If you want to live in The Netherlands long term, then you have two options, dutch permanent residence vs citizenship. So what are the differences? Firstly, a Dutch permanent residence permit allows you to stay indefinitely in The Netherlands and work in the Dutch economy without a specific work permit. However, you must remember to renew your permit every 5 years. On the other hand, obtaining Dutch citizenship makes you an official Dutch citizen, which allows you to obtain a Dutch passport as well as vote and even be a candidate for the Dutch parliament.
In most cases if you gain Dutch citizenship, then you will be asked you to give up your other nationality as the Dutch Goverment want to limit dual nationality as much as possible. In contrast, when obtaining Dutch permanent residence, you can keep your nationality.
In order to apply for Dutch citizenship as a migrant, you must be over 18 and will most likely need to follow the naturalization procedure to gain citizenship. On top of having a valid residence permit, you must also meet the following requirements:
- You have lived in the Netherlands for five years consectively or you have resided in the Netherlands for a period of 10 years, with the last two years continuously.
- You must pass a civic integration test, and be able to speak Dutch at an A2-level to prove you are sufficiently integrated in Dutch society. You can be exempt from this test if you have attained a Dutch degree.
- In most cases, you must renounce your current nationality.
- You must not have any criminal record from the past four years.
If you have lived in the Netherlands for the majority of your life or if your spouse or parents are Dutch citizens, then you may be able to acquire citizenship through the option procedure. This procedure has less requirements, is cheaper and quicker than the naturalization procedure, as it only takes 3 months instead of a year.
If you don’t qualify for either of these produres, or you arent keen on renouncing your nationality, then you may want to evaluate which of Dutch citizenship vs permanent residence would be best for your future in The Netherlands.
Dutch Residency Card
When moving to The Netherlands many internationals decide to apply for Dutch residency card / permit which they need to in order to be able to live and work in The Netherlands. One reason to apply for a Dutch residence card is that it allows access to benefits like healthcare, work and insurance that an expat would want. The permit application that you decide to fill out is the one that should be most applicable to your reason as to why you are moving to The Netherlands, you need to specify whether your intention to move is for study, family, work or other reasons.
Furthermore, you can stay in The Netherlands for a short period of 90 days without the need for a Dutch residence card if you’re a citizen of a country included in the EU free movement agreement. If you’re not a citizen of one of these countries, then you will need to apply for a short term visa, also known as Schengen visa. Iif you are staying in The Netherlands for longer than 90 days then you must apply for Dutch residency. Most EU/EEA/Swiss citizens can automatically register for Dutch residency at the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service buildings, also known as IND desks. Non-EU/EEA citizens have to go through a longer and more expensive process with extra requirements.
Benefits of Getting Permanent Residence in The Netherlands
For all the effort and money that goes into the application, what are the benefits of obtaining permanent residence in The Netherlands? To name a few:
- Having a permanent residence permit, as the name suggests, allows you to stay in The Netherlands indefinitely. Although, your permit will need to be renewed every five years as of 2022.
- Once you have secured permanent residence, you are able to work in the Dutch labour market without the need for a work permit.
- In most cases, you must renounce your current nationality.
- Without the need for a work permit, you also have access to benefits to insurance and healthcare without the need for a job first.
Permanent Residence in The Netherlands Requirements
The requirements for getting permanent residence permit in The Netherlands is dependant whether you are a EU/EEA/Swiss citizen or a non-EU/EEA citizen. To find out more about the specific requirements depending on your country of origin, check out our article on permanent residence in The Netherlands.
How To Apply For Permanent Residence in The Netherlands
To apply for permanent residence in The Netherlands you need to fulfill an application form and supply additional documents dependant on whether you are a EU/EEA/Swiss citizens or not. The application process is also shorter for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens.
So how to apply for permanent residence in The Netherlands as a EU/EEA/Swiss citizen? The documentation you will need to submit is:
- Proof that you lived for five consecutive years in The Netherlands, which can be a health insurance contract, employment contract or any housing contract.
- If you are applying because your family member is a EU/EEA or Swiss citizen, the IND will assess your residence document by the fact of your relationship with that relative.
However, how does one apply for permanent residence in The Netherlands as a non-EU/EEA citizen? As a non-EU/EEA citizen, you must submit the following documentation:
- Valid passport or ID
- Proof of income
- Comparable diploma
- Lived in The Netherlands for five consecutive years and show evidence of this
- Have a residence permit for a non-permanent reason such as a year of employment
When applying for permanent residence in The Netherlands whether you are a EU/EEA/Swiss citizen or a non-EU/EEA citizen, you need to submit the form from the IND which for a EU/EEA/Swiss citizen will take up to eight weeks to process and for non-EU/EEA citizen can take up to six months to know whether you’ve been accepted or rejected for permanent residence in The Netherlands.
Therefore, what is more beneficial for you, Dutch permanent residence or citizenship? Well, once you have analysed the difference between the two you can see which one you would prefer to obtain. For non-EU citizens that have lived in The Netherlands for a long time and want EU citizenship, it might be better to try to obtain Dutch citizenship as overall it can be more advantageous than a non-EU passport. In conclusion, Dutch permanent residence vs citizenship is totally up to you to decide to see which one would suit you and your circumstances best in The Netherlands.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need biometrics for a permanent residence application?
Is it hard to become a citizen in The Netherlands?
How much does it cost to get a residence permit in The Netherlands?
If you are applying for a permanent residence you will have to submit your biometrics information. But you do not have to do this if you are applying for a temporary residence.
You can become a Dutch citizen if you are married to a Dutch citizen, if one or both of your parents were born in The Netherlands or if you have lived in The Netherlands for at least five consecutive years.
If you are a EU/EEA/Swiss citizen it costs 50 euros for the application to obtain a residence permit in The Netherlands but if you are a non-EU/EEA citizen it will cost 156 euros to submit your application for a residence permit in The Netherlands. Both of which are non-refundable.