The new coalition’s plans include a commitment to modernise the law on Dutch nationality, which includes ‘expanding the option of first-generation immigrants and emigrants to hold more than one.’
Currently, Dutch nationals who take a second nationality lose their right to a Dutch passport, while most foreigners who become Dutch are required to reject their original nationality.
The new government still has to finalise what it actually intends to do, but campaigners for the rights of dual nationals have welcomed the change of heart. ‘It certainly won’t be a passport free for all, but the coalition accord is optimistic and demonstrates a new sort of realism,’ said Eelco Keij, who campaigns for the rights of Dutch nationals who live abroad.
The change is likely to make it possible for British nationals in the Netherlands to keep their British passports if they become Dutch to escape the implications of Brexit.
People can apply to become Dutch after living in the Netherlands for five years, or three years if married to a Dutch citizen – if they have gone through the correct integration procedures.
The outgoing government had been planning to increase this to seven years but it was voted out in the senate earlier this month. Some 1.3 million Dutch nationals hold a second nationality.