 as explained above is necessary to submit for a positive outcome. Subjective evidence, or distant, future, or non-tangible plans or evidence will not pass muster. Subjective evidence that does not pass muster are arguments that the former Dutch national: “still feels Dutch,” “celebrates Dutch holidays,” “has Dutch parents or relatives in the Netherlands,” “speaks, reads, and/or writes the Dutch language” etc. have been arguments claimants have asserted in Dutch courts.

      Dutch courts consistently set aside these subjective arguments because they are i) unrelated to the exercise of E.U. citizens’ rights, and such ii) subjective feelings are not ways by which Dutch nationality is retained under the specific provisions of the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap enumerating how Dutch nationality is acquired or retained in the first place.

      Best regards.

  13. Hi Paul! Thanks for such amazing information!
    Based on your article, I realize that I have lost my Dutch nationality.
    I do have a few questions.
    Here is my info…then I will ask my questions.
    I was born in NL in 1969 to a Dutch mother and Dutch father (born in 1949 and 1947 respectively).
    We immigrated to Canada in 1971. I have lived in Canada ever since and became a Canadian citizen in 2004. My last Dutch passport expired in 2009 ( issued in 2004). I didn’t renew it because I now had a Canadian passport on which to travel. Unfortunately, I had no idea I would lose my Dutch nationality by letting my passport expire and not renew it before so many years went by. My two sons were listed in my last Dutch passport. They were born in 1997 and 1999.
    Here are my questions:
    1. If I get the visa and live in Nederland for a year and happen to get my Dutch nationality back, do I have to renounce my Canadian citizenship?
    2. Are my sons still able to apply for a Dutch passport? (Are they still Dutch nationals)?
    3. If I live in curaçao for a year am I able to apply to reinstate my Dutch nationality?

    The plan was to “retire” in curaçao but it looks like I may have messed that plan up by simply not renewing my passport.

    Any help or advise you may have for my situation would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hello Nancy.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Below the answers to your questions.

      1. Acquiring or re-acquiring Dutch nationality by option statement never requires renunciation of all other nationalities EXCEPT in one (1) specific circumstance: a foreigner who has resided in the Kingdom of the Netherlands uninterrupted since at least the age of 4, and at age 18 or older, the foreigner (now of age) wishes to acquire Dutch nationality by option statement. In this one case, all other nationalities must be renounced if the country of other nationality permits renunciation. Artikel 6(1)e Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap

      Therefore, no. You are not required to renounce your Canadian nationality: You may retain it in your case.

      2. No. Your sons are no longer Dutch nationals. They are thus ineligible to be issued with Dutch passports.

      Since 1 April 2003, a child under age 18 with a second nationality in addition to Dutch nationality retains Dutch nationality; provided, however, the child continues to have at least one (1) parent who retains Dutch nationality until the child turns age 18; provided, however, the child does not become stateless when losing Dutch nationality automatically because the child no longer has at least one (1) parent who remains a Dutch national. Artikel 16(2)a RWN

      – As Son #1 was born in 1997. I shall presume he was also a Canadian national at that time. 1997 + 18 years = 2015. Son #1 was still underage (age 17) in 2014 (the 10-year anniversary date you acquired Canadian nationality). Son #1 lost Dutch nationality automatically in 2014 on the date you lost Dutch nationality under Artikel 15(1)c RWN (effective date: 1 April 2003). Son #1 therefore is ineligible to be issued with a Dutch passport since he has no longer been a Dutch national since 2014.

      – Son #2 was born in 1999. I shall presume he was also a Canadian national at that time. 1999 + 18 years = 2017. Son #2 was still underage (age 15) in 2014. He lost Dutch nationality also on the 10-year anniversary date of your Canadian naturalization. He too is ineligible to be issued with a Dutch passport.

      3. Yes. Curaçao is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Provided you are able to be qualify for and be issued with a long-term visa for a NON-TEMPORARY purpose (emphasis added) [visum langdurig verblijf voor een niet-tijdelijk doel] to reside in Curacao, after one (1) year of uninterrupted main residence in Curacao, you may apply for reacquisition of Dutch nationality by option statement without retroactive effect to its date of loss in 2014, and retain any other nationalities you currently hold. Artikel 6(1)f RWN

      There are slightly more stringent requirements for long-term visas for a non-temporary purpose that apply to Curacao.

      However, were you ever to re-acquire Dutch nationality now, this would have no effect on your sons. They are now adults under Dutch law. They must qualify on their own merits for any long-term visa for a non-temporary purpose.

