Acquiring another nationality
Consequences for your Dutch nationality
The rule for adults under Dutch nationality law is that a Dutch national who voluntarily acquires another nationality will lose his/her Dutch nationality.
However, since 1 April 2003 there are three exceptions to the rule. You will not lose your Dutch nationality:
- if you were born in the country of your other nationality and have(/had) your principal residence there when you acquire(d) the nationality of that country;
- if, before you reached the age of 18, you had your principal residence in the country of your other nationality for an uninterrupted period of five years; or
- if you are married to a person who has the nationality you wish to acquire.
NB: The above exceptions do not apply in all cases. For example, under the provisions of a convention on the prevention of multiple nationality, they do not apply if you acquire(d) the nationality of a country that is (was) party to this convention at the time of acquisition. Countries that are or have been party to this convention are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and Sweden. Contact the Dutch embassy in your country of residence for more information if you have acquired or wish to acquire the nationality of one of these countries.
How to prove that you have not lost your Dutch nationality
If you apply for a Dutch passport at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, you must state on the application form if you have another nationality in addition to Dutch nationality. If you have acquired another nationality, you must submit documentary evidence to show how and when you acquired this nationality (e.g. a naturalisation or registration certificate). If you acquired another nationality voluntarily before 1 April 2003, you lost your Dutch nationality automatically. It may be possible for you to regain your Dutch nationality.
If you acquired another nationality on or after 1 April 2003, you will have to prove by means of official and if necessary legalised documents that you qualify as one of the exceptions listed under 1, 2 or 3. If you qualify under 3 (you are married to someone with the nationality you have acquired), you will need your naturalisation certificate, your marriage certificate and evidence that your spouse has the nationality you have acquired.
You are a Dutch citizen and have been married to an American woman since 1999. You acquired US nationality on 5 February 2004. If on that date you were still married to a US citizen you have not lost your Dutch nationality. You acquired US nationality after 1 April 2003 and therefore qualify as an exception under 3.
You are a Dutch citizen married to a Belgian since 2000. You acquired Belgian nationality on 8 April 2004. You automatically lost your Dutch nationality even if you were married to a Belgian because at that time, the Netherlands and Belgium were both party to a convention on the prevention of multiple nationality. Exception 3 does not apply to you.
You are a Dutch citizen and have been married to a Canadian since 1975. Your Canadian husband died on 3 May 2003. You acquired Canadian nationality on 7 January 2004. You automatically lost your Dutch nationality since you were no longer married to a Canadian citizen (marriage is dissolved through death or divorce) and do not qualify under exception 3. But if you lived in Canada for an uninterrupted period of five years before you reached the age of 18, you did not lose your Dutch nationality as you qualify under exception 2.
Dutch Citizens who obtain foreign citizenship through naturalisation must prove they fall under one of the above exceptions. Once it has been concluded that you have not lost your Dutch nationality, the passport application can be processed.