Equal rights for latent Dutch citizens

2nd July 2010, Comments 1 comment

Finally, with the implementation of several new amendments, latent Dutch citizens--children born before 1985 to a Dutch mother and a foreign father--can now acquire Dutch nationality. The new law will enter into force as of October 2010.

Just for a moment, imagine this is your story:

Your Dutch mother--before she had you--went on holiday and fell in love, let’s say--with a Spanish man. She married him, and your birth followed the union.

After a year, your  father decides that he is not ready for 'all this' and your parents divorce. Your mother heads back to the Netherlands with you.

As you grow up, everything that you can remember is deeply ingrained in Dutch culture: you have Dutch friends, you speak Dutch, love orange and celebrating Queen’s Day.

While growing up, you suddenly realize that you are the only one, among your Dutch friends, who does not have a Dutch passport.

If you find this hard to imagine, so did 500 latent Dutch citizens, who banded together to create a foundation called 'Stichting Ne(e)derlanderschap: ja!’.

The Foundation grew from an initiative of Everaert Advocaten Immigration Lawyers in Amsterdam. It was made up of a group of so-called latent Dutch citizens--people born abroad before 1985 to a Dutch mother and a non-Dutch father, who did not qualify for Dutch citizenship due to their origins.

Stichting Ne(e)derlanderschap: ja! drew the Ministry of Justice’s as well as the Lower Chamber’s attention to the unequal treatment of these latent Dutch citizens compared to children born to Dutch fathers, who were granted Dutch citizenship.

Cleary  there was no justification for the law that does not allow Dutch mothers to pass on Dutch citizenship to their children. It was not until 1985 that legislation put an end to this inequality.

The amendments to this Law were published 1July 2010 in the Staatsblad van het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden, The Gazette issued by the Dutch Government. With the implementation of the new amendments, latent Dutch citizens--children  born before 1985 to a Dutch mother and a foreign father who did not obtain Dutch citizenship at birth--can now acquire Dutch nationality.

The new law will enter into force as of October 2010.

Now imagine that in July 2010 you hear Deputy Justice Minister Nebahat Albayrak promising not to deport any latent Dutch people until and after implementation of the new ammendment.


This might be easier to imagine.


Everaert Advocaten/ Urszula Papajak/ Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • Bianca van Waasdijk posted:

    on 11th October 2010, 12:23:50 - Reply

    That was an intresting artical and I have much empathy for people who had to fight so hard for their right to a passport.I have a other siuation. I'm a Dutch citizen and have a fiance' that lives in South Africa. I too have lived there most my life. Two days before I moved back to Nl I found out that I was pregnant. This was a great shock and not part of our plans at all, but still brought great joy and our son is a blessing. I've known my partner since I was 14 and love him dearly. I phoned the IND to find out how my fiance can come live here with us permanently and they said that I have to earn a certain amount of money and have a year contract sighned before he can... He was here for the birth and acknowledged his son, but he can't be with us.Basically I am too poor for my son to have his father in his life. We have been trying 5 month to find him a job here and have had no luck. Easier to just get somebody who is in the country already. What rights does my son as a Dutch citizen have to have his father in his life? Can anybody give me advice? Other than getting a job that pays more cause I am looking.