      As a side note, it is incorrect you lost Dutch nationality in 2009, the year in which your last Dutch passport expired. Prior to 9 March 2014, all Dutch passports were valid for five (5) years only since date of issue. However, Artikel 15(1)c RWN that stipulates a dual Dutch national adult, residing uninterrupted outside the Kingdom of the Netherlands or any other E.U. member state or geographic territory where the Treaty on the European Union applies for 10 years since the last Dutch document was issued shall lose Dutch nationality automatically if ten (10) years has elapsed, and a new document has not been issued.

      After said document is issued, a new 10-year period begins to run if and only if said dual Dutch national continues to have main residence outside the geographic territories hereabove mentioned. Artikel 15(4) RWN

      You naturalized Canadian in 2004. It is on that Canadian naturalization date that the 10-year countdown started running for you because from that date, you were now a dual national residing outside those geographic territories hereabove mentioned1(Canada).

      Therefore, the 10-year clock expired for you on the 10-year anniversary date of your Canadian naturalization: in 2014.

      On the other hand, if your last Dutch passport was issued in 2004 — but after your Canadian naturalization date — then, the 10-year countdown began to run on that last Dutch passport’s issuance date. The 10-year period would also have expired in 2014.

      Your mother’s Dutch nationality and your birth in the Netherlands are not ways in which you acquired Dutch nationality at birth: cumulatively, 1. you were born in 1969, and 2. your father was a married Dutch national on your date of birth. Artikel 1a Wet op het Nederlanderschap (1892) in force from 1 July 1893 through and including 31 December 1984

      This is the manner in which you acquired Dutch nationality at birth.

      Prior to 1 January 1985, a child who was born of a married Dutch national father acquired Dutch nationality through him only, and not through the married Dutch national mother in this case.

      There have always been provisions in place for automatic loss of Dutch nationality in various forms since 1838 and thereafter. These provisions for automatic loss of Dutch nationality due to long-term residence abroad have changed in various ways since then.

      Nevertheless, in your case, you lost Dutch nationality because of long-term residence abroad (Canada, thus outside the Kingdom of the Netherlands or any other E.U. member state) with a second nationality, and before 10 years had elapsed as a dual Dutch national, a new Dutch document (either a new 1. Dutch passport; or 2. A national identity card/NIK; or 3. a Verklaring omtrent het bezit van het Nederlanderschap (Certificate of Dutch nationality) had not been issued to you in order to “reset” this 10-year clock.

      Any of these three (3) documents before 2014 would have “reset” the 10-year clock for you and your minor-age sons at the time.

      Despite your birth in the Netherlands, your family emigrated in 1971 when you were two (2) years old. You therefore are not considered to have been raised (“getogen”) in the Netherlands. “Getogen” means that between ages 4 and 12, you received all of your primary education (basisonderwijs) in the Netherlands. In this case, you do not qualify for the automatic Wedertoelating (Readmission) visa to return to the Netherlands given your not having been raised there. This is the reason why you must become eligible for another type of long-term visa for a non-temporary purpose (the majority of visas to reside in the Netherlands are short-term visas (visum voorlopig verblijf)).

      Even so, the Wedertoelating visa is only issued for residence in the European Netherlands, and not for Curacao.

      I hope the above explanations have answered your questions.

      Best regards.

      • You are incredible at what you do. Your knowledge in these matters is absolutely astounding!
        I’m going to ask another question, if I may.
        Now that you know my history, I’m wondering if you could give me some advice as to the best way to become a permanent resident (and then perhaps a citizen) in curaçao. Do you think it’s best that I try to re-instate my Dutch nationality (by living there a year as per the info you gave me), or is it best to pursue it as a Canadian?
        I’ve done so much research and yet your information is the best I’ve come across.
        I thought I’d try my luck and see if you have some knowledge in this regard as well.
        Thanks so much!

        • I do not understand what you mean by “is it best to pursue it as a Canadian?”.

          You are a Canadian, so there is no other nationality by which you could apply for any eventual approval of a long-term visa for a non-temporary purpose other than as a Canadian no matter what country to which you would wish to immigrate.

          I explained how you would not qualify immediately for the Re-admission visa given the fact you were also i. not raised in the Netherlands until at least age 12 despite ii. your birth in the Netherlands of a iii. married Dutch national father prior to 1 January 1985.

          Plus, the Re-admission visa is only issued for eventual long-term, non-temporary purpose residency in the European Netherlands, hence not for Curaçao, Aruba, or the Dutch side of Sint-Maarten.

          You may wish to contact the Immigrate- en Naturalisatiedienst/IND or via its comprehensive website.

          I have explained how you acquired Dutch nationality at birth, and how it was lost due to the passage of 10 years after your Canadian naturalization date in 2004 (i.e., in 2014) for both you and your sons (who were still minors under Dutch law in 2014).

          For immigration questions, those should be directed to the IND. The IND approves the issuance of visas, and not a Netherlands representation abroad (be it a Netherlands embassy or consulate-general).

          Best regards.

