Indians in Netherlands > My Experiences > Dutch citizenship
Updated:
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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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)
  3. Becoming a Dutch citizen will not affect your 30% ruling (if any).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Unlike USA, children born here will get the citizenship of their parents only. They do not get NL citizenship by birth.
  7. If you become a Dutch citizen, your minor children can also automatically become Dutch citizens.
  8. Children can get Dutch citizenship even if only 1 of the parents is changing the citizenship.
  9. 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

86 thoughts on “Dutch citizenship

  1. chetan

    I have following questions :

    1.Did not understand if a person changes job say after first 2.5 years with the same company, he has to start again
    for 5 year period for PR ?
    2.If any of the family member gets PR the dependents also get – like spouse and child
    3.After getting PR – is there any time period that you need to be in NL not to loose it ? say you are here for 1 month
    within two years of getting PR then you will retain it ?

    Reply
    1. admin

      Hi Chetan,
      1. No. 5yrs total irrespective of number of companies worked for.
      2. Yes.
      3. Even I am not sure about this point.

      Reply
  2. Abdul Sathak

    Dear Admin, I had a question about students who wish to remain in NL. Do you know if study years count as full or half leading to naturalization and PR process? I have currently been living in Rotterdam (completing my bachelor 3-year studies) and I am wondering whether it makes sense for me to stay on for a masters year, and probably use the zoekjaar (orientation year) to find a job, and hopefully apply for the PR in my 5th year (provided ofcourse I find a job). What can you advise me about this plan?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. admin

      Hi Abdul, I think study years count as half as per the IND website. If it is not clear, I sugest you to ask in your nearest IND office.

      Reply
  3. Rajan

    for citizenship , does they check if person can speak/understand/write dutch language very well or only diploma is enough ?

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      only diploma is enough. Personal appearance is needed at the city hall but that is for application process and your dutch skills will not be tested.

      Reply
  4. Ishaan

    Thanks for provding all the information. This is really useful.

    One qustion, I have my 30% rulling active. Have completed 5 years and applying for the dutch passport.
    What if I change the job after getting the dutch citizenship. Since the new company have to apply for 30 % again, do I still get it. In simple words, if I get a dutch passport and I change jobs – am i still eligible. Pls repond, this will be of great importance to us.
    Regards,
    Ishaan & fly

    Reply
  5. Haresh S

    Hi Madhu,

    I had a break in my residence permit due to the fact that my employer applied for my extension a bit late. But in the period where my RP had expired(7 days to be precise), I had a sticker from the IND.

    Can I consider this period as a continuos period? If not then I loose 2 years 🙁

    Let me know if you have any information on this.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      Haresh, from what I know, if you (employer) submitted the extension request before the RP expiry but did not physically have the RP card that is not considered a break. But if you did not apply for the extension before the expiry of the RP, then it is considered a break and will reset your stay to 0 years. I recommend to take an appointment with IND to confirm….and would appreciate if you could update back with the answer from the IND.

      Reply
  6. Abhishek Kumar

    Hi Admin, could you please explain more about “2.Factor to consider is that 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.”.

    If I have property in India (say a flat) and I get rent out of it, will it be taxed here in Netherlands?? What will be the tax rate?? If I transfer the flat on my wife’s name who will retain her Indian nationality or only take Dutch Permanent Residency, do I still have to pay tax?? Also, if I have any mutual funds/ Fixed Deposits in India which are under tax free scheme, do I need to pay taxes on the interest accruid on it?

    Many thanks in advance for your support. Cant tell you that you are doing a great job..

    Regards
    Abhishek

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      From what I know everything in your name should be declared. Best is to check with a tax consultant for confirmation

      Reply
  7. Venkat

    Hi Admin,
    I am living in Netherlands for 8 Years. Since 04-Aug-2007 till 27-Feb-2015 I worked with an Indian MNC and starting 01-Mar-2015 I am working for an Dutch company. I applied for my PR on 02-03-2015 and got the same in 6 weeks time. I applied for citizenship in the month of April 2015 and today I came to know that my application is rejected as there is a residency gap of 1 day (28-Feb-2015, which is saturday). If I understand correctly the residency condition is same for citizenship and PR but one is approved and the other one is rejected. Do you have any idea about this or do you have one had the similar experience..

