Stricter requirements to obtain Dutch nationality

THE HAGUE--The Dutch Council of Ministers wants stricter rules for naturalisation for both The Netherlands and the Dutch Caribbean.

Persons who want to obtain Dutch citizenship in the future will need to have sufficient income and education. The Council of Ministers approved a law proposal on Friday to make the Law on Dutch Citizenship more stringent. The law proposal was submitted by Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Liesbeth Spies.

The law proposal regulates the income and educational requirements for a person to apply for Dutch citizenship. Persons must earn at least the minimum wage in The Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao or St. Maarten.

Foreigners applying for naturalisation also must prove that they have completed tertiary level study of at least two years, or that they have working experience for two years.

"Attaining the Dutch nationality is the crowning of participation and integration in society. The cabinet wants to stimulate total participation in society as much as possible, before a person can apply for Dutch citizenship," it was stated in a press release issued by the Dutch Government Information Service RVD.

Applicants further will have to pass a Dutch language test. Married couples or those with a registered partnership can only acquire Dutch citizenship after a five-year stay in the Dutch Kingdom. Adults and youngsters ages 12-15 may not have a criminal record.

The law proposal also deals with the aspect of dual nationality. The Dutch government wants residents of The Netherlands to have one nationality as much as possible. Dutch citizens who voluntarily accept another nationality will automatically lose their Dutch nationality. The law will apply only to future cases. Persons who already have multiple nationalities will not lose their Dutch nationality.

The law proposal will be sent to the Second Chamber shortly. The law proposal and the response of the cabinet to the advice of the Council of State will become public at that time.

(Source: Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations)

2 March 2012

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