  14. Hi Paul. I am a Indo, born in 1965, in the US. My Indonesian born father was a Dutch citizen, at the time of my birth and through most of my adulthood. While I understand that I have lost my Dutch citizenship, due to time and lapse in obtaining acknowledgement as a Dutch National, I am wondering if it is worth the effort to try an option application for Dutch citizenship. The “disadvantage/hardship” being that I have a daughter and her husband now residing in the Netherlands, starting a family. Thank you for all the information you provided. Your insight and expertise is appreciated.

    • Hello Anna.

      I do not understand what you mean by “option application.”

      There are no option procedures for which you would qualify that may be applied for abroad as a former Dutch national. The categories to ACQUIRE (not RE-ACQUIRE) Dutch nationality abroad are limited and limited in scope. To re-acquire Dutch nationality by option procedure as a former Dutch national would necessitate returning to the Netherlands first with the requisite long-term visa for a non-temporary purpose in order to be eligible for a residence permit. Artikel 6(1)f RWN.

      You have not stated whether your daughter is a Dutch national herself, or an E.U. member state or Swiss national residing legally in the Netherlands.

      It is quite difficult for an adult Dutch national adult to sponsor a non-Dutch national parent to come to the Netherlands. There are income requirements for the adult child in the Netherlands, but first and foremost more than usual emotional or dependency issues must be met. “Getting older” or the child’s “starting a family” and/or “needed family care” do not meet the bar according to the IND.

      Evidence that healthcare is unavailable in the home country must be proven also.

      If you wish to return to the Netherlands because you wish to be closer to your daughter because she is starting a family would most certainly not meet the criteria.

      It would be advisable you contact the IND directly. All its contact information is readily available on the internet. Is there a reason your adult daughter in the Netherlands has not consulted the IND himself since she resides in the Netherlands?

      Otherwise, you may wish to consult a Dutch immigration attorney specialized in this field.

      Lastly, to clear the matter up: if you were born in the U.S.A., you acquire U.S. nationality at birth. Your father was a Dutch national on your date of birth in 1965. You were thus also born a Dutch national. If, since 1 January 1985 through and including 31 December 1994, you were residing uninterrupted in the U.S.A., your country of birth and of which you were also a national, then the earliest you would have lost Dutch nationality is: 1 January 1995.

      Please note: even if you had a valid Dutch passport or had been issued with a Certificate of Dutch nationality between 1 January 1985 through and including 31 December 1994, this would have made absolutely no difference. You would have lost Dutch nationality anyway effective 1 January 1995. Artikel 15c RWN (1985) (oud) This is important to remember. Dutch nationality was NOT retained effective 1 January 1995 just because of a valid Dutch document. Your statement must thus be reworded in this context.

      Further, then either Point 1. or Point 2. below applies to you:

      1. if between 1 January 1990 through and including 31 December 1994, you had, indeed, been issued with a Dutch document (one would not have been issued to you anyway effective 1 January 1995), then effective 1 February 2001, your Dutch nationality would have been considered never to have been lost. Nevertheless, if you were residing in the U.S.A. starting on 1 April 2003, you were required to be issued with a new Dutch passport, national identity card, or Certificate of Dutch nationality by 31 March 2013 (an exact 10-year period). Failure to do this would result in automatic loss of Dutch national again effective 1 April 2013.

      2. if between 1 January 1990 through and including 31 December 1994, you had NOT been issued with a Dutch document, then you had the opportunity to apply for re-acquisition of Dutch nationality by option statement in the U.S.A. between 1 April 2003 through and including 31 March 2005 (an exact 2-year period). In this case, your Dutch nationality would have been restored with retroactive effect to its original date of loss under Artikel 15c RWN (1985) (oud): 1 January 1995 (age 30).

      Artikel 15c RWN (1985) (oud) ceased to have force of law effective 1 April 2003, when the “renewal” requirement was instituted for dual adult Dutch nationals residing uninterrupted for ten (10) years outside either 1. the Kingdom of the Netherlands; or 2. any other E.U. member state or geographic territory to which the Treaty on the European Union applies pursuant to Artikel 15(1)c RWN.

      In sum, the earliest you ever could have lost your Dutch nationality as a dual adult Dutch-U.S. national residing in the U.S.A. uninterrupted between 1 January 1985 (age 20) through and including 31 December 1994 was: 1 January 1995 (age 30).

      And, even if you had a valid Dutch document on that date (1 January 1995), this would have made absolutely no difference: loss of Dutch nationality [Artikel 15c RWN (1985) (oud) as explained in detail in the article].

