Looking for help with Option procedure

Hi All,

Given the political antics currently going on in the UK, I'm seriously considering applying for Dutch citizenship via the option procedure; not with any imminent intent to emigrate, but more as an escape plan/to keep my family's future options open.

I am currently a British citizen, and was born in 1983 in the UK to a married Dutch mother and British father (now divorced), which I believe makes me eligible to do so.

I'm looking for answers to a couple of questions about the process, and would really value input from anyone who is familiar with it.

I did email the Dutch embassy in London with my questions, but unfortunately got a rather useless generic copy-paste reply which simply pointed me to the netherlandsworldwide.nl website (which I'd already read several times!  ;) )

As I understand it, the process involves:

[list]
[*]Completing the application form "Optieverklaring Latente Nederlander zelf".
[*]Presenting and signing the completed form (along with the required documentation & payment) in person at the Dutch embassy in London.
[*]Making a Declaration of Solidarity at a Naturalisation Ceremony within 1 year of approval of my application.
[/list]

My questions are around the required documents, and Declaration of Solidarity.

From looking at the netherlandsworldwide.nl site, the required documents are:

For me:

An official copy of my birth certificate - legalised & issued within 1 year
My British passport - does it matter if this has expired?
A passport photo.

My mother:

A de-registration certificate from the "Bureau Vestigingsregister"
A photocopy of her passport.
An official copy of my parents' marriage certificate - legalised & issued within 1 year
An official copy of my parents' divorce certificate - legalised & issued within 1 year

My father:

An official copy of his birth certificate  - legalised & issued within 1 year
A photocopy of his passport.

My questions:

1. I haven't been in contact with my father for 15 years, so getting his documents isn't going to be simple - since I would be claiming citizenship via my Dutch mother anyway, is this going to be a major blocker for me?

2. Regarding legalisation; the document checklist on the netherlandsworldwide.nl site "Optieverklaring 6.1.i. RWN / Option statement 6.1.i. RWN" states, "Most documents issued in the Netherlands and other EU countries do not have to be legalised." however that seems to contradict information elsewhere on the site, so I'm also not sure how to proceed with that.

3. Final question (and just a minor one), the Declaration of Solidarity - it appears this can be performed at the Dutch embassy, is that correct?

Many thanks for your time reading and any responses, apologies for the wall of text!

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

I don't think you can do this unless you are living in the Netherlands; I refer you to the Dutch Government IND website (link), where it says:

IND website :

Checklist documents

What documents do you need?

-    A valid passport or another travel document.
-    A valid residence permit or other proof of lawful residence.
     Do you have the nationality of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland? You do not need a residence permit. The municipality checks how long you live in the Netherlands in the Personal Records Database (BRP).
-    A legalised and translated birth certificate from your country of origin.

Other documents may also be necessary. For more information about the documents, please contact your municipality.

There's no way you will get the 2nd item unless you are already living and registered in the Netherlands; your Forum information tells me that you are living in Birmingham and the UK has never adopted the EU registration system.

I really hope that I'm wrong.  One possible way around this is that you may already be Dutch without knowing it.  We're similar to your parents (Brit dad and Dutch mum), all our 3 mids were born outside of the Netherlands, but all have Dutch nationality.  How we did it was when our kids were born, we registered it with the Dutch Embassy where we were living (so London for our eldest, Dusseldorf for our twins); they certified this by adding the event to our Dutch trouwboek (wedding book); so we had evidence.  So, ask your mother if she registered your birth with the Dutch authorities; if she did, then you are already Dutch and just need to apply for a passport.

Hope this has helped a bit.

Cynic
Expat Team

Just above that section, it states:

Citizens of the EU/EEA or Switzerland
Are you a citizen of the EU/EEA or Switzerland? All option categories also apply to you. Also all conditions apply. The only exemption is that you do not need to have a residence permit to apply for option.

I guess the difficulty there is that will probably cease to apply next week :/

As far as I'm aware, unfortunately my mother didn't register my birth.. I guess it's a bit late for that now?!  :D

Hi again.

A few points.

My reasoning behind why I think you can't do it is, it says:

"A valid residence permit or other proof of lawful residence.
     Do you have the nationality of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland? You do not need a residence permit. The municipality checks how long you live in the Netherlands in the Personal Records Database (BRP)."

It's the last sentence that concerns me.  As an EU/EEA citizen, you won't have any type of residence permit to live in the Netherlands, EU citizens have the right to live and work anywhere in the EU - residence permits don't exist as such.  They then go on to say that they will check your data from the BRP; the BRP is the national registration system operated in the Netherlands.  You won't be on it unless you have registered with the local Gemeente (local town hall); you can only register with the Gemeente if you live in the Netherlands - nationality has nothing to do with it; everyone, even Dutch people must register within 5 days of arriving to live/work in the Netherlands.  Gemeente registration is not a resident permit - I'm pretty sure you will not qualify unless you move to the Netherlands; Brexit will have no impact on your right to apply for Dutch nationality. 

