Please help me find out if I can become a Dutch National.

I was born in Nigeria 1971 to a Dutch expatriate mother and a British expatriate father. As there was no European Community at the time my mother was advised to change her nationality to British, as otherwise I might be refused either a Dutch or a British passport. So, both my parents are now British.

My grandmother was Dutch and born in Drenthe in the early 1900s. I have 16 Dutch uncles and aunties, 21 Dutch cousins and I speak (but don't write) the language fluently/very proficiently. I spent about 6 years of my childhood living in The Netherlands and attended school there for 2 years.

My mother has a Dutch pension from when she worked there before meeting my father and becoming an expatriate. She does not have a British pension as she has never worked in Britain, and only ever lived in Britain for 2 years before retirement.

Is there any chance that I am eligible for a Dutch passport?
What is the best way to prove my eligibility under my circumstances?

  • 1
    When did your mother become British? Was it before or after your birth?
    – phoog
    Aug 20, 2018 at 18:04
  • 1
    "As there was no European Community" Err yes, since 1957. You probably meant the European UNION.
    – dda
    Aug 22, 2018 at 10:14

1 Answer 1


Children of Dutch mothers and non-Dutch fathers born before 1985 were not Dutch from birth, but the law has changed to allow such people to become Dutch "by option." However, when your mother became British, she probably lost her Dutch nationality. If that happened before you were born, you would not be eligible.

For more information about the option procedure, see https://ind.nl/en/dutch-citizenship/Pages/Option.aspx.

Nationality law is very complex, and the rules governing loss and acquisition of nationality have changed over the years. For example, if your mother was under 21 when she naturalized as British, she might have retained her Dutch nationality. You may want to apply at a Dutch consulate for the option procedure, at which point they will make a formal analysis of your case. If they determine that you are not eligible, they will explain why.

  • @Eric I thought the same, and started this answer intending to say as much, but somewhere I saw this as an option for acquiring Dutch nationality abroad. I am traveling at the moment with very limited data service. I will try to remember to look again next week to try to reconcile the apparent inconsistency.
    – phoog
    Aug 28, 2018 at 14:04
  • Old comments deleted. In this case (eligibility for the option procedure due to being born before 1985 to a Dutch mother and non-Dutch father), it is possible to start the option procedure abroad at a Dutch consulate or embassy.
    – Eric
    Jan 14, 2019 at 20:37

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