      Many former Dutch nationals are under the mistaken impression that if they had a valid Dutch document on 1 January 1995 (if they were already age 28, but had not yet turned age 31) (or if they turned age 28 after 2 January 1995) that this would have resulted in their retention of Dutch nationality as adult dual Dutch nationals residing in their country of birth. But this is not so. Artikel 15c RWN (1985) (oud) was in effect, not the newer Artikel 15(1)c RWN that replaced it, and entered into force on 1 April 2003.

      Effective 1 February 2001, as explained above, it would entirely depend on whether between 1 January 1990 and 31 December 1994, they had been issued with a Dutch document in the first place (see Point 1. and Point 2. hereabove that explain the difference).

      Best regards.

  15. Hello Paul,
    I was born in Den Haag on March12, 1941

    My father born in Paramaribo Dutch Guiana July 04,1903
    My mother born in Tirol Austria, (now Bolzano Italy) Jan. 12,1905
    They married in Holland Sep.08,1937
    They have both died, My mother in 1963, and my father in 1976

    My mother brought me to America Oct.15, 1947 I was 6 years old
    My father had arrived earlier Aug.13,1947
    They were both Naturalized May 26,1953 I was 12years old
    I got my first US passport with great difficulty in Sep.17,1969 I was 28 years old
    when I started working for KLM in New York City and I they sent me to Holland for training.
    I am still working for an airline (American Airline)and have been back to visit my family in Holland
    ever since 1969 as my passports will attest.

    I have made an option appointment with the Netherlands Consulate General in San Francisco
    May 10, 2023 at 1130am

    I will have to fly up there and back from Los Angeles and pay a fee.
    I do not want to waste both our time by not being prepared with the right document
    or not being eligible etc.

    Their web site is not clear… I thought that once I made the appointment they would send me a form and instructions as to what document to bring etc.
    But they haven’t …….
    I did find a form but it is in Dutch, I used Google translate, but sometimes that is not correct,
    I would need help filling it out correctly so it is not rejected.

    Do you think I am eligible for option approval latent or otherwise,
    and would they help me fill out the form at my appointment?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,
    Sincerely, Astrid

  16. Hello Rodrigo.

    Your post is still a bit ambiguous. Some confirmation questions are required.

    1. Your Dutch birth certificate is entirely irrelevant to your acquisition of Dutch nationality. The same for your birth in the Netherlands. Birth in the Netherlands does not result in the automatic acquisition of Dutch nationality except in some rare circumstances that do not apply either to you.

    2. The manner in which you acquired Dutch nationality was at birth because cumulatively: a. you had a married Dutch national father, and b. you were born prior to 1 January 1985. Artikel 1a Wet op het Nederlanderschap en het Ingezetenschap (1892) Your birth in the Kingdom of the Netherlands or any other nationalities acquired at birth are irrelevant.

    3. You state your mother “registered your birth in Argentina.”
    Question: Does this mean under Argentinian law you acquired Argentinian nationality at birth through your Argentinian mother?
    Question: Has Argentina always considered both you and your brother Argentinian citizens since birth?

    4. If your brother was born prior to 1 January 1985 and his father was a married Dutch national on his date of birth, there was no Dutch nationality for your brother to “acquire” either (just like you). He was born with Dutch nationality. Therefore to state, “He obtains Dutch and Venezuelan nationality” is an erroneous statement to make. I presume you mean your brother applied for a new Dutch passport in Venezuela, and one was issued to him.

    His application for and issuance of a Dutch passport in Venezuela certainly did not result in his acquisition of Dutch nationality. Your brother already was in possession of Dutch nationality to begin with, which is why he was issued a Dutch passport.

    5. The ways in which Dutch nationality is acquired, retained, and lost are set forth clearly and summarily point by point in the former Wet op het Nederlanderschap/WNI (1892) and the current Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap/RWN (1985).

    Applying for a Dutch passport, therefore, does not result in the acquisition of Dutch nationality.

    6. The terms “nationality” and “passport” do not mean the same thing. They are separate terms that should not be used interchangeably.

    7. If an individual holds Dutch nationality, a Dutch passport (a travel document only) will be issued.
    If an individual does not hold Dutch nationality, an application for a Dutch passport simply will not be processed. The individual is not a Dutch national.

    8. Question: Do you and your brother each currently have a valid Dutch passport, nationale identiteitskaart/NIK, or Verklaring omtrent het bezit van het Nederlanderschap?

    9. Question: If so, when were these documents last issued to you and to your brother?

    10. Please confirm all nationalities you and your brother hold, and the dates when all nationalities were acquired.

    11. From what I understand from the facts as you have stated, you were born with Dutch nationality. You were also considered an Argentinian national at birth also, and have also held Argentinian nationality from birth. You have retained your Dutch and Argentinian nationalities through today. You have a valid Dutch passport.

    12. Question: When was this Dutch passport issued? (Question 9)

    13. Question: In what country were you residing upon said Dutch passport’s issuance date?

    14. From what I understand from the facts you have stated regarding your brother, he was born in Venezuela with both Dutch (jus sanguinis a patre) and Argentinian nationalities (jus sanguinis a matre).

