Court opens door for Dutch to apply for dual nationality

Pedro Gonçalves
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Court opens door for Dutch to apply for dual nationality

The highest Dutch administrative court has ruled that Dutch nationality law, which says Dutch dual nationals will lose their Dutch passports if they have lived outside the European Union for at least 10 years, could be in conflict with European law.
The Council of State, which is following a decision handed down by the European Court of Justice last year, says that the automatic loss of Dutch nationality needs to be assessed on a case by case basis.

The European court did not rule that the Dutch process is illegal but did say it should be proportional - in other words, compelling individual circumstances should be taken into account, considering that the loss of Dutch nationality also entails the loss of EU citizenship, DutchNews.nl reported.

Organisations representing Dutch expats in Britain and abroad have already urged the senate to press ahead with a vote on legislation which would give tens of thousands of Dutch nationals in the UK the right to dual nationality if Britain and the EU fail to agree a Brexit deal.

The law, which has been passed by the lower house of parliament, will make it possible for Dutch nationals living in Britain to apply for dual nationality without giving up their Dutch passports, in some cases.

The government now has four months to respond to the latest ruling and decide if the decision to remove Dutch nationality has been reasonable, the court said.

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