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Ministers agree to get tough on dual nationality, also for the Dutch

Friday 02 March 2012

Ministers on Friday decided to press ahead with legislation aimed at reducing the number of people with dual nationality, despite widespread opposition.

The legislation will require everyone who becomes Dutch to give up their original nationality if legally possible. Dutch nationals who take a second nationality will also automatically lose their Dutch passports.

New Dutch nationals will also have a family income of at least the minimum wage and show that they have at least two years work experience or have some sort of professional qualification.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

I think this is a very unwise and rather idiotic decision. Dutch-born people who might be happen to be living in other countries have, by international law, automatic citizen rights regardless of what other citizen status they may have. In fact many thousands of Dutch-born people living in places such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada with be affected by this rather stupid decision which is, after all, no more and no less just to pander to an extremist right agenda.

By Henk Luf | 2 March 2012 3:23 PM

There has been 20 years of futbol played with citizenship laws. Every racist that gets influence in government tries to change the laws because they think they're "getting" those turks and moroccans. But maybe they're "getting" everybody with their stupid racist policies.

By Peter | 2 March 2012 3:28 PM

I was born in the Netherlands and became a British citizen. I had to give up my Dutch passport..Not fun...

By Josephine Perry | 2 March 2012 4:42 PM

I was born in Holland, yet became an American citizen at 10 years old. I live in America now but was planning on obtaining dual citizenship. What will this mean for me? That I will then have to have full Dutch citizenship even if I live in America?

By Eline dB | 2 March 2012 5:06 PM

What about the once who are in the Dutch Government? Uri Rosenthal Min.of foreign Affairs, has also an Israelian passport!

By joop | 2 March 2012 5:11 PM

Golly gee, when the consequences affect the Dutch suddenly the attitudes change. Otherwise they seem to be asleep if this type of thing only affects the foreigners!
I wonder about the approx. 1 million Moroccan families living here; these people are not permitted to give up their Moroccan citizenship. I guess that's the point huh, to make these folks feel bad and oppressed and unwelcome. Pathetic, makes me sick at my stomach. Well don't worry, no matter how low the home prices drop here I won't be buying. I cannot wait to retire and get away from here.

By Bill | 2 March 2012 5:28 PM

@Henk Luf: the measures only affect people who VOLUNTARILY take upon other nationalities. Birtright nationalities wouldn't be affected. But if someone moves to other country for 10 years and naturalizes himself/herself there, he/she'd lose Dutch citizenship.

By Andre L. | 2 March 2012 5:32 PM

I imagine those Dutch people will retain their birth certificates so it should be a simple matter to get a passport again later.Plus it would be the height of human rights violation to allow them to have two passports but not people coming to Holland.

By Carrie Ballard | 2 March 2012 5:33 PM

Well, if I loose my Dutch citizenship, and passport,because I also have a US pasport, I would feel "roobed" of my roots and history.
It would also prevent me from coming home to enjoy my old age, once I retire.
I guess The Netherlands will have to do withoput my $$$$
I am sure I can find someplace warm and exotic that will welcome me with open arms.
Holland is turning more and more into a racist society.
Good luck to all who are "left behind"

By Gerard Widdershoven | 2 March 2012 6:42 PM

I wonder when this will start being enforced. I just qualify my Dutch citizenship this year. I also wonder if I go ahead and take Dutch citizenship (and keep my native citizenship) before this new law is set, can they/will they retroactively take away my Dutch citizenship...

By Ruth | 2 March 2012 7:59 PM

How can an EU member country have such laws? Are they going to ban inter-marriages between Dutch and other Europeans? That's at least ridiculous.

By Despina | 2 March 2012 8:01 PM

This is going backwards! Sometime in the early 1960s a Dutch woman living in the UK and married to a Swiss national went to the embassy in London to get her passport renewed. When she told them she was married to a Swiss they tore up her passport in front of her! You're no longer Dutch now, they said. Sad to think the Dutch are returning to such times.

