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 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.
Prerequisites and Step by Step process:
- Learn the Dutch language.
- Pass the Inburgeren (a set of 5 different tests) OR the NT2 exam (you can take the exam even before completion of 5 years continuous stay in NL).
- You or your spouse should have 1 or more years of job contract from the date of your application.
- On completion of continuous stay of 5yrs (or more) in The Netherlands:
- For PR:
- Go to IND website. Apply for PR online.
- In about 2months, you will receive the notification to collect the PR card from the IND.
- For latest details, visit https://ind.nl/en/permanent-residence/Pages/permanent-residence-after-5-years.aspx.
- For Dutch Citizenship:
- Take an appointment at your gemeente (townhall) and submit an application.
- In about 7 months, you will get a letter informing you the approval
- About 2 months after that, you will get a letter from your gemeente asking you to attend a Naturalization ceremony.
- Attend the Naturalization ceremony and then on you are a Dutch citizen. Tip: When you attend this ceremony, if you have a passport size photo, you can apply for Dutch passport there itself.
- Receive the Netherlands passport in about a week after applying for it in your gemeente.
- Apply at VFS to renounce your India passport.
- 2 weeks later, you can apply for a OCI card (this 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).
- For PR:
FAQ and Caution points:
- Prerequisites mentioned above is mandatory for every adult who wants to apply. Minor aged children of those adults automatically qualify.
- You MUST have continuous 5yrs stay to apply. Even 1 day break in your visa will reset your stay period. This is strictly followed irrespective of whose fault caused the break (sometimes happens when you or your employer forgets filing for RP renewal or when you change employer).
- 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 relationship with India in terms of access or decision to return to India for good.
- It gives you (and especially your kids) free access to work anywhere in the European Union.
- You can visit most countries in the world without needing a visa.
- 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).
- n 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