    At age 18, your brother renounced his Venezuelan nationality.

    Since age 18, your brother has only had Dutch and Argentinian nationality.

    15. Question: Does your brother currently have a valid Dutch passport?

    16. Question: If so, when was this passport issued?

    17. Question: In what country was your brother living upon said Dutch passport’s issuance date?

    18. It is my understanding that when Argentinian nationality is acquired at birth, it cannot be renounced. There is no possibility to renounce Argentinian nationality in this case.

    19. Question: Why did your mother wait two (2) years from 1979 through 1981 before she reported your brother’s birth to Argentina?

    20. Question: Did that registration result in the acquisition of Argentinian nationality only on the date notification was given by your mother in 1981 and not before?

    21. Please provide specific, non-ambiguous answers to the questions above. It is necessary to have confirmation that you and your brother have been Argentinian nationals since birth, and that you will not be requesting the issuance of an Argentinian travel document or identification card for the first time because, in so doing, Argentina will only from that point consider you its national. (See Question 3)

    Best regards.

  17. Hello,
    My brother and I are attempting to determine whether renewing our Argentine passports/nationalities will impact our Dutch citizenship.
    I was born in 1976 in the Netherlands. Father is Dutch, mother is Argentine. I have a Dutch birth certificate, and in the year after my birth, my mother registers my birth with Argentina.
    1977, acquire Dutch passport, move to Nigeria.
    1979, move to Venezuela , brother born in 1980. He obtains Dutch and Venezuelan nationality, his birth reported to Argentina in 1981. My brother renounces Venezuelan nationality at age 18.
    1982, move to Colombia. 1986, move back to Netherlands. 1989, move to Bolivia, 1992, return to Netherlands.
    Here our paths diverge. I move to the US in 1995, Japan, in 2005, Chile in 2013, return to EU (France) in 2020.
    My brother moves to US in 1999, moves to Thailand in 2005, Chile in 2009, returns to EU (France) in 2017.
    We would like to renew our Argentine ID cards, Passports, given the advantages we would have in Mercosur region as we would likely move back in the future. We are legally entitled to this by descent/birth to our mother (jus sangis).

    So, are we now at risk of having to renounce Dutch citizenship? Neither of was born in Argentina but are Argentine by descent.

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this.

    Rodrigo

  18. Jenny PS

    Hello Paul, thank you for this great article. I was born in Aruba 1975, moved to the US at 18 and maintained my citizenship and passport trough out the years even after I married a US citizen in 2001. In 2003 I renewed my passport that was given to me for 5 years only, from 2003-2008 (still have my passport). But I got my US citizenship in 2005 so when I tried to renew my passport in 2008 I was told due to me having the American citizenship now i’m not allowed to have dual citizenship, so I lost my Dutch citizenship and nor my kids are able to get it trough me because I no longer have it. So am I able to regain my Dutch nationality and have dual citizenship again? Cause I tried asking at the passport office and also saw all the info they have but it confuses me more every time. I really would love to find the way to regain it if possible and what exactly I need to do before I spent unnecessary money. Hopefully you can guide me towards the right direction. Bedankt Paul

    • Hello Jenny.

      Effective 1 April 2003, a Dutch national retains Dutch nationality during marriage to or a registered civil partnership with the foreign spouse or registered civil partner; provided, however, on the foreign naturalization date, the Dutch national is still married or the registered civil partnership has not been dissolved in the interim (i.e., before the foreign nationality is acquired voluntarily). Artikel 15(2)c Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap

      This is one (1) or three (3) exceptions where a Dutch national retains Dutch nationality when voluntarily acquiring a foreign nationality.

      You state you married a U.S. citizen in 2001. You did not acquire US citizenship upon marriage.

      You voluntarily naturalized U.S. in 2005 (hence after 1 April 2003) and on the date of your U.S. naturalization (I shall presume) you were still married to your U.S. spouse.

      Hence, in 2005, you did retain your Dutch nationality if still married. In 2008, only three years had passed since your U.S. naturalization. Again, in 2005 upon naturalization you were, indeed, married to your U.S. national husband.

      If in 2008 you were told a Dutch passport (travel document) could not be issued to you because you’re “not allowed to have dual citizenship,” this was erroneous information. You clearly fell under the exception to retain Dutch nationality when voluntarily naturalizing to a foreign nationality (U.S.A.) in 2005 during marriage. This is based on the fact I am assuming you were still married on your U.S. naturalization date in 2005.

      You would have lost Dutch nationality if you had already naturalized U.S. before 1 April 2003, because prior to that date, this exception under Artikel 15(2)c RWN was not in force. The law has no retroactive effect (“de wet heeft geen terugwerkende kracht”).

