What happens at a naturalisation ceremony in the Netherlands?
A naturalisation ceremony is a ceremony for people who have become Dutch citizens through naturalisation or the option procedure. It is a festive event about what it means to be a citizen of the Netherlands. The naturalisation ceremony is held every year on 15 December, nationale naturalisatiedag (national naturalisation day).
Compulsory naturalisation ceremony
Attending a naturalisation ceremony is the final requirement for acquiring Dutch citizenship. It is compulsory for anyone aged 16 or over.
The role of your municipality in a naturalisation ceremony
The municipality in which you are registered organises the ceremony. Besides the ceremony on 15 December, municipalities may hold extra ceremonies on other days.
Declaration of Solidarity
Everyone aged 16 or over who wants to become a citizen of the Netherands must make the Verklaring van verbondenheid (Declaration of Solidarity) at the naturalisation ceremony. In the declaration you promise to respect the freedoms and rights that come with Dutch citizenship and to fulfil the obligations of citizenship. The declaration is made in Dutch.
There are 2 versions of the Verklaring van verbondenheid. It is up to you to decide which version you wish to use. If you are religious, you might wish to choose the first option. If you are not religious, the second option is more suitable.
- 'Ik zweer dat ik de grondwettelijke orde van het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden, haar vrijheden en rechten respecteer. En zweer de plichten die het staatsburgerschap met zich meebrengt getrouw te vervullen'. Followed by: 'Zo waarlijk helpe mij God almachtig'.
('I swear that I will respect the constitutional order of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, its freedoms and rights, and I swear that I will faithfully fulfil my obligations as a Dutch citizen'. Followed by: ‘So help me God'.)
- 'Ik verklaar dat ik de grondwettelijke orde van het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden, haar vrijheden en rechten respecteer. En beloof de plichten die het staatsburgerschap met zich meebrengt getrouw te vervullen'. Gevolgd door: 'Dat verklaar en beloof ik'.
('I declare that I will respect the constitutional order of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, its freedoms and rights, and I promise that I will faithfully fulfil my obligations as a Dutch national'. Followed by: 'This I declare and affirm'.)
After you have made the declaration (pdf; available in various languages) the municipality presents a document confirming your Dutch citizenship. You are then officially a citizen of the Netherlands.