In the past decades many Dutch have lost their nationality unknowingly. The Dutch nationality law is complex and people are not properly informed about the risks of losing their citizenship. When they have dual nationality (sometimes allowed) and live outside the EU and their passport has expired, even for one day, they can no longer call themselves a Dutch citizen! 

People also lose their Dutch nationality when voluntarily taking another nationality, which sometimes is necessary when you work and live abroad. There are only a few exceptions to the rule.

More information you can find on de website of Stichting GOED and the Dutch government websites.

Regaining Dutch nationality

Currently Dutch politicians are considering the Dutch nationality law and the Tjebbes case EU proportionality test implementation into the law, 35 859 (R2157). Dutch Secretary of State for Justice and Security, Ankie Broekers-Knol, who has seen quite a few of morality challenges in her recent career, has proposed to do the absolute minimum required by the court verdicts and directives given.

The minimum was interpreted in such a way that in the future this could be challenged in court as well. So, Habsburg Legal Services ltd in an effort to reduce the amount of its clients would like to follow suit and join the Mrs Broekers-Knol in the very minimum we can do. Rather than modernising the whole law, as we ideally would love to see, we put in a proposal which is minimal but unlike the current proposal still reasonable. If implemented the government would suddenly have a lot less effort and budget going to court cases, applications, appeals, review and administrative processes. Saving the tax payer money and we would lose the majority of our clients, a win win for our (potential) clients.

The current proposal from Mrs Broekers-Knol is to introduce another kind of exception in the Dutch nationality law. A law which is already regarded as a very complex one due to the many conditional exceptions and exceptions on exceptions. So complex that lots of officials often make errors and give incorrect or incomplete advice to citizens. With even a professor calling the current Dutch nationality law a monstrosity. Rather than avoiding disproportionate loss the proposal only allows for a restrictive method to correct. What is almost unique is that the correction is retrospective. Thus, when approved the person gets the nationality back as if never lost. The reader may be interested to know that people don’t need to await the change of law to make use of this possibility.

How this is proposed to be written into law results in adding even more procedures and another burden on the justice and foreign affairs departments who need to deal with these applications. In addition, the current proposal does not apply to all former Dutch nationals, but only those who were making use, or wanted to make use, of their European Union rights. Almost all political parties, the Dutch Council of State and the permanent Commission for Justice and Security, advised Mrs Broekers-Knol, against excluding other former Dutch nationals. To date she has ignored this and stated that this is not within the scope of this exercise.

Our own simple and minimalistic proposal

Reduce some of the current conditions in law and don’t add unnecessary additional articles and conditional exceptions. This can be done by a few small changes in the Dutch nationality law.