My husband of 30 years has a Dutch Passport, my two sons as well. We lived in The Netherlands from October 1992 - September 1995. We went back to South Africa in 1995. Can I apply for a Dutch passport even if we are not living in The Netherlands (We live in SA). I have a 5 year Visa allowing me to be in the 90 out of 180 period. My sons live in the Hague for 6 months of the year (Husband has rented an apartment). We travel quite often and the 90/80 day is becoming a problem. Do the 3 years we lived here in 1992 count at all in my favour?


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The qualifications for naturalizing as the spouse or partner of a Dutch national are listed at Can I become a naturalised Dutch citizen abroad? Among them is a requirement not to live in your country of nationality. Therefore, if you are a South African citizen, it seems that you won't qualify. The full list is

  • you are 18 or older
  • you have passed the naturalisation test
  • you are not a national of the country where you live
  • you meet the conditions for a Dutch residence permit for non-temporary purposes of stay
  • you have not committed a criminal offence in the past 5 years
  • if necessary, you are prepared to renounce your current nationality
  • you are prepared to attend the naturalisation ceremony and take the citizenship pledge.

I believe the renunciation of your current nationality is not required because you are the spouse of a Dutch national, but I'm not sure about it.

In any event, you see that it might be possible in your case but it would require an investment of a good deal of time.

You should also be aware that as the spouse of a Dutch citizen, you are entitled to stay with your Dutch husband in any other EU or Schengen country without regard to the 90/180 rule and with very few administrative requirements. For more information, see the summary or the directive itself.

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