What happens at a naturalisation ceremony in the Netherlands?

A naturalisation ceremony is a ceremony for people who have become Dutch nationals through naturalisation or the option procedure. It is a festive event about what it means to be a Dutch national. The naturalisation ceremony is held every year on 15 December, national naturalisation day.

Compulsory naturalisation ceremony

Attending a naturalisation ceremony is the final requirement for acquiring Dutch nationality. It is compulsory for anyone aged 16 or over. 

Role of municipality in naturalisation ceremony

The municipality organises the ceremony. Besides the ceremony on the national naturalisation day, municipalities may hold extra ceremonies on other days.

Pledge

Everyone aged 16 or over who wants to become a Dutch national must make a pledge at the naturalisation ceremony. In the pledge you promise to respect the freedoms and rights that come with Dutch nationality and to fulfil the obligations of citizenship.

There are two versions of the pledge. 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.

  • ‘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 national.’ Followed by: ‘So help me God.’
  • ‘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 pledge (pdf; available in English) the municipality presents a document confirming your Dutch nationality. You are then officially a Dutch national.

Ministry responsible