Could you help me discover when my grandfather lost his Dutch nationality?

Some background info: This all came about when he tried to apply for a Dutch passport back in 2023.

My grandfather was born in Utrecht, Netherlands in 1942 (as were his parents). He lived there until he was 10, then subsequently moved to Australia in 1952. He turned 21 in 1963, and he lived in Australia continuously, marrying an Australian woman as a Dutch citizen in 1965. He then, after marrying an Australian, naturalised as an Australian Citizen in 1968. His parents continued to be Dutch citizens until they passed away in the 90s.

Fast forward again back to 2023, when he attempted to obtain Dutch nationality via a passport. Of course, (despite being unfortunate) this didn't go through. However, the Passport Office stated in their response that 'research shows' he lost his citizenship on April 1st 2013. Assumably because of the 10-year period to keep his nationality by resumption? (Do correct me if I'm wrong). Because of this update in the nationality law in 2003, he qualified under:

  • You lived for an uninterrupted period of at least 5 years before the age of 18 in the country of your other nationality.
  • You are married to or in a registered partnership with someone who holds the other nationality.

These were their sources in the law:

Waar in de wet? Artikel 15, eerste lid onder c, van de Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap Artikel 6, eerste lid en onder p van de Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap Artikel 9, cerste lid van de Paspoortwet Artikel 52, eerste lid van de Paspoortuitvoeringsregeling Buitenland 2001 Wetteksten: Wetten.overheid.nI

(I'm afraid I don't speak Dutch.)

This was very intriguing to our family, so I applied for a Dutch passport. Both my father and I were born in Australia. Here is the translated Passport Office's response (please note names and exact birthdays have been edited for privacy):

"According to the birth certificate of Mr. Dan, the father is Mr. Joseph, born in 1970. The grandfather is Mr. Adriaan, born in 1942. The grandfather Mr. Adriaan was naturalised as an Australian in 1968. Therefore, the father of Dan did not acquire Dutch citizenship by birth."

The passport couldn't be processed. But based on the knowledge I had before on my Grandfather's application. I proceeded to appeal, which was a mistake in hindsight. Saying this regarding my Grandfather Adriaan's application:

(Once again, this is a translated copy from Dutch)

"Dear Mr. Adriaan,

In my decision in 2023, reference [Ref. no.], your passport application was not processed because you would have lost Dutch citizenship on April 1, 2013. It has turned out that the content of this decision is incorrect. In view of this, I see reason to withdraw this decision and replace it with the present decision.

Decision Your application for a Dutch passport cannot be processed. The reason for this is that you do not have Dutch nationality. Below I explain how I came to this decision. Considerations Research shows that you lost Dutch citizenship on June 11, 1968 by acquiring a foreign nationality through naturalization or option as an adult Dutch citizen (21 years old at that time)."

Waar in de wet? Artikel 7, sub 1, Wet op het Nederlanderschap en het ingezetenschap Artikel 12a, Wet op het Nederlanderschap en het ingezetenschap Artikel 9 van de Paspoortwet Artikel 52 van de Paspoortuitvoeringsregeling Buitenland 2001 Wetteksten: Wetten.overheid.nl

So this begs the question to ask when did my grandfather loose his Dutch nationality? April 1st 2013? Or in 1968, despite the changes in law (were these ignored?). Help would be much appreciated.

Considering there are rumours about a relaxation of dual nationality restrictions in the Netherlands, see here: https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/kst-34632-6.html

It's becoming increasingly important to find out when he lost his nationality. Especially if he lost it after April 1st 2003 (see article 1.B.1r in the above link). It's after the time of objection, are there any other ways of trying to validate the first decision they made? Would he have to submit another passport application? Was all of this a big mistake? If so, how do we fix it?

Any help/answers would be great. Thank you.

  • 1
    What's the source of the two bullet points? Can you add some links?
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 1 at 10:28

1 Answer 1


It's becoming increasingly important to find out when he lost his nationality.

Article 15 (2)(c) came into force in 2000, therefore the exception allowed since then did not apply.

Article 2 1. Unless the Act provides otherwise, Netherlands nationality shall not be acquired or lost retroactively.

This would rule out that Article 15 (2)(c) cannot be applied retroactively to a case in 1968.

Therefore the revised decision that your grandfather lost his Dutch citizenship on June 11, 1968 by acquiring a foreign nationality through naturalization seems to be correct.

Losing Dutch nationality as an adult
As an adult, you will lose your Dutch nationality in the following situations:

  • You voluntarily adopt a different nationality. In this case, you will automatically lose your Dutch nationality. This happens if you live abroad, but also if you live in the Netherlands. There are 3 exceptions to this, in which you will keep your Dutch nationality:
    • You were born in the country where you are now adopting the nationality. You will also live in that country when you get the new nationality.
    • You lived in the country of the different nationality for at least 5 consecutive years before you became an adult.
    • You adopt the nationality of your partner. And you are married or have a registered partnership with each other.1

1 Netherlands Nationality Act Article 15 (2)(c) (introduced 2000)

Article 15
1. A person who is of full age shall lose his or her Netherlands nationality:
a. by acquiring another nationality of his or her own free will;
2. The first subsection, opening words and under a, does not apply to the acquirer
(c) who is married to a person possessing that other nationality.


Furthermore, Dutch nationals that apply for the nationality of their partner are allowed to keep their nationality (Art. 15 para. 2 sub c DNA 2000).

  • Would it still be possible for him to regain his Dutch nationality if he decides to live in the Netherlands for a year?
    – Dan W.
    Commented Mar 1 at 22:13
  • @DanW. Some countries do offer a simplified nationalization of former citizens, but no idea how the Netherlands deals with this. That would, however, would not effect the status of the son/grandson since at the time of their birth the grandfather was not a Dutch citizen. Commented Mar 2 at 1:09

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