Fewer people are becoming Ducth citizens

In 2000 nearly 46 000 persons became Dutch citizens, 12 000 fewer than in 1999. In 1996 almost 80 000 people became citizens through naturalisation.

The number of Turkish people becoming Dutch citizens fell sharply over the last five years. While nearly 30 000 Turkish people became Dutch citizens in 1996, there were fewer than 4 000 who did so last year.

The number of naturalised Moroccans lies between 10 000 and 15 000. Moroccans are the largest group being naturalised. In 2000 a quarter of all newly naturalised Dutch citizens was of Moroccan origin.

This difference between the Turkish and Moroccan groups may well be due to Turkish and Moroccan legislation. Since 1987 naturalised people have to relinquish their original citizenship according to Dutch law. However, this is impossible according to Moroccan law. So Moroccans are allowed to keep their nationality when they are being naturalised, whereas Turkish people lose theirs.

Naturalisation by nationality

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Dutch citizenship can be granted to non-Dutch residents who have reached adulthood and requested citizenship. The person must fulfil certain requirements. The person must have lived in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba for five years immediately prior to the request, or three years if the person is married or living together with a Dutch citizen. And the person must be considered naturalised in the Dutch, Netherlands-Antilles or Aruban society.

A child under age can share in the naturalisation of the parent or parents. Children over 12 have a say in this, and when they do not wish to be naturalised, they won’t be.

Ron Tas