      You would have lost your Dutch nationality if you were not married to a U.S. national in 2005 when you naturalized U.S. voluntarily. Artikel 15(1)a RWN

      If, cumulatively:
      1) in 2001 you married a U.S. national; and
      2) you naturalized U.S. in 2005 during marriage to your U.S. national spouse; and
      3) since your U.S. naturalization date in 2005 you continued to reside uninterrupted outside the Kingdom of the Netherlands or any other EU member state or geographic territory to which the Treaty on the European Union applies, then the earliest date you could have lost your Dutch nationality would be on the 10-year anniversary date of your U.S. naturalization date: in 2015.

      This automatic loss of Dutch nationality would have occurred by operation of law if, by said 10-year U.S. naturalization date (between 2005 and 2015), you had not been issued with either a new Dutch passport, national identity card, or Verklaring omtrent het bezit van het Nederlanderschap. Artikel 15(1)c RWN (that also entered into effect on 1 April 2003 only with no retroactive effect prior to 1 April 2003).

      In my assessment, you retained Dutch nationality upon U.S. naturalization in 2005 because you were married to a U.S. national on that naturalization date (I shall assume).

      The earliest date you could have lost Dutch nationality would be starting only after the 10-year anniversary of your U.S. naturalization in 2005.

      If your children were still under age 18 when you lost Dutch nationality, then on the date you lost Dutch nationality, they lost Dutch nationality automatically along with you since, I shall assume, that in losing their Dutch nationality, they did not become stateless: they were also U.S. nationals.

      Your children thus no longer had at least one parent who was a Dutch national. Artikel 16(2) a RWN

      If, indeed, you are no longer a Dutch national, the quickest and easiest way for you to reacquire Dutch nationality would be to return to the European part of the Netherlands with a long-term visa for a non-temporary purpose (visum langdurig verblijf voor een niet-tijdelijk doel). After one year of uninterrupted main residence there, you may submit an application to re-acquire Dutch nationality by option statement, and retain any other nationalities you currently hold. You would not be required to renounce them. This option under Artikel 6(1)f is available to any former Dutch national. Nevertheless, this option can only be applied for in the Netherlands.

      Based on the facts you present, one of two scenarios is necessarily true:

      1) in 2005 on your U.S. naturalization date you were no longer married to a U.S. national (in which case you would have lost your Dutch nationality based on Artikel 15(1)a RWN [in force since 1 April 2003 through today]; or

      2) you were given erroneous information in 2008 that you had lost your Dutch nationality even though you were married to a U.S. national on the U.S. naturalization date in 2005.

      Were you still married to a U.S. national in 2005 when you naturalized U.S.?

      Best regards.

  19. Paul

    My grandfather was a Dutch citizen when he married my grandmother in 1937.
    My mother was born in 1938 from this marriage
    My grandfather died in 1942 on active service as a Dutch soldier.
    My mother received a Dutch war pension for some time
    She married my father in 1957. He was a South African citizen
    She never renewed her Dutch citizenship within the 10 year period after she turned 21
    I was born before she turned 31 and should qualify for Dutch citizenship

    However I noticed the cut off date of 31 March 1964 on the Netherland Government webpage
    Childred from marriages concluded prior to 31 March 1964 does not qualify
    Where does this date come from ??

  20. Hi Paul. I have a question I was hoping you could help me with. I was born in Australia in 1989 and my father is Dutch (He’s lived in Australia the last 30 years but never became an Australian Citizen and still has his Dutch citizenship). In 2012 when I was 23 I obtained a Dutch passport which expired 5 years later in 2017. A few years ago I looked into renewing it but I live in Queensland Australia and there isn’t a Dutch consulate here . The nearest one is in Sydney but due to Covid there was an extended period of boarder closures between Queensland and Sydney for approximately 1 year in total, (with some on and off periods, but there was a lot of uncertainty and I didn’t want to travel in case I got stuck there). I went down to Sydney in August this year and submitted my paperwork to renew. I just received an email from the consulate in the Netherlands saying they have denied my application/ won’t review it as I am no longer considered to have Dutch Nationality. I am now aware of the 10 year rule and am devastated to have lost it. Additionally I now see in April 2022 they introduced a new law extending the rule to 13 years but this doesn’t apply to me since mine expired in February. I wanted to know if there is anything I can do to object this decision? I spent some time in Switzerland around 2013/2014 (2-3 months in total) and travelled to a few countries in Europe but haven’t lived there for an extended period. Kind Regards Anna

    • Hello Anna.

