What will change if I acquire Dutch citizenship?

When you acquire Dutch citizenship, you will be registered as a Dutch citizen in the Basisregistratie Personen – BRP (Personal Records Database). This means you can vote in parliamentary elections and travel freely within the Schengen Area.

Dutch passport or identity card

Once you are registered as a Dutch citizen in the BRP, you can apply for a Dutch travel document (passport or identity card) in your municipality. In the Netherlands everyone aged 14 or over is required to carry proof of identity, for example a valid passport or identity card. You must be able to present it to the police or other law enforcement officials. 

Travelling within and outside the Schengen Area

As a Dutch citizen, you can travel freely within the Schengen Area. It is advisable to always carry a passport or identity card when travelling in the European Union (EU), as proof of identity. You will need a passport to travel outside the Schengen Area.

Right to vote

You may vote in gemeenteraadsverkiezingen (municipal elections) if you:

  • are aged 18 years or older;
  • have lived in the Netherlands for at least 5 years; and
  • have a valid verblijfsvergunning (residence permit).

You do not need to have Dutch citizenship.

If you are a Dutch citizen, you may vote in the elections for the Tweede Kamer (House of Representatives) and the Provinciale Raad (Provincial Council). You may also work at the Tweede Kamer or the Provinciale Raad.

Renouncing your current citizenship

In some cases, you will have to give up (renounce) your current citizenship when you become a Dutch citizens. If you do not do this, the Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst – IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service) can revoke your Dutch citizenship. However, you do not have to give up your original citizenship if:

  • you hold citizenship of a country that does not allow you to renounce your citizenship;
  • you hold citizenship of a country that automatically takes away your citizenship if you take up another citizenship.

Dutch citizenship for minors

If you have children under the age of 18, they can also become Dutch citizens if they:

  • are included in your application for Dutch citizenship;
  • are still under the age of 18 at the time of naturalisation;
  • have a valid residence permit.

If your children are aged 12 or older, they are entitled to give their opinion on becoming a Dutch citizen. Children aged 16 and older have to state that they want to become Dutch citizens themselves on the application.