Legal impact of Dutch dual nationality proposal

15th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

15 September 2004 , AMSTERDAM — As the Dutch government puts the finishing touches to plans to force many expats to give up their original nationality when they take on Dutch citizenship, Expatica has obtained a comprehensive list outlining who will be affected by the changes.

15 September 2004

AMSTERDAM — As the Dutch government puts the finishing touches to plans to force many expats to give up their original nationality when they take on Dutch citizenship, Expatica has obtained a comprehensive list outlining who will be affected by the changes.

The Immigration and Naturalisation Service IND has compiled a list of every country's citizenship laws, identifying which countries allow dual citizenship and those that impose automatic loss of nationality if a citizen is naturalised in another country. The list is dated November 2002.

As reported previously, the looming Dutch legislation means that expats in the Netherlands could soon be forced to give up their original nationality when they take on Dutch citizenship, provided that their home country allows its citizens to renounce their original nationality.

There are almost 100 countries that allow their citizens to voluntarily renounce citizenship. Click here for the list.

Under the Dutch legislative proposal agreed on by the Cabinet on 27 August, people from these countries it will be compelled to renounce their original nationality when taking on Dutch citizenship.

The new restrictions will also affect immigrants born in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba and who have their main residence in these regions at the time of application for Dutch citizenship.

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 original passport when taking out Dutch citizenship.

There are also many other countries that have legislation requiring automatic loss of citizenship, meaning citizens of these countries already lose their original nationality when taking on Dutch citizenship.

Click here for the list of countries in this category.

France, Italy and the Netherlands have ratified the 1993 Second Protocol to the Council of Europe's 1963 Convention on multiple nationalities. The second protocol allows multiple nationality in three additional cases: second-generation migrants and spouses of mixed marriages and their children.

A Council of Europe (COE) spokeswoman told Expatica that France, Italy and the Netherlands will mutually allow multiple nationality in the three additional cases mentioned. "Any revision of the Dutch nationality law will have to observe the obligations arising from the Second Protocol," she said.

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg and Norway have ratified the 1963 convention, which means they wish to counter the occurrence of multiple nationality with two exceptions.

The exceptions are children who automatically acquire more than one nationality at birth from parents of different nationalities and spouses who automatically acquire the nationality of the other spouse by marriage.

Consequently, the COE spokeswoman said a foreigner who voluntarily applies for Dutch nationality may in principle not be allowed to retain their previous nationality except if they are French or Italian, in which case the second amending protocol will apply.

She also said the 1997 European Convention on Nationality does not prevent the loss of original nationality when someone voluntarily applies for an additional nationality. It only prevents loss of nationality in the situation in which a second nationality is automatically obtained via marriage. Children are included under this exemption.
 
The European Union does not legislate on nationality laws, allowing member states to enact their own legislation.

Meanwhile, there are just 17 countries that do not allow their citizens to lose their citizenship. Therefore, due to requirements of international law, the Dutch government cannot force these people to give up their original nationality if they take on Dutch nationality. These people will be able to hold dual nationality.

These countries are: Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Greece, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Morocco, Mexico, Nauru, Syria, Tunisia and Uruguay.

Despite this list, some exceptions, other conditions or delays might apply. For example, Spanish nationals will only lose their original nationality three years after being naturalised in the Netherlands.

Plus, in some cases there are different laws applying to people who obtained  citizenship by birth or naturalisation and the subsequent impact on that nationality when taking on Dutch citizenship can vary.

It is best to contact your country's embassy or other relevant authority to be certain of your legal position when taking on Dutch nationality.

The Dutch legislative proposal will be submitted to the Parliament later this year and is expected to come into force sometime in 2005. The legislation will not be backdated.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news, applying for Dutch citizenship

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