    With Best Regards,
    Venkat

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      Hi Venkat, when one quits a company he/she is allowed to stay in NL for 1 more month to find a new job provided the Residence Permit has not expired. Did your old residence permit (issued when you were working for the MNC) expire on 27-Feb-2015? If not, then in my opinion the rejection for passport is not correct because your gap is only 1 day! As to you question – from what I know the condition is same for citizenship and PR.

      Reply
      1. Venkat

        Hi Madhu,
        Thanks for your reply. Yes, my old Resident permit was valid till 09-Aug-2015 and it got cancelled with effective from 27-Feb-2015 (this was my last day with my previous employer) and in the cancellation letter it was clearly mentioned that the old resident permit cancelled based on the reason that I am no longer knowledge migrant but working as EU citizen..

        IND asked me to appeal through a lawyer.. Now hunting for a lawyer who had experience with handling similar type of cases earlier..

        With Best Regards,
        Venkat

        Reply
  8. Amit

    Hi Madhu,

    I have applied for dutch citizenship and it has been approved now. I have received a letter from gemeente for the ceremony date of next week however I need to travel to india after 2 days of the ceremony.

    Is it possible to travel with my indian passport after the ceremony. ?
    I will come back to NL in 2 weeks time.

    What are the possibilities ?

    Regards,
    Amit

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      I think it would be illegal. Beter to ask for postponement of the ceremony. Better to call Indian embassy for confirmation.

      Reply
  9. mayank

    Hi Venkat,

    I want to apply for a permanent residence permit (so that I can free my work permit). I do not want to apply for the naturalisation. I wanted to understand my situation regarding this matter.

    I came to NL as a Knowledge migrant for my PhD in May, 2011. I extended my visa as a guest researcher with my university from 1st May, 2015 and have thus no gap for the 5 years. I was unemployed for a period of 6 months in between, before I found another job for 4 months.

    Now, in April, 2015 I will finish 5 years in NL with a valid residence permit. Could you help me with my dilemma. I was wondering:
    1. on the next extension of my residence permit does my work permit become free of employers?
    2. In a zoekjaar (after my PhD defines) can I apply for a PR or not?
    3. Can I apply for a PR during my extended one year contract of guest researcher?

    Thanks in advance
    Mayank

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      When you are on study and PhD visas different rules apply. 5yrs may not be sufficient. Kindly call IND….they are very helpful.

      Reply
      1. mayank

        I was on a Knowledge migrant visa for 4 years, and then a work permit limited to my university. My major concern is that do I need to have paid taxes for 5 years to be eligible for PR?

        Reply
  10. Rashed

    hi Madhuri,

    I have a job offer for a 3 yrs contract starting from April 2016. My questions are:

    is this 5 years continuous means you can not go home in this 5 yrs?
    when we can get PR? is it after 5 yrs continuous only?
    can I switch job during my 3 yrs contract to other company?
    can I apply for job in other EU countries during this 3 yrs contract

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      Vacation is allowed during the 5yrs.
      Job change within country is allowed.
      Job change to other country needs visa from that country.

      Reply
      1. Ratan

        Hi Madhu,
        What if I have a PR from NL. Amm I eligible to apply and work in Norway or any other EU country without work permit? Does PR give the right to work anywhere in EU without restrictions?

        Reply
  11. Venkatesh Sathyanarayan

    I have cleard my inburgering exam and plan to apply for permanent residenship thru IND / local municipality.
    Question : How long does it take to get this approved. Assuming I apply on 1st of Feb 2016. My son aged 17 years now will be 18 in August, so can I hope to complete this activity before the deadline and he in turn need not do the civic integration exam.

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      For me it took 3 weeks only. At max it will take 3 months. I did not change the RP for my kids. So not sure of that process.

      Reply
  12. Runjhun

    Hello,
    Thankyou for the updates. All the information provided in this forum is very helpful.
    Though i have a question, can i apply for PR and dutch passport at the same time?

    My plan is to apply for PR first so that i am independant from my company. But also i would like to do the naturalisation. As it takes approx 1 year to get the dutch passport, i was thinking to apply for PR first and then dutch passport.
    But i would like to know if there is no harm in applying both at the same time. Applying PR and passport application together could save some time.
    Thankyou ,
    Regards,
    Runjhun

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      Yes you can apply for both PR and naturalization at the same time. No harm.

