Advantages and disadvantages of becoming a Dutch citizen
Becoming a Dutch citizen has advantages and disadvantages. Find out what this means for you if you decide to become a Dutch citizen.
You do not decide to become a Dutch citizen for no reason. Becoming a Dutch citizen is an important decision. You must think very carefully about what it means for you to become a Dutch citizen. Besides the advantages and disadvantages that are on this page, you may have personal reasons why you do or do not want to become a Dutch citizen.
Advantages of becoming a Dutch citizen
- You are not a foreign national anymore. You are included in the Personal Records Database (in Dutch: Basisregistratie Personen or BRP) of the Netherlands. You can also apply for a Dutch passport.
- You no longer need a residence permit. Therefore you no longer have to meet the requirements for a residence permit.
- You can stay abroad for a longer pe riod without any problems.
- You are allowed to vote in all Dutch elections.
- You are an EU citizen. You are allowed to vote in European elections. It will also be easier for you to move to another EU country.
- You will be allowed to work in all public positions. For example as mayor, police officer, soldier or judge.
Disadvantages of becoming a Dutch citizen
- It is more expensive to apply for naturalisation than to extend a residence permit. See what the costs of naturalisation are.
- You usually have to renounce the nationality you now have. Make sure that you know what this means for you before you apply for naturalisation. You may lose certain rights in the country of which you now have the nationality. There are also fees for renouncing the nationality you now have.
- In these cases you will get double nationality if you become a Dutch citizen:
- If you do not have to renounce the nationality that you now have.å
- You are unable to renounce the nationality that you now have.
- You can also lose your Dutch nationality again. For example, if you are convicted of a serious offence. Or if you committed fraud when you applied for a residence permit or Dutch nationality. This can even happen up to 12 years after you acquired the Dutch nationality. Have you voluntarily accepted the nationality of another country? Then you will automatically lose the Dutch nationality. Find out about loss of and revoking Dutch nationality.
Work, residence and studies in Europe: All the benefits of Dutch citizenship
Perhaps you’ve heard of increasing numbers of Israelis obtaining European citizenship in recent years, particularly Dutch citizenship, and perhaps you have even entertained the notion yourself. If so, you must be aware that Israelis with an additional European citizenship enjoy many benefits of a Dutch passport and privileges unavailable to those with Israeli citizenship alone.
Our office’s staff of experts on acquiring European citizenship helps hundreds of Israelis eligible for European citizenship every year to exercise this right. We guide them through the various bureaucratic procedures required by the authorities in each country, in addition to the legal procedures required here in Israel.
Whenever the subject of obtaining European citizenship arises here in Israel, the first thing that comes to mind is almost always Portuguese citizenship. However, many Israelis are not even aware of the fact that they are eligible for Dutch citizenship and a Dutch passport, which, like every other European passport, entitles the bearer to many kinds of benefits. In this article we explain the many possibilities open to Dutch citizens and summarize the eligibility requirements for Dutch citizenship, as well as providing a brief overview of the application process. Before we begin, we would like to remind you that you are welcome to contact us to receive professional consultation over the phone at any stage, or to schedule a meeting in our offices in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.
A few words on the European Union
Firstly, it is important to understand that anyone holding a Dutch passport in fact holds a passport of the European Union. The European Union consists of 27 countries in Europe and resembles a super-state, having a joint parliament, laws, a common economy and a common currency – the well-known Euro. The Union we see today may have been officially founded in the early 1990s, but its roots go back to the 1950s, to the economic syndicates created by the European super-powers following the two World Wars. The Netherlands was one of the first countries to join the early versions of the Union under the economic syndicate of Europe’s coal and steel industry, alongside West Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg. The Netherlands was and still is one of the longest-standing and most stable members of the European Union.
Dutch citizenship – Benefits and Possibilities
Why, then, have European Union passports become so sought-after in recent years? Well, there are numerous reasons. Here are the most important and notable ones:
- Freedom of passage between countries in the European Union: First and foremost, it must be stressed that a European passport grants free entry to any country in the EU—a considerable advantage for tourism purposes. Anyone with a Dutch passport can freely enter any country in the Union without restriction on their length of stay.