That said, I'm not the IND and could be wrong (I've never done it and won't ever need to); my advice would be to ask the IND - this link will take you to their contact page that has all the details of how to contact them.

When the UK leaves the EU, it will also fall out of the EEA (mainly because of the Freedom of Movement requirement); that said, it's a consequence of leaving the EU, who knows what will happen, maybe it becomes a part of the ongoing negotiation.

Does your mother still live in the UK?  If so, I'd get her to speak to the Dutch Embassy and pursue registering your birth.  If she's back in the Netherlands, then ask her to go down to the Gemeente and register your birth.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

How to apply for a Dutch passport overseas (link)

Thanks for taking the time to reply with so much info! :)

Is there not a time limit on registering the birth? A quick Google suggests that it needs to be done within 3 days, and unfortunately I'm slightly ( :lol:) outside of that period.

I'm also not sure if that would apply to me anyway? As I was born before 1st January 1985, from the ind.nl:

​Were you born before 1 January 1985?
You are a Dutch citizen by law if your father was a Dutch citizen at the time of your birth. It does not matter whether you were born in the Netherlands or abroad.

If you are born from a Dutch mother and a foreign father you did not become a Dutch citizen by law. You can acquire the Dutch citizenship through the option procedure.

Sounds like it may just be worth waiting to see what happens, and applying for citizenship should the need arise. :/

Hi again.

I don't think we complied with any time limit, but it was a long time ago and perhaps they didn't exist then.

Anyhow, my personal view (I'm a volunteer worker on the Forum, so what I personally think does not reflect their views):

I'm not sure why you're opting for a Dutch passport; dealing with the facts, there are no benefits that a 3rd nation citizen doesn't get that an EU citizen does - in fact, Dutch law prohibits discrimination based on nationality; which bizarrely means they are just as nasty to everyone.  There are no queues you get to jump, no tax breaks, no discounts, you'd just get to be a citizen of another country where you've never lived before and probably never will.

Holland is a great place to live if you integrate into Dutch society, work there, have family there, speak Dutch and don't try and be different; I did all that, had a great couple of years, then got a job with a US multi which meant although I lived there, I worked everywhere but the Netherlands, but still paid a 28% social tax surcharge for the privilege and got whacked for 11 months of back payment when I submitted my tax return, so we moved back to the UK, where the taxes aren't as bad as Holland.  If you're leaving because you can't stand Boris, or feel the hurt of Remain ultimately losing the political discussion, then you will pay for the privilege of doing so for the rest of your working life.

Unless you actually move to the Netherlands, Schengen means you will always go through some kind of passport examination whenever you enter the EU (just as you do now when you go on holiday); my wife doesn't get to jump the immigration queues anywhere because she's a Dutch national.  You mentioned political antics and keeping your family's future options open; you're not going to stop political antics in any country, it's what politicians do and any benefits you enjoy from becoming a Dutch citizen will not cascade to your wife/partner/children because the Dutch use the "Jus sanguinis" system to determine nationality, so your wife would need to qualify in her own right and your kids will adopt the nationality of their parents at the time of their birth.  It may surprise you to know that the far-right has a visible political representation in the Dutch parliament and are the 2nd biggest party there.

The only one of our kids that has a current Dutch passport is our eldest daughter, but she lives there and it just made it easier to have the same passport as her husband and son (they get to queue together at the airport).  Bizarrely, despite Brexit, they have decided to move back to the UK, where it doesn't matter where your wife/partner comes from and there's no social tax surcharge.

Maybe someone will come along with a different perspective; I'm always interested in learning how others perceive matters and just do things because they can.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

Hi again,

Apologies for the delay in responding, it's been a busy few days!

I really appreciate the detail you've put into the reply, it's great to hear from a different perspective.

I guess maybe I'm jumping the gun a little. I would just like to ensure my son* has the same freedoms as I had growing up, in terms of the ability to travel/study/work wherever he wants to in Europe without too many barriers in place, but unfortunately we will be losing our EU citizenship in less than a week, which, by the looks of how things are going is going to make that a lot more difficult.




* if I understand correctly, then I believe if I gain Dutch citizenship then we would be eligible to apply for him as well.

Haggisman :

Hi again,

Apologies for the delay in responding, it's been a busy few days!

I really appreciate the detail you've put into the reply, it's great to hear from a different perspective.

I guess maybe I'm jumping the gun a little. I would just like to ensure my son* has the same freedoms as I had growing up, in terms of the ability to travel/study/work wherever he wants to in Europe without too many barriers in place, but unfortunately we will be losing our EU citizenship in less than a week, which, by the looks of how things are going is going to make that a lot more difficult.




* if I understand correctly, then I believe if I gain Dutch citizenship then we would be eligible to apply for him as well.

Hi again.

No - jus sanguine means he gains the nationality of his parents as at the date of his birth.  So, on the date of his birth, you had British nationality, not Dutch.  It's why I was hoping that your mother had registered your birth, you could then have claimed to have been Dutch, just didn't have a passport.

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