Dutch unveil plans to limit dual nationality

30th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

30 August 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Expats would be forced to give up the citizenship of their land of origin if they apply to be naturalised in the Netherlands, under a new plan agreed by the Dutch Cabinet. Children born to a Dutch-naturalised parent would only have the right to a Dutch passport.

30 August 2004

AMSTERDAM — Expats would be forced to give up the citizenship of their land of origin if they apply to be naturalised in the Netherlands, under a new plan agreed by the Dutch Cabinet. Children born to a Dutch-naturalised parent would only have the right to a Dutch passport.

The draft legislation, if enacted by Parliament, would also allow the government to strip terrorists and other undesirables "who inflict serious damage upon the nation" of their Dutch nationality if they hold dual citizenship.

Cabinet ministers gave their backing to the measures proposed by Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk late on Friday.

Verdonk wants to restrict the right to dual nationality as much as possible without breaching international law.

The legislative change will primarily affect foreigners who marry a Dutch national and later apply for Dutch citizenship.

Should the legislation be enacted, foreigners would be required to give up the citizenship of their land of origin in order to be naturalised in the Netherlands.

The government website regering.nl said the Cabinet was moving to ensure that families hold just one nationality. Children of Dutch-naturalised parents would only hold Dutch passports.

A Justice Ministry spokesperson told Expatica that the legislative proposal affected in principle nationals of every country, with the exception of 17 countries primarily in South America or in the Arab world.

She said those already in possession of two passports will be able to maintain their dual national status. The legislation will not be backdated.

The measures will not only apply to expats and immigrants born outside the Netherlands. The restrictions will also affect immigrants born in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba and have their main residence in these regions at the time of application, news agency Novum reported.

The Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba are the three parts of the kingdom of the Netherlands.

Immigrants who have lived in these regions for at least five years in their childhood will also be required to give up their foreign passport when taking out Dutch citizenship.

Under present legislation, these people do not need to give up citizenship of their country of origin if they take out Dutch citizenship.

Legislation dating back to 1997 requires foreign nationals to give up their citizenship should they take out Dutch nationality and the latest legislative proposal thus aims to reduce the available exemptions, news agency ANP reported.

The government asserts that having the Dutch nationality only will stimulate the integration of new Dutch nationals because people will more consciously choose to build their future in the Netherlands.

The Justice Ministry spokeswoman admitted upon questioning that the Dutch Cabinet does not believe that foreign nationals applying for Dutch citizenship have the right to maintain their original nationality.

Only people from the 17 countries mentioned that refuse to rescind the nationality of their citizens will automatically be able to maintain dual nationality in the future.

At present, some 900,000 residents of the Netherlands have dual nationality and in the years 1997 to 2003, some 185,650 people took out Dutch citizenship. Of these, 62.7 percent maintained dual nationality through various exemptions, a parliamentary letter on the Justice Ministry's website said.

The Cabinet also wants to pass legislation allowing the cancellation of a dual national's Dutch citizenship if they inflict "serious damage" to the interests of the State. The legislative proposal is aimed specifically at terrorists.

The legislation is being sent to the Council of State for advice. Once the Cabinet has received the advice, the final — possibly amended — text of the proposal will be sent to the Lower House of Parliament, Tweede Kamer, later this year.

The ministry spokeswoman said the legislation is expected to come into force some time next year.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news + integration + dual nationality

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