- Residence: Anyone wishing to live in the Netherlands at some point and to enjoy everything the country has to offer, which by the way is considered one of the most beautiful and economically stable countries in the world, can easily do so without any bureaucratic hurdles on a European passport. Of course, anyone wishing to do reside in the country without a passport may be able to so by taking certain measures, but these measures involve complicated bureaucratic procedures which do not always lead to the desired result. By the way, with a European Union passport it is possible to live in any one of the EU countries, not just the Netherlands.
- Livelihood: We must stress the huge economic potential available to European citizens. In addition to the option of residence, a Holland passport also enables employment in any EU country. Likewise, just as an Israeli passport enables you to start a business in Israel, European citizens can start a business in any country in the EU, making it much easier to expand local Israeli businesses to international markets.
- Education: While higher education in Israel is usually costly and not always accessible to everyone, countries in the EU, and the Netherlands in particular, encourage their citizens to get an academic degree. European citizens can enroll in the leading institutions across the continent for very little pay or even for free, with many countries offering scholarships covering the cost of living, alongside many other benefits to students.
- The benefit of security: Sadly, the State of Israel is a country which lives by the sword. While some are willing to accept this reality and raise their children here, many other Israelis choose to seek a different future for themselves and their children, and this is of course entirely acceptable. A Netherlands passport enables people to take this step with relative ease, and even if some may choose not to go through with the decision, it is always good to have the option to do so.
It is important to know that there many more considerable benefits beyond those listed above, such as substantial tax benefits in most EU countries (Israel is among the notorious top ten countries with the highest tax rates in the world), access to some of the world’s most advanced medical systems, automatic issuance of visas to the United States for European citizens, and more.
How may one obtain a Holland passport?
It must be said that the requirements are rather strict. In general, those eligible for a Holland passport under certain conditions are those with at least one parent who is a Dutch citizen, although it is also possible to obtain a Holland passport by investing in the economy of the Netherlands, even for those with no Dutch roots whatsoever. Note that people with dual citizenship (Israeli and Dutch) risk losing their Dutch citizenship if they do not renew their passport within a certain time frame.
In addition to the above, if you know of some existing family tie to former Netherlands citizens, we strongly recommend checking if you are eligible for a passport. In many cases, the process of obtaining Netherlands citizenship ends up being much simpler than expected.
What is remigration benefit?
If you currently live in the Netherlands and are moving back to your country of birth, you may be able to receive remigration benefit. To qualify, you must have been born outside the Netherlands and be 55 or over. The Social Insurance Bank (SVB) pays the benefit into your bank account each month. How much you receive depends on the country you will be living in, your family situation and whether you receive other allowances.
Can I receive remigration benefit?
You must meet the following conditions to receive remigration benefit:
- You have lived in the Netherlands legally for at least 8 years in a row
- You are 55 years old or over
- You were 18 or over when you came to live in the Netherlands
- You were born in the country you are moving to
- You are, or were, a national of the country you were born in
- If you are a Dutch national, you will be giving up your Dutch nationality
- You have received Dutch benefits for at least 12 consecutive months before applying for remigration benefit
If you do not meet these conditions you cannot receive remigration benefit.
If you do meet these requirements, check what other requirements you will need to meet. See the SVB website for a summary of the conditions for remigration benefit.
How to become a Dutch citizen
There are 3 ways to become a Dutch citizen:
- Automatically at birth (if one or both of your parents holds Dutch citizenship when you are born), through adoption or through acknowledgement of parentage.
- Through a short, easy procedure that takes 3 months. However, this option is available only to people who belong to a special group defined by law. This is called the option procedure.
- If you are not eligible for the option procedure, you can apply for naturalisation. This procedure usually takes less than one year, and never more than 2 years.
For more information on how to become a Dutch citizen, contact the municipality where you live. That is also where you have to submit your application. The Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst – IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service) provides more information about becoming a Dutch citizen through either the option procedure or naturalisation and about the costs of becoming a Dutch citizen.
Rights of Dutch citizens
In the Netherlands all basic rights are laid down in the Constitution. Being a Dutch citizen means you can enter the Netherlands freely. Other rights that only apply to Dutch citizens are the right to vote and stand for election in parliamentary elections and the right to join the armed forces. People who hold Dutch citizenship can also apply for a Dutch passport and travel freely within the European Union (EU). Go to ‘What will change if I acquire Dutch citizenship?’ to find out more.
Giving up citizenship of other countries
In principle, you will have to give up any other citizenship you hold of any other country. There are some exceptions to this rule.
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