      1. Since 1 April 2003, a dual adult Dutch national who resides for at least ten (10) uninterrupted years uninterrupted 1) the Kingdom of the Netherlands or 2) any other EU member state or geographic area where the Treaty on the European Union is in effect will automatically lose Dutch nationality, unless he/she applies for and IS ISSUED WITH a new Dutch passport, national identity card, or Certificate of Dutch nationality (Verklaring omtrent het bezit van het Nederlanderschap) before this ten (10) year period expires since the last document was issued. Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap Artikel 15(1)c

      2. Another way for “stop” this 10-year clock from running is to have his/her main residence in the Netherlands for at least one (1) uninterrupted year before this 10-year period expires. RWN Artikel 15(3).

      3. Once one (1) of the three (3) aforementioned documents is issued, a new 10-year period begins to run if said dual adult Dutch national continues to reside uninterrupted outside 1) the Kingdom of The Netherlands or 2) any other EU member state or geographic area where the Treaty on the European Union is in effect. RWN Artikel 15(4)

      4. You state you were issued with a Dutch passport in February 2012 (age 23). You were thus an adult under Dutch law.

      5. This Dutch passport expired in February 2017. Prior to 9 March 2014, all Dutch passports were valid only for five (5) years from date of issue.

      6. However, you had another five (5) years to apply for and be issued with one of three aforementioned documents before this additional five-year period ended in your case: in February 2022.

      February 2012/issuance of your last Dutch passport + 5 years validity = February 2017/expiration of your Dutch passport + an additional 5 years for a total of 10 years since February 2012 = February 2022/automatic loss of Dutch nationality

      7. Given you were not issued with a new Dutch document before the 10-year expiration date in your case by February 2022, since February 2022 you have no longer been in possession of Dutch nationality. You were residing uninterrupted since February 2012 as a dual adult Dutch national in Australia (hence, neither in the Kingdom of The Netherlands, nor in any other EU member state).

      8. On 1 April 2022, this 10-year period was extended by 3 years for a total of 13 years since the last Dutch document was issued.

      9. However, the law has no retroactive effect. It does not apply to individuals whose 10-year period expired PRIOR TO 1 April 2022.

      10. As explained, your 10-year period expired in February 2022. The new 13-year period does not apply to you given your 10-year period had already run 2 months prior. You were thus outside the 13-year window that only took effect from 1 April 2022 and going forward in time only.

      Had your 10-year period expired on or after 1 April 2022, this period would have been extended by three (3) additional years for a total of 13 years since the last Dutch document was issued.

      11. This is why you were informed your application for a new Dutch passport could not be processed, resulting in automatic loss of Dutch nationality in February 2022 in your case pursuant to RWN Artikel 15(1)c.

      12. The ways in which Dutch nationality is acquired, retained, and lost are clearly stipulated in the Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap. Being unaware of the 10-year rule or having missed the “deadline” of your 10-year period two (2) months prior to 1 April 2022 when the new 13-year time period entered into effect are not ways under the RWN which permit retention of Dutch nationality in your case. Such reasons simply do not exist under law. This legal provision is strictly enforced by Dutch courts.

      13. You were able to apply for and be issued with a Certificate of Dutch nationality remotely prior to February 2022. A Certificate of Dutch nationality are not travel documents like a Dutch passport or NIK is. They contain no biometric data. Nevertheless, it is one of the three documents that would have “restarted” the 10-year period for you if that document had been issued prior to the date in February 2022 when your specific 10-year period ended.

      14. Provided you had submitted the required documents online to The Netherlands authorities at The Netherlands Consulate-General in Sydney or two Netherlands representations in Adelaide or Perth, and those documents were approved, and the new Dutch passport issued prior to the date in February 2022 when your specific 10-year period ended, you would have retained your Dutch nationality. The paperwork to submit for issuance of the Certificate would have been minimal for you.

      15. Your travel as a tourist to Switzerland for a few months in 2013/2014 are irrelevant as is your travel to a few countries in Europe. Simple tourist travel is not sufficient to invoke you were availing yourself of EU citizens’ rights around the time of loss of your Dutch nationality in February 2022.

      Firstly, Switzerland is not an EU member state. Secondly, tourist travel within the EU is not a way in which an EU member state national is exercising freedom of movement rights. Thirdly, you must prove by clear and convincing evidence that in the time period in February 2022 or immediately preceding this specific month or you can prove that in the very near future after February 2022 you indeed had the clear intention to exercise said rights.

      16. Hypothetical situations such as “I had the intention to travel to the EU as a tourist right after February 2022” or “one day I would like to retire in The Netherlands or the EU” are hypothetical assumptions. They are considered subjective by the Dutch courts, and hold no weight in the assessment.

      17. Other claims such as “my father is a Dutch national” or “I have many relatives in the Netherlands or the EU” also carry no weight in the assessment. Why? Because these assumptions have nothing to do with the exercise of EU citizens’ rights based on EU legal provisions and the RWN.

