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Dutch nationals abroad can lose Dutch nationality when passport expires

Around 23,500 Dutch nationals have been affected by this rule This was revealed by government figures on the number of Dutch nationals who submit an application to an embassy after their nationality has expired. A change in the law is now proposed, but interest group Stichting Goed, which promotes the interests of Dutch nationals abroad, believes this will not go far enough.

Professor of Immigration Law, Peter Rodrigues, is aware of this phenomenon. ‘The thinking behind the law was that people who do not renew their passport and have lived for more than ten years outside the EU or the Caribbean Netherlands, apparently attach no importance to their Dutch nationality’, he says. ‘But withdrawing nationality has far-reaching consequences, not just for the person involved but also for any children who are affected.’

Nationality can only be withdrawn if a Dutch national possesses a second nationality, for example through marriage. If a person only has the Dutch nationality, they cannot lose it because this is prevented by international treaties.

 A recent ruling by the European Court of Justice has forced the Dutch government to review the rules. ‘The Court concluded that insufficient account was taken of the consequences of losing EU citizenship. So the law will now be adjusted.’ This opens the door for Dutch nationals who have lost their nationality, says Rodrigues. ‘A separate application will have to be made, but this is likely to succeed in the courts’.

Read the full article in Dutch newspaper the Telegraaf.

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