I currently reside in the Netherlands as a scientific researcher. I have a valid residence card and employment contract. There are some prospects for me to begin a PhD at a large university here. However I would like to make sure that this will not jeopardize my ability to obtain Dutch citizenship in the next few years. In my current understanding and according to the IND website Naturalization requires that one reside in the Netherlands for an uninterrupted period of at least 5 years.

However this only encompasses individuals with a valid residence permit for "non-temporary purposes of stay...at the time of the naturalization ceremony". The definition of "temporary" versus "non-temporary" is given by this link.

The link lists "Study" as a "Temporary" purpose of stay. I therefore have two questions:

  • Does a fully funded, 5-year technical PhD count as mere "study"? May I use 5 years as a PhD to justify citizenship?

  • If not, can an individual still apply for citizenship after the end of the PhD? Say for example I finished my PhD in 4 years and then secured a job, continuing to live in the Netherlands for another year under a regular employment contract. Would the years spent as a PhD candidate accrue and count as regular residency?

Thanks and look forward to your answers.

  • I don't think PhD is a studying. You are earning payment so I consider it is a job here. But to make sure I would just call IND. In general, they are nice people. Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 7:46
  • Have you found an answer to your question ?
    – Our
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 16:15
  • 1
    No because I was not accepted for the position. The question is irrelevant to me now. Perhaps it can be useful for others though if an answer is found
    – user32882
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 18:16
  • @user32882 It would certainly be helpful to me :)
    – Our
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 19:15
  • 1
    Unfortunately I dont have an answer... But I will keep the question in case someone else has a better answer
    – user32882
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


I am no expert, but I think PhD study counts towards residence permit. Because you work as a "scientific researcher", which is a not temporary purpose of stay. Here is the link to IND.

Here is the link specifying what temporary and non-temporary purposes of stay are.

  • In the second link you provided, under the temporary purposes,there is "With a residence permit for a temporary purpose", and in the list "study", so I'm not sure how does Phd does not sound as temporary. ı mean I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see you logic in here.
    – Our
    Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 13:11
  • Indeed there is an apparent contradiction in @YKY's answer. If PhD study counts towards a residence permit then why is it listed as temporary purpose of stay in the link..?
    – user32882
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 13:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.