      Reply
  13. Shah

    i want to get clarification of one of requirement for PR:
    •You have sufficient and long-term means of support. ???
    is this can be achieved through indefincate employment contract ?

    Reply
  14. Shah

    If someone got PR and his citizenship appication is still in process. Then we can leave the country ? As the PR allow to stay 1 year outside Netherlands. is this harm on citizenship application ? as one of the condition is to valid our residence card thoughout the citizen application process.
    [ i am confused as i have good job offer outside EU and don,t want to wait and at same time i don,t want to loose opportunity to get NL passport. Please advise !!!!]

    Reply
    1. Sanand

      Hey Shah! Did you find out the answer to your question?
      I know I am a bit too late to ask but I am in a similar condition.

      Reply
  15. MNG

    I submitted an apostilled copy of my birth and marriage certificate when I moved to the Netherlands five years ago. If I apply for citizenship this year, do I need a new apostilled copy, or is the old one sufficient?

    Reply
  16. Ritu Singh

    Hello Madhu!!
    My question is a bit different and would love if you could advise me!
    I always wanted to pursue Phd from abroad and now have an offer of 2300 euros (gross) and a really really interesting project. I have an almost 3 year old son. My husband is a contractor here and both of us are willing to relocate to The Netherlands. Questions are
    1. How easy it would be for my husband to settle up a new business there? Funds required? What kind of Visa? He is interested in agri/horticulture sector. We wish to be together.
    2. I am aiming my career as a researcher and University lecturer. Is the pay decent? Any idea about the market regarding this?
    3. We have a comfortable life here but the research project I am getting is really good. Worth it? Are daycares safe? Can my mum come and help us settle for 90 days or less?
    Any questions answered would be really appreciated!! Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      1. Very easy. See KvK.nl
      2. No idea
      3. Pay seems avg. Your spouse will also have to work to manage a good living.

      Reply
  17. Rahul

    Hello Madhu,

    Thanks for a very informative forum. My question is; If one attains Permanent Residence from Netherlands and then lose their job, is the permanent residency revoked? If yes, then how much time does someone has till they find a new job?

    Reply
  18. deep

    I have applied for dutch citizenship in june 2016. My application is in process. My husband got a job in another country. Can I leave the country when application is in process?

    Reply
  19. masoud

    dear admin,
    when IND wants to check 5 years continuous stay, do they check municipality registration as well to have no gap or they just check you have continuous 5 years of resident permit in your passport?
    I mean I have no gap in my RP , but in one period I was living in a house which couldn’t be registered. So is it going to make trouble for me regarding applying for permanent residency?

    Reply
    1. Suri

      Hi,

      IND checks both. 5 years of continuos residence and also registration at Gementhe for the same 5 years period.

      You can only get a gap in the residence if you go to Gementhe and deregister. I hope that is not the case with you.

      If you didnt register yourself, then you are safe.

      Regards,
      Suri

      Reply
      1. Arko

        Hello, but in case if a deregisteration was done – then does it create an issue for me?

        Reply
        1. Arron

          Hello Arko,

          I have had exactly the same situation. I came to Netherlands in Aug 2010. I moved to a different city in 2012 and hence deregistered myself and forgot to register for a period of 6 months. Unaware of the repercussions, I went to Gemeente in Aug 2016 when I was told that I had a gap and that their advice is “not to” apply for citizenship yet. They advised me to wait till this gap is mended. However, I insisted to apply to which the Gemeente initiated an investigation if I was present legally in Netherlands for those 6 months. The result came 5 months later that I was indeed present in netherlands legally. Gemeente called me up and said that I may apply however, I will have to submit my bank statements (proving that i was spending in Netherlands), a written proof from my supervisor etc. etc. so basically as much proof as you can obtain). Even after that Gemeente employee said that it is still uncertain if I will be awarded citizenship since their advice to IND will still be “negative” and it is up to IND to make a decision.

          In a nut shell, the gap screws everything up very badly. Since the investigation already took like 5 months, I decided to wait for 1 more month and then apply with a clean record with no gaps.

          Hope this helps.

