I have a residence permit in the Netherlands and have been working in the country for about 2 years. I am currently thinking about switching jobs and would like to keep options open beyond the Netherlands.

If I find a new job at another nearby EU country, say France, Belgium or Germany, will I be able to use the two years I spent working in the Netherlands and count them for an eventual citizenship at the country which I will be moving to?

Thanks for your help..

4 Answers 4


No. (At least, I can say with certainty that Germany only counts residency in Germany. I strongly expect the other countries to be the same.)

Granting citizenship is solely at the discretion of individual countries; there is no European dimension to it at all.

This is a problem for people who move every three or four years, and would like to be able to vote where they live. They are never in one place long enough to acquire voting right.

  • 7
    If years in other EU countries counted, then every EU citizen could get citizenship in any other country immediately.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 10:42

Generally not. Residence requirements for naturalization generally refer to residence in the country itself. As an example, the naturalization requirements for France include in some cases a requirement for residence in France. Residence in another EU country does not serve to meet any requirement for naturalization in France.


This is not an answer to your question, but provides a possible solution. You could apply to be a Cross-border commuter. Netherlands being pretty small, you could still work along the border in either Belgium or Germany and maintain your stay within Netherlands. There are limits to which how far you can reside w.r.t your workplace. So as long as you maintain your residence and pay taxes there, you are still eligible for naturalisation.



Agree with everyone else. There is no such thing as European Citizenship. To gain access to free movement within the European Union you first need to gain citizenship of a Member State. Citizens of the European Union are by definition citizens of Member States of the European Union: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizenship_of_the_European_Union

  • 3
    Maybe qualify that statement - the article you link to says "Citizenship of the European Union (EU) is afforded to qualifying citizens of European Union member states.". Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 9:29
  • Your second sentence is false. It is a real thing, but you can only gain it by gaining citizenship of a member state. Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 6:12
  • It is correct to say that a European Citizenship does not exist, since you can't apply for such a Citizenship, you also can't accumulate credits for such a "citizenship" through time spent in various European countries, hence it is not a citizenship in its own right. European Citizenship is inferred from the fact that a person is a citizen of a Member State of the European Union.
    – Frey
    Commented Apr 11, 2019 at 7:12

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