If you have been living in Netherlands for last 5 years (continuously), you become eligible for ‘Permanent Resident’ and/or Dutch citizenship. You will also be evaluated for your Dutch knowledge, your or spouse employment status etc before you are issued either of them (assuming no other shortcuts apply for you (marriage, asylum etc)).
Permanent Resident (PR): You get a Residence Permit that will let you stay in Netherlands indefinitely. The PR will become invalid only when you stay out of Netherlands for more than 1 year continuously.
Dutch Citizenship: You can surrender your Indian passport and get a Netherlands passport.
The prerequisites for citizenship and PR are same – only that PR takes about 2 months to arrive from the time you apply for it while the passport will take about 1 year. So a lot of Indians apply for the PR and also apply for the passport in parallel.
Tip: Many people study for the Dutch language exam by themselves referring the material on the internet.
- The benefits of changing from Indian citizen to a Dutch citizen are:
- Because India issues OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card, you do not sacrifice your India relationship in terms of access or decision to go back for good
- It gives you (and especially your kids) free access to work anywhere in the European Union.
- You can visit most Western countries, Australia and many other countries without needing a visa.
- Factors to consider:
- once you are a citizen, you are required to declare your world income+wealth (including property owned overseas in India etc) and pay tax on it after your 30% ruling is expired.
- it is expensive (you pay for Dutch citizenship+ passport, India citizenship renouncing + OCI – about 700€ per person in total)
- Becoming a Dutch citizen will not affect your 30% ruling (if any).
- Other than continuous living for 5yrs in NL, you also need (1) decent amount of Dutch language knowledge (A2 level) (2) a 1 or more years job contract from your employer. In most cases citizenship by naturalization is what applies. For details, visit http://www.government.nl/issues/nationality/becoming-a-dutch-national. In summary:
- Pass the “Inburgeren” or the NT2 exam (you may take the exam even before completion of 5 years in NL; getting exam time slot will take about 5 weeks)
- Take an appointment at your gemeente (townhall) and submit an application for change of citizenship. Townhall will send an approval letter in about 7 months asking you to attend Naturalization ceremony.
- Take an appointment and attend the Naturalization ceremony in about 6 weeks. Tip: When you go to collect your citizenship, you can also apply for passport. You might need prior appointment depending on the city you live in. To apply for Dutch passport, you need to carry your a recent passport size photo.
- Receive the Netherlands passport in about a week
- Go to VFS and renounce your India citizenship. You can also apply for a OCI card at the same time. Per people’s experiences, this will take more than 6 months to come, but will give you almost the same status as an NRI and also does not need you to apply for a visa every time you travel to India.
- In case you decide to go back and live in India as a Dutch citizen, you can live like an Indian citizen except that you cannot vote. You can reapply for Indian passport after 5yrs of change to Dutch passport and 1 year of continuous living in India.
- Unlike USA, children born here will get the citizenship of their parents only. They do not get NL citizenship by birth.
- If you become a Dutch citizen, your minor children can also automatically become Dutch citizens.
- Children can get Dutch citizenship even if only 1 of the parents is changing the citizenship.
- If you parent a child abroad when your are a Dutch citizen, the new born can also get Dutch citizenship.
Disclaimer: The is my best effort and no responsibility will be taken for any inaccuracy