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Netherlands Antilles: Whether there is an option to obtain Dutch citizenship for people who no longer reside in the Netherlands Antilles but were born there to non-Dutch parents and resided there for three to seven years as minors

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Publication Date 13 October 2010
Citation / Document Symbol ANT103611.E
Related Document Nicaragua : information sur les formes de violence envers les enfants et la fréquence des cas; la protection offerte par l'État et l'existence de services de protection de l'enfance (2007 - juillet 2010)
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Netherlands Antilles: Whether there is an option to obtain Dutch citizenship for people who no longer reside in the Netherlands Antilles but were born there to non-Dutch parents and resided there for three to seven years as minors, 13 October 2010, ANT103611.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e437b412.html [accessed 26 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerium für auswärtige Angelegenheiten) of the Netherlands provides the following option for acquiring Dutch citizenship:

Under certain circumstances it is possible to acquire Dutch nationality by making a declaration that you wish to become a Dutch citizen. This procedure is open to certain groups of people living in the Netherlands. Abroad, only certain former Dutch nationals and foreign minors who were acknowledged by a male Dutch citizen between 1 April 2003 and 28 February 2009 may make use of the procedure. (Netherlands n.d.a)

The website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst, IND) indicates that, to be eligible for the "option procedure" for acquiring Dutch citizenship, applicants "must always have had a valid residence document" in all cases (Netherlands n.d.b). In addition, they must meet one of the following conditions:

- You are of full age, were born in the Netherlands and have lived in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba continuously since your birth.

- You were born in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba, you have lived there for an uninterrupted period of at least 3 years and since your birth you have not had a nationality (you are stateless).

- You are of full age and you have legally lived in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba since the age of 4.

- You are of full age, you are a former Dutch citizen and you have lived in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba for at least 1 year on the basis of a permanent residence permit or a residence permit for a non-temporary purpose of residence.

- You have been married to a Dutch citizen for at least 3 years and have legally resided in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba for an uninterrupted period of at least 15 years.

- You are 65 or over and have legally resided in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba for an uninterrupted period of at least 15 years.

- You are a minor, are acknowledged by a Dutch citizen and have been cared for and brought up by this Dutch citizen for an uninterrupted period of at least 3 years. SInce then you have also hadyour principal place of residence in the Netherlands. (ibid.)

According to a 2009 document produced by the IND, How Can You Acquire Dutch Citizenship?, applicants must meet one of the following criteria to qualify for Dutch citizenship through the option procedure:

- You are of age (i.e. you are aged 18 or over. If you have not yet reached the age of 18, you will be considered of age if you are or have been married), born in the Netherlands as a child of immigrants, you have lived in the Netherlands without interruption since your birth and are in possession of a valid residence permit.

- You were born in the Netherlands, you have resided here legally without interruption for at least three years and have been without nationality since your birth (you are stateless). You will have to demonstrate that you are stateless. Legally means: in possession of a valid residence permit.

- You are of age and you have resided legally in the Netherlands for four years since you reached the age of four.

- You are of age, a former Dutch national and have resided in the Netherlands for at least one year on the basis of a permanent residence permit or a residence permit for a non-temporary purpose of stay (see separate brochure for former Dutch nationals).

- You have been married for at least three years to a Dutch national and have resided legally in the Netherlands without interruption for at least fifteen years.

- You are aged 65 or over and have resided legally in the Netherlands without interruption for at least fifteen years.

- You were married to a non-Dutch husband before 1 January 1985 and have lost Dutch citizenship as a result. You can reaquire Dutch citizenship within a year of the dissolution of that marriage by means of the option procedure. The legal residence does not apply in such cases. (Netherlands Apr. 2009, 24)

According to the IND, people who want to obtain Dutch citizenship also have the option of applying through the naturalization process, but to do so, must meet several requirements, including possession of a valid residence permit (ibid., 25; ibid. n.d.c). The IND's website indicates that, to apply for Dutch citizenship through naturalization, applicants must meet all of the following conditions:

- You are of full age.

- You have lived in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba for an uninterrupted period of 5 years with a valid residence permit. This also means you have always extended your residence permit on time. There are a number of exceptions to this rule (see 5-year term).

- You are sufficiently integrated in Dutch society and are able to read, write, speak and understand Dutch. You must prove this by taking a civic integration examination. If you successfully complete a civic integration course (at A2-level) or attain another diploma you will be eligible for an exemption.

- In the last four years you have not been subject to a custodial sentence, training order, community service order or large financial penalty.

- You are prepared to renounce your current nationality. If you do not renounce your current nationality even though you are supposed to, your Dutch citizenship may be withdrawn. There are a number of exceptions (see exceptions) to this rule. ...

- You have a residence permit for a non-temporary purpose, such as family reunification. (ibid.)

The website of the Cabinet of the Governor of Saint Maarten, Netherlands Antilles, indicates that a non-national can obtain permanent residency by proving that he or she has been legally residing on Saint Maarten for ten consecutive years (Netherlands n.d.d).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Netherlands. April 2009. Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst (IND). How Can You Acquire Dutch Citizenship? [Accessed 4 Oct. 2010]

_____. N.d.a. Ministerium für auswärtige Angelegenheiten. "How Can I Acquire Dutch Nationality." [Accessed 4 Oct. 2010]

_____. N.d.b. Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst (IND). "Conditions." <&lt;http://www.ind.nl/EN/verblijfwijzer/verblijfwijzer_mijnsituatie.asp ?proc=komen&procedure=Obtaining%20Dutch%20nationality&procedurestapnaam=Conditions&land=&duur=1&lang=en> [Accessed 4 Oct. 2010]

_____. N.d.c. Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst (IND). "Conditions in Respect of Naturalisation." <&lt;http://www.ind.nl/EN/verblijfwijzer/verblijfwijzer_mijnsituatie.asp ?proc=komen&procedure=Obtaining%20Dutch%20nationality&procedurestapnaam=Conditions%20in%20respect%20of%20Naturalisation&land=&duur=1&lang=en> [Accessed 4 Oct. 2010]

_____. N.d.d. Cabinet of the Governor's Office, Saint Maarten. "How Do You Obtain a Permanent Residency Permit?" <&lt;http://www.governorsxm.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=94&Itemid=37> [Accessed 5 Oct. 2010]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Attempts to contact officials at the Cabinet of the Governor's Office of Saint Maarten were unsuccessful within the time constraints of this Response.

Publication: L'Accès à la nationalité néerlandaise de la population d'origine étrangère aux Pays-Bas.

Internet sources, including: The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ottawa, the Netherlands Ministry of Justice, the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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