Vote held on changes to Dutch citizenship requirements

Vote held on changes to Dutch citizenship requirements

On June 28, the Dutch House of Representatives approved proposed legislation to increase the residency period condition in acquiring the Dutch nationality. The Dutch Senate held a vote regarding the legislation on October 3.

Proposed Dutch nationality requirements

Currently, you can apply for Dutch citizenship when you have had a residence permit for 5 years and the Netherlands has been your main country of residence. 

The legislative proposal approved by the Dutch House of Representatives, a part of the Dutch government, suggested increasing the five-year residency period to seven years.

The law was proposed to deal with foreign nationals who are still not fully able to participate in Dutch society, even after passing the Civic Integration Exam (Inburgeringsexamen), with the argument that they would be more integrated if they were obliged to reside in the Netherlands for a longer period of time.

The Dutch Senate vote

A vote was held by the Dutch Senate on October 3. Of the 75 members of the Senate, 37 were in favour of the change to the residence conditions for Dutch citizenship. The political parties in the Netherlands in support of the new legislation were the National Reformed Party (SGP), the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and the Party for Freedom (PVV).

This, however, was not enough to pass the proposed legislation, and it was therefore rejected with 38 votes against it.

The 50PLUS party leader, Jan Nagel, surprisingly voted against the piece of legislation, despite the party manifesto proposing a five-year increase to the residency requirement condition, as the law would have unfavourable consequences for Dutch citizens living abroad with a foreign partner.

Nagel received hundreds of complaints from Dutch expats about the ramifications of the law prior to the sitting / standing vote last Tuesday.


Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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CicoCico 10:13 | 7 October 2017

7 years, even 10 years, it won't be easy to keep the unwanted from living here, as long as living here is their aim, time won't be a problem. However, it might mistakenly (maybe purposefully?) signal to the talents that they are unwelcome.