          Cheers

          Reply
  20. Aylvin

    Dear Admin

    I would like to hear some of your suggestion. I am in Netherlands for 5 years and I have passed the inburgeren examen. I wonder after I obtain PR can I go to other country to work (outside EU)? Do i need go to city hall to report my leaving? you said it is ok to leave for 12 month, is that mean i just need back to Netherlands every 12 month for few days then my PR will still be valid? during my absence , do I still need to pay for the tax (from city hall) and the health insurance? thank you very much.
    sorry i have asked too many question, but thank you very much.

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      I do not know how this really works. If you get to know, would kindly request to update here.

      Reply
  21. Sarah Ali

    Hello,

    I am an Indian citizen and my partner is Dutch living in Netherlands. We are in a long distance relationship but would like to live together permenantely in Netherlands.
    Which process would be faster and easier we get engaged and apply or get married.
    Can you kindly assist me with the step wise procedure and how much time does it take from India for the process.
    Do I have to give the Dutch language exam.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      No personal experience in this. Would suggest to refer IND website or check with an immigration lawyer

      Reply
  22. Jagadeesan

    Dear Madhu,

    I have just completed my inburgeren exams. I heard from few of my acquaintances that though you have continuous residence permit with proper renewal for 5 yrs if there is a gap in switching Jobs, there are chances of rejecting the dutch citizenship due to gaps in switching jobs (even if it’s one day).

    Can you clarify this?

    Thanks,
    Jaga

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      As long as your stay was legal even when switching jobs, I see no reason

      Reply
    2. Nav

      Dear Jaga,
      the only requirement is the continuous stay and a 1 year future contact at the time of application.

      Reply
  23. SS

    Hi All,

    Thanks for this great platform for information.

    Has anyone recently applied and received a Permanent residence? I applied for it more than 3 months ago and still waiting. I checked many times with IND and confirmed that no additional documents are required from my side. When asked why it is still “in progress”, then they give a standard reply that the official time limit is 6 months !

    Has anyone has recently any experience with this ?

    Reply
    1. Nav

      Hi SS,
      Yes, I applied for PR in end of Jan and I have received it on 15th April. So according to my experience, you are about to receive the decision after 4 months of your application.
      a personal advice, do not all IND repeatedly that will not affect the decision process…sometime you just need to wait 😛

      Reply
  24. Girish Sehgal

    Hello Dear Madhu,
    Thanks for compiling veryuseful information and your replies to all the queries over last so many years.

    I have accepted an offer for permanent job in Almere area on HIghly Skilled Migrant Visa. I have two daughters aged 12 and 15.
    My query is if and when I will complete 5 years required for Dutch PR – will my elder daughter ( then 20 years ) be eligible for PR ( provided she enrols for college studies in NL itself and stays 5 years in NL). Can you advise How can she become eligible for Dutch PR along with rest three of us.

    Many Thanks
    Girish.

    Reply
  25. santosh

    Hi, I work in NL with local permanent contract, I complete my 5 years in Feb 2018 and almost completed with my inburgering exams. My question is can I apply for Permanent Residence in Dec 2017(with 4 years 10 months) instead of extending Residence Permit and then applying for PR?

    Reply
      1. Ali

        Hi Santosh
        How did the process go for you? Did you apply for an extension and then a permanent residence permit?
        In similar situation and would appreciate your help.
        Thx
        Ali

        Reply
  26. Mohammed

    Hi Madhu/Admin,
    I lived in NL on a Resident Permit with my family from Feb’14 till Dec’16 (2 yrs & 8 mths) and I came back to India as my first assignment was completed (deregistered from Gemeente). Now, there is another assigmnent coming up for which I may go to Netherlands again. My question is, can I continue with the same RP or a new RP has to be obtained from NL Consulate in India? Please clarify. As per my company policy, they surrender the RP to IND when an employee leaves netherlands, in this case, how should they proceed.

    Thanks in anticipation

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      Your company would have reported to IND that your payroll has ended which means your RP is not valid even if you have it physically. So I would not recommend traveling on the old RP. You have to go thru the process all over again

      Reply
  27. Sai

    hi,

    i received a fine from Gementee about violation of some rules in renting out my apartment. Will this be an obstacle to apply for Dutch passport ?

    Please advise.

    Reply
  28. Sashidhar Joganna

    Hi Madhu,

    I just got my NL passport and was wondering what will happen to my wife’s dependent Residence permit. Will she be continuing to have the same dependent RP or should we initiate some other kind of RP, before she gives her inburgering exams?
    Can you please let me know?