      18. In the written notification to you from The Netherlands Consulate-General in Sydney in August 2022, the appeals procedure of the negative decision would have been clearly indicated to you. The time limit to appeal the negative decision would have been approximately 6 weeks from the date of the negative decision in said letter to you. You would not have been needed to be represented by an attorney.

      19. Obviously, this statute of limitations has now passed in your case.

      20. Remember: in the case of a timely Dutch document renewal (“tijdig”), under Dutch legal provisions, the new Dutch document must not just have been applied for. The new Dutch document must also be issued before this 10-year period expired in February 2022 for you (since 1 April 2022, 13-years for applications submitted on or after 1 April 2022 for individuals who were still within the 10-year period on or after 1 April 2022, which, as explained, is not your case based on the facts you have stated).

      21. There is currently no possibility under Dutch legal provisions for Dutch nationals to re-acquire Dutch nationality by option statement outside main legal residence in The Netherlands for at least one (1) uninterrupted year on a long-term visa for a non-temporary purpose under RWN Artikel 6(1)f.

      22. Re-acquisition of Dutch nationality by naturalization is more difficult: this would require main legal residence in either the Kingdom of The Netherlands or any country other than Australia in your case with a long-term visa for a non-temporary purpose.

      It is against Dutch public policy for an individual to acquire or re-acquire Dutch nationality by naturalization when residing in the current country of nationality (in your case, in Australia). This makes sense from a legal perspective.

      23. As you were not born and raised in The Netherlands, you are ineligible for immediate “Wedertoelating” (Re-Admission) to obtain a long-term visa for a non-temporary purpose. Individuals who acquired Dutch nationality both by birth and residence abroad or by birth in the Netherlands (but who were not raised there until at least age 12) are ineligible for immediate Wedertoelating. Such visa will not be issued.

      The individual must have been both born and raised in the Netherlands. And in this former Dutch national’s case, it is irrelevant this former Dutch national born and raised in The Netherlands is residing in his/her current country of nationality or depending on the current country of nationality. Both those factors are entirely irrelevant in this former Dutch national’s case.

      24. Based on all of the foregoing, this is why your application for a new Dutch passport was denied and the application was not processed. The Netherlands Consulate-General in Sydney simply does not have the authority to make an exception. The RWN must be applied consistently to everyone.

      As you can see, despite the pandemic, the Certificate of Dutch nationality could have been applied for remotely and issued prior to February 2022.

      25. There have always been provisions in place under Dutch law for the automatic loss of Dutch nationality in various forms since 1838. This is almost 200 years ago. The concept of automatic loss of Dutch nationality is thus not a recent legal phenomenon or concept.

      On appeal, the former Dutch national is unable to invoke that he or she was unaware of the 10-year period (now 13 years since 1 April 2022 for those individuals whose 10-year period only expired on or after 1 April 2022).

      Best regards.

  21. Hi Paul

    I am interested in the Latent Dutch Nationality Law, both of my grandparents were born in Amsterdam and Velp respectively. My grandfather J.P Jurrius was born on the 26 of April 1894 and moved to South Africa with his parents on the 2nd of April 1897 making him 3 years old at the time. He later met his wife, C.H Kuyper, also a Dutch National, in South Africa and were married on the 10th of May 1923 in South Africa. They sent their birth certificates to be certified in their respective provinces in 1985 when the Dutch Law was updated. C.H Kuyper (my grandmother) was still alive in 1985 when her birth certificate was certified in Amsterdam, however, J.P Jurrius (my grandfather) who also had his certificate certified in 1985 in Velp had already passed away in 1962. Their daughter, Cornelia Jurrius, was born in South Africa on the 9th of May 1931, she married in South Africa in 1953 and had two children, I am one of the children born on the 10th of October 1957. Would I still be eligible for latent Dutch Nationality as my grandparents were still Dutch Nationals at the time of their death? I have all of their Dutch documents and if you could possible steer me in the correct direction it would be much appreciated?

    Kind regards

    Catherine

    • Hello Catherine.

      Please read my detailed response to you in the preceding question you had posed.

      Only until you are able to answer those specific questions with absolute certainty can a final determination be made regarding whether you are eligible for the Latent Dutch option at this time given the fact: 1) you were born prior to 1 January 1985; and 2) your father was a Dutch national on your date of birth; and 3) you never acquired Dutch nationality by any other option procedure in the past (and subsequently lost Dutch nationality).

      However, criterion 4 is missing from the facts you have already shared: it is not possible to assume your mother was a Dutch national on your date of birth. More specific information regarding your maternal great-grandparents and your maternal grandparents is required.

      You are currently not a Dutch national, nor have you ever been a Dutch national from the facts you have presented. You are thus ineligible for the issuance of a Dutch passport at this time.

      Best regards.

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