By Robin | 2 March 2012 9:01 PM

Whoa. Even the U.S. doesn't require new citizens to give up their previous citizenship! Does anyone know if this new legislation will be retroactive? If a Dutch national has already has dual citizenship with another country, will they now be stripped of their Dutch rights as well? Or will it only affect people who take dual citizenship after passage of the law? Many people will have decided to get dual citizenship only AFTER they were assured of keeping their Dutch citizenship as well!

By Anna | 2 March 2012 10:38 PM

This makes perfect sense to me, it's a positive step in the right direction after decades of chaos.

@Peter that's and interesting way of thinking, I don't possibly see and link to racism here as these rules apply to all races.

By Phil | 2 March 2012 11:15 PM

This takes us back to the situation I was faced with in the late 1950s. The 'Grondwet' (the Dutch Constitution) prescribed that dutch nationality would be lost if another nationality was accepted or if service of a foreign state was entered.
Thus in order not to loose my dutch nationality, I applied for and obtained by 'Koninklijk Besluit' (Royal Degree) permission in 1957, to join the New Zealand Lands and Survey Department.
I consider the proposal a retrograde step and could be creating more difficulties than envisaged.

By Dirk Rinckes | 2 March 2012 11:51 PM

That is exactly why I have only ONE Nationality. DUTCH and permanent residency status in New Zealand and Australia. I fully agree with the decision and those who dont can go home>>>>>>>Annemieke

By Anna | 3 March 2012 12:20 AM

Don't see the fuss in stating that people can only hold one nationality. You simply need to choose which passport you want to hold. I suspect people who complain are either missing the full picture or wanting to take advantage of the system.

By A nonny mouse | 3 March 2012 7:24 AM

Who on earth would want Dutch citizenship under those terms? I agree to prevent economic migrants have the work experience and financial requirements. Surely though it would be better allow dual nationality, people would then register in the NL and they integrate better. The current idea is you will have the Dutch and then the others. Politically that would be popular, economically long term it would be a disaster, a foreign national will bleed his/her assets out of the Netherlands duh?

By jd | 3 March 2012 8:44 AM

Why is it politicians always want to "get tough"about thing?.Is it ALL about just ruling now?.No more helping just getting tough.Great!!.No wonder I hate them all.

By Kinky Monkey | 3 March 2012 8:57 AM

22 years a go I had to choose to hold my original passport or to get Dutch citizenship. So, I had Dutch passport since then. No, I never regret it. Ah...Life is a choice isn't it?

By Arief | 3 March 2012 10:16 AM

Is there a grandfather clause here somewhere? Does this pertain to individuals who were born in Holland and already have dual citizenship? Will we loose our passports or be unable to obtain new passports?

By Wietske | 3 March 2012 3:06 PM

From last many years Dutch Govt. made much complications for dual nationals, its much better to learn lesson from other countries Like USA, U.K., Belgium, Canada, supporting dual nationality and protecting rights for their nationals living abroad.

By Bhatti | 3 March 2012 3:34 PM

Screw that! Just try getting me to give up my New Zealand or my Dutch passports..... I am Proud to be both Dutch and Kiwi equally! This government needs to smoke a bong or something and just chill out..... What next

By Pierre | 3 March 2012 10:21 PM

Where is the logic to this? Many global executives/ talented individuals hold dual citizenship; it often shows an understanding of and success within cultures...why would the Dutch want to discourage this? Point your gun in the right direction.

By Marian | 3 March 2012 10:53 PM

One can only scratch ones' head in disbelief. They changed the Law so you could and now they want to change it so you can't. Those born in the netherlandes must have a birth right!! They must be bored or broke!

By wilma | 4 March 2012 4:48 AM

I am a Dutch born
australian who for work reasons had to be a naturalised Australian and have often regretted that I had to renounce my Dutch nationality

By john koolhaas | 4 March 2012 5:34 AM

The Dutch clearly know which nationalities cannot legally renounce their citizenship and yet they continue with this "quest" for what exactly? Nationalistic pride? Sorry but making one renounce the citizenship of the country of one's birth will never make you a true national of that new country. This practice is not even enforced in many other EU countries so it's certainly not about being consistent. Maybe they'll realise their mistake 2 generations down the road when no former Dutchies living elsewhere have ANY tie whatsoever with their forefather's homeland. So much for continuing the pride.....a real pity.