    Cheers,

    Sashi

    Reply
  29. Sashidhar Joganna

    Hi Madhu,

    This is Sashidhar again. I recently became Dutch and now have a Dutch passport. Can you help me with the process of getting a Dutch passport for my daughter too. She is just 6 months old and she already owns an Indian passport. Also, what actions should I take, as we have planned to travel to India in November.

    I shall apply for OCI card sometime this week and hoping that, I shall get it within 2 months so, I can travel in November. Else, should I get a visa? Please suggest
    For my daughter, since her RP is still in process, have scheduled a visa appointment with the Dutch embassy in October, if her Dutch passport is delayed.

    Please advise

    Cheers,

    Sashi

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      If you have received Dutch passport, you can take visitor visa to India. Need to apply at least 4 days before travel start date.

      Reply
    2. Rajith

      Hi Shashi,

      Could you please tell us how long the application took for you for naturalization?

      Reply
  30. KK

    Dear Madhu,
    Thanks for the valuable post. I have a question regarding the conditions for non-EU dutch resident working in BE.
    ​I am residing in the Netherlands for more than 5 years now. The resident permit for the first 4 years was sponsored by the University where I carried out my PhD, and since then, I have a dependent visa (regulier bepaalde tijd) on my husband, who works in the NL.
    I now have an offer to work in BE and I would like to take up. I would like to keep my residence in NL and travel daily to work, especially since my husband is working in NL and I want to apply for the PR in NL.

    As a non-EU citizen can I get a cross-border commuter working contract? If not, what are the other alternatives to be able to stay in NL and work in BE?

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      No idea. From what I know, you need to have RP from the country you work which means you lose NL RP. Check with IND if they have solution.

      Reply
  31. LJ

    Hi, I received an initiation for the naturalization ceremony end of October but we were planning to go to india in dec to sell some property. don’t think the OCI will come before that and probably will have heavy tax implication as well. What would you advise if should postpone ceremony appointment date. Do you know if there is an option to choose date that is somewhere in Feb next year. thanks for your advise

    Reply
  32. Abhishek

    Hi Madhu,

    Is NT2 exam the only requirement or there is a separate civic integration test?

    Thanks

    Reply
  33. Sherin

    Hi Admin,
    My husband has been working in the Netherlands as highly skilled migrant for 4 years and 9months from 2009 to 2014 and returned back to India and worked in India for 1.8 years. Now again he is in Netherlands from 2016 May and still continuing in Netherlands.
    My question is, is there any rule or condition that he cannot be in Netherlands after 10years [calculating his stay from 2009 till now?] without PR? If yes, is that 10 years period calculated including his overall stay in Netherlands irrespective of the break when he worked in INdia? Or is it reset and calculated from 2016 May ?
    Could you provide some suggestions on this if you have come across such cases?
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      There is no such rule. If he is on RP, he needs to make sure he has a job at all times. If he can get his PR, he can continue in NL even without a job

      Reply
  34. kumar

    Hi Madhu,

    Regarding the application of a PR, can it be made before the expire (before the last 3 months of validity) of the current temporary PR in case already resided in NL for more than 5 years?
    E.g.
    Move to the Netherlands: 01.01.2013
    expiry date of temporary RP: 01.01.2019
    Apply for the PR now and become free of employers.

    Thanks Kumar

    Reply
  35. Jacky

    very good forum. Great and informative replies Madhu.
    My question, i am working in NL since 4 years, from as a stationed employee so my HR is in India company.
    But now i am getting a new oppurtunity in a dutch company so the i will be a dutch employee, do i have and my wife have to go back to india and come back due to some visa or permit rules?
    as my wife is pregnant, i dont think i can travel in 2 months, and i will be required to join in 2 months.

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      Depends on what visa you are living in NL. If it is ICT visa, I think you have to travel and come back. Check with IND

      Reply
  36. Amit Oza

    Hello,

    Thanks alot for the detailed explanation and all the comments.

    I have a question –

    I am thinking of applying for PR and Passport in NL. However i might as well leave NL and go to India for good.
    Question is – Is the process of converting the passport helpful ? Will it help me?

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      In India, foreign passport holders are at disadvantage especially from children education perspective. If you plan to go back for good and never to return even from children perspective, then probably not a good idea.

      Reply

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