A new law is currently under consideration by the Dutch government that could spell the end of dual citizenship for Dutch citizens, including Dutch-Americans in the U.S.The law, which is now being reviewed by the Raad van State, will end several widely used exemptions to the general rule that Dutch citizens cannot claim other nationalities without losing their Dutch citizenship.
This will impact thousands of Dutch-Americans and Dutch citizens living in other countries outside the Kingdom of the Netherlands. People who already have dual Dutch citizenship will not be affected, but for people who had hoped to gain both American and Dutch nationality this law is an unwelcome development. With the new proposal, Minister Donner and the Dutch cabinet aim to reduce the number of dual citizens, and to increase the barriers for immigration to the Netherlands.
No more dual citizenship through marriage to a U.S. citizen
The current law on ‘Nederlanderschap’ has as a general rule that dual citizenship is not allowed. However, there is an important exception for people who gain citizenship through marriage. For example, if a Dutch national immigrates to the USA and marries an American partner, the Dutch national is allowed to keep the Dutch nationality while also becoming an American citizen. This exception was created in 2003 after extensive lobbying by Dutch expatriates and immigrants. U.S. law permits American citizens to hold other nationalities.
Dutch nationality for children born in the U.S.
Children born to a Dutch parent in the United States can currently maintain their Dutch citizenship when turning 18, due to exception “16-2e”. This automatic exception will disappear as well, but it appears that maintaining Dutch citizenship for minors is possible as long as their passports are renewed on time.
Work in progress
The proposal, the integral text of which can be found here, is currently under consideration. After a well-visited discussion evening in New York City last week, several Dutch expat organizations have organized an on-line petition against the proposal (in Dutch).
This is a proposed law. For the best information on current law on Dutch citizenship we advice you to contact your nearest Dutch consulate, Dutch embassy or a law firm.
Note: this article was updated to correct a mistake about minors maintaining Dutch citizenship.