By Michael K | 4 March 2012 8:26 AM

What a shame. Don't they understand that Dutch people who live all across the world just want to hangon to their citizenship out of a sense of loyalty and affection for their birth country? What about the Henk's and Ingrid's that live in Canada/Australia/NZ? Don't they matter?

By Stupid | 4 March 2012 11:01 AM

It's 2012 not 1912. The more modern we become the more people of different countries connect. I'm American and my husband is Dutch. We live in NL and our children are both nationalities. By US law, the kids are allowed to keep both and will NEVER have to give one up. If NL says they have to choose at say, 18 yrs of age, that's just cruel. They have to decide which parent they love more? UGH UGH UGH! I suppose if this happens I will encourage my kids to give up the Dutch one as an American passport is far more valuable.

By LJK | 4 March 2012 1:25 PM

What happens to my lovely half dutch half british grandsons - will they have to choose? How incredibly mean!!!

By avril blakeways | 4 March 2012 5:49 PM

We are in New Zealand and every 5 years we have to go trough the tedious process getting new passports, dealing with very unfriendly employees of the the Dutch consulate in Christchurch. Currently we are still Dutch citizens because we have Dutch legacy and patriotic feelings towards the country we were raised in. We do anything to improve relations between the Netherlands and New Zealand and benefit the bottom line of both countries. To than read that the Dutch government does not allow us to have dual citizen ship is pathetic. We will always be proud Dutchies but may have a different nationality soon

By Willy and Jeanet Leferink | 4 March 2012 7:31 PM

what problem are they trying to solve with this low? I can't quite see the point of doing this.

By Pavlos | 4 March 2012 10:45 PM

i am 70 years old and came to canada when i was 12 years youg with my parents.
i dit not at that young age have any chouse in the matter.
i am nederlands born and no one can change that or take it away from me .
if i had known what i know now [lol]i would have objected to leave my holland .
at that time nederland paid to send their people to other countries and now look what your getting in return.
what go around comes around.
i am a proud canadian but a born nederlander.

By john schenk | 5 March 2012 2:26 AM

This has nothing to do with legal rights as residents. Foreigners who are legal residents have the same rights, except possibly voting, as the locals have. And the Netherlands never had dual passports until the 1990's. This was introduced by repeated requests of the immigrant population who sometimes had difficulties visiting, or returning to, their homelands with only a Dutch passport. But now this dual citizenship is being abused, as in benefit frauds, for example, and should be re-examined and perhaps redefined.

By victor | 5 March 2012 8:17 AM

Thank the lord for this.I am so embarressed about my Dutch citizenship.I will be more than happy to go on with my new nationality.Theses days when i say i am Dutch the first thing i get asked is"are you are racist"?

By jason buttle | 5 March 2012 11:32 AM

Netherlands, what happened to you? I do not recognize you anymore!

By Isidro | 5 March 2012 11:59 AM

What nonsense is this? Holland used to be a country I was proud of, when making my decision to relocate here from America. I came here in 2008 to raise my son, with my Dutch wife. Since then I have been made to feel most unwelcomed by continuous ridiculous and financially draining legislation, as if living here is some sort of Royal Privilege for the chosen few. Thanks for nothing.

By Kevin L. | 5 March 2012 12:38 PM

"Ministers on Friday decided to press ahead with legislation aimed at reducing the number of people with dual nationality, despite widespread opposition."
Really Ministers are aimed against majoritary opposition opinion from people and economic interests of our country.
Rutte-Wilders government is currently the most harmfull problem for our country.

By zenplus | 5 March 2012 4:51 PM

Henk: Personally I think the system of having to have nationality in itself is a very unfair one. But I can't help but wonder: why would I need to keep my Dutch citizenship if I am living in Australia, (can) have that passport too, and intend to keep living there until I die?

