Netherlands Authorised 2,200 Naturalisation Applications Under Amnesty Arrangement

The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has handled a total of 3,250 applications for naturalisation filed from RANOV permit holders (Regulation on Settlement of the Legacy of the Old Aliens Act) between June 1, 2021, and May 1, 2022, the authority has revealed.

More specifically, such a permit is issued to third-country nationals who have been living in the country for too long, with the condition that those have been residents in the Netherlands since April 1, 2001, reports.

According to a press release by IND, 2,200 naturalisation applications submitted by this category have been authorised, and 50 were rejected for various reasons, while this new change concerns both RANOV permit holders who were adults when they obtained their RANOV permits and RANOV permit holders who obtained their RANOV permits as minors.

“People with a RANOV permit obtained several exemptions in 2021, enabling them to apply for Dutch citizenship. Since June 1, 2021, these have applied to those who were minors at the time (approximately 2,000) and since November 1 to those who were adults at the time (approximately 8,000),” the press release explains.

It also emphasises that these categories are exempted from the requirement to submit a birth certificate, registration, or valid foreign passport. In addition, this group is no longer required to renounce their original nationality.

Explaining further, a person must have lived in the Netherlands with a valid residence permit for five or more years without leaving the country and not be considered a danger to public order or national security. Another requirement is to meet the requirement of participating in a municipal or civic integration programme, and an application can be refused if there are obvious doubts about someone’s whereabouts.

Those who get their applications denied can object to the decision and appeal against it, while their right of residence in the Netherlands will remain applicable.

Previously, the European Office for Statistics, Eurostat, revealed that the Netherlands was the third country to record the highest naturalisation rate in 2020, as it has granted 4.8 citizenships per 100 non-national residents.

It falls behind Sweden and Portugal, which issued 8.6 and 5.5 citizenships for 100 resident non-nationals, while other countries like Finland (2.6 citizenships per 100 resident non-nationals), Italy (2.6), Spain (2.4), and Belgium (2.4), were honourable mentions.

“The naturalisation rate is the ratio of the number of persons who acquired the citizenship of a country during a year over the stock of non-national residents in the same country at the beginning of the year,” Eurostat explains.

However, the lowest naturalisation rates in the EU were registered in the Baltic countries, with Latvia and Estonia granting 0.4 naturalisation permits while Lithuania had even lower numbers (0.2).

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