So, you want to get your permanent residency or Dutch citizenship and stay in the Netherlands forever? Trust us, we understand.
There are certain things to consider, do, money you need to spend, and stuff you must have. But don’t worry, we’ll work it out together and make this confusing process easier to understand.
But first, what is the difference between Permanent Residency and Naturalization?
Permanent residency means you can live in the Netherlands indefinitely, but you’re not a citizen. You can stay as long as you like, but you might not have all the same rights as a citizen, like voting in elections.
Naturalization, on the other hand, is when you become a full-fledged citizen of the Netherlands. This means you get all the rights, like voting, and you’re officially part of the Netherlands. But to become a citizen, you usually need to have lived there for a while, speak Dutch, and pass a few tests.
To be eligible for the permanent residency, you need to have lived here for at least five years without big breaks. That means you were constantly registered at a Dutch address, without any gaps. If there are any bigger gaps, you might be asked for an explanation, and that can cause issues in your application process.
Be ready to also show records of all of your travels outside of the country. You’ll need exact dates for the whole period, in order to prove you’ve lived in the Netherlands for a sufficient period.
While you’re there, make sure you have the right paper allowing you to live there, hopefully happily ever after. Getting this paper can cost you € 210,00 and takes up to 6 months to be processed.
Also, you might have to show you’re fitting in by taking some tests (‘inburgeringsexamen’ in Dutch) on the language and how things work there. This could mean spending more on classes and the test itself.
Naturalization and Dutch Citizenship:
If you want to become a real Dutch local, you have to go through a process called naturalization. This means having the right papers, knowing some Dutch, and passing a test about the country. They’ll also check if you’ve been good (in other words, are not convicted and/or connected to any criminal activities), have enough money to support yourself financially, and all and foremost – be ready to only be a Dutchy. So no more double passport action and sandwiches with peanut butter and Hagelslag for life!
The costs associated with naturalization can add up and may include fees for language courses, integration courses, and examination fees, ranging from a few hundred to a couple of thousand euros. Additionally, administrative fees for processing the naturalization application can also apply.
Once you’re ready to apply for Dutch citizenship and have all the paperwork – reach out to your municipality to schedule an appointment. There’s normally an online form you need to fill out, and they get back to you to find the best time. In most municipalities, you’ll wait a few months for this appointment.
During the appointment, you’ll have to pay the naturalization fee, which is 970 euros for one person. Keep in mind that there will most likely be a process that needs to happen in your home country as well – you need to renounce your citizenship and complete the admin on that end as well. You might want to do this yourself, or get an immigration lawyer to do it for you.
The IND has 12 months to make a decision about your application, so it’s definitely a lengthy process.
As you go along, remember there’s lots of paperwork to handle, which might mean spending money on translating and official stamps. Also, if you talk to experts (like us, *wink wink) they might charge you extra for their advice. Please see our packages for more information.
Integration and Cultural Awareness:
Besides the cash, get to know how Dutch life works to blend in. Hang out with locals, join their events, and learn their ways to become one of them smoothly.
Also, remember everyone’s situation is different, based on family, laws, and other factors. So, talk to the Dutch immigration people or a legal pro to know exactly what you need. The journey to staying here might seem tricky, but with the right help, you can call the Netherlands your permanent home without any worries!