By Martin | 5 March 2012 11:55 PM

Great idea, this isn't racist at all as it applies to all races

By Phil | 6 March 2012 7:50 AM

Many people in the Dutch society can not simply comprehend that having two nationalities has nothing to do with loyalty. Couple of months ago we heard about a Dutch army pilot selling valuable information to Russians. He had one passport and he was a pure race, an Arian Dutch. The world is becoming more connected, more inter-cultural, more cooperative and individuals with more than one nationality is just a natural result of this. Holland is trying to go back in time. You're shooting your own foot.

By Kurmanbek | 6 March 2012 10:41 AM

@Phil are you READING any of the other people's comments? It's completely racist as the Netherlands KNOWS which countries cannot legally renounce their citizenship and yet they continue on with this nonsense. Countries like Canada, US, AUS and NZ would not exist or be the way they are today if all those immigrants had not left their country. These "new world" countries see no harm in keeping ties with the country of origin. How many Dutch went out into the world as part of that emmigratory wave? Stripping all non-Dutch born Dutch nationals of their first birth nationality will not help create any stronger ties or feeling of patriotism for NL but rather the opposite.

By Michael K | 6 March 2012 1:11 PM

I think for most, especially older people, with a long Dutch heritage, it is more a case of having that heritage being denied them. I live in Australia and have been here for many years. had to become an Australian Citizen in order to join the public service so I really had very little choice in the matter. Whilst being very much an Australian, I do regard Holland as my birthplace and by basically dumping Dutch born people as no longer being regarded as Dutch. Sadly for this Government, it is not for it to determine heritage and people's feelings, people do that themselves. This matter will be taken up as an international law and an EU right issue.

By Henk Luf | 6 March 2012 2:16 PM

The law, if enacted, should be retroactive and apply to all regardless of whether their native countries, like Morocco, allow it or not. I don't agree with the law but fair is fair... no one should be an exception.

By Quince | 6 March 2012 4:04 PM

So I must remain a 2nd class citizen here because there is no way I would have a different nationality than my son who lives back in Canada because he was too old to live here according to the IND? Canada allows dual nationalities and I don't see it falling apart.

All the Dutch government will guarantee is that more foreigners will be living here. Is that what they want? Somewhat doubt it.

By CW | 6 March 2012 5:09 PM

The key question is, what is exactly the damage for our people by holding dual nationality? Obviously, none.
Instead, what are the benefits for our people by holding dual nationality? Obviously, a lot. More profesional opportunities. More commerce opportunities. More cooperative opportunities into the education and science fields. And lots more.
Only ignorant and stupid people follow visions that don't bring any benefit but bring a lot of loses. Only such kind of people follow insane nationalism aimed to isolate the country
(no dual nationality, no EU, no inmigration, no interculturality).
Very old and well known strategy follow by all dictators (Nazism, Serbian extremist, Fascism, North Korean regime). Old, very old.

By zenplus | 6 March 2012 6:52 PM

I think people are being ballistic without reason.

In most likelihood, this will not affect those who already have Dutch + other nationality.

For residence purposes, after 5 years you have rights to live here forever (unless you are illegal immigrant). You just can't join the military, police, senior public office jobs and vote.

This law, as past Dutch nationality laws, will not restrict rights already granted/used, just impose new regulations.

By Andre L. | 6 March 2012 7:40 PM

I came to Australia in 1958 as a 15 year old. Got naturalized in 1966 and quite happily handed in my Dutch passport. I knew that Australia was the country I wanted to grow old in and it was my choice. To Henk Luf: if being Dutch was so important to you, you could have found a job in private enterprise, as I said it is all about choice.

By Anna M | 6 March 2012 9:27 PM

I was born in Canada to Dutch parents and have dual nationality. I proud of both heritages. I speak fluency Dutch and visit family as often as I can. The children of Dutch immigrants maintain many Dutch traditions and have emotional ties to the Netherlands. Having Dutch citizenship is a joy to me and also to my half Dutch children. It is sad to think we will have to choose.

By Dorothy Williams-vandenBerg | 7 March 2012 4:53 PM

It is sad that the govt. would make you choose. As an American born of Dutch Nationals, I feel very much Dutch. We carried on the traditions, as well as with my children and grandchildren. How sad as I would love to apply for dual citizenship.

By Annette | 4 March 2013 8:26 PM

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