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How to obtain Dutch citizenship as a knowledge migrant

There are various processes and means of obtaining Dutch citizenship as a South African. For the purpose of this page, the information provided will describe how to obtain Dutch Citizenship as a knowledge migrant. The process that a knowledge migrant can follow to obtain Dutch citizenship is by means of Naturalisation or "Naturalisatie" in Dutch. 

Conditions to obtain Dutch citizenship

You must meet the following conditions:

  • You are 18 years or older.
  • You have lived in the Netherlands, uninterrupted, for 5 years with a valid residency permit. 
  • You have a valid residence permit immediately prior to the naturalization request. This is a residence permit for an indefinite period or for a certain time with a non-temporary purpose. The residence permit must still be valid at the time of the naturalization ceremony. *Do you have the nationality of an EU / EEA country or Switzerland already? You do not need a residence permit.
  • You are sufficiently established. This means that you can read, write, speak and understand Dutch. You demonstrate this with the integration certificate.
  • You have not served a prison sentence in the Netherlands or abroad for the past 4 years, have performed a learning or community service or have been paid a high fine for a crime. There is no criminal case open to you for a crime. With a high fine, this involves an amount of € 810 or higher. You may also not have received multiple fines of € 405 or higher in the past 4 years, with a total amount of € 1,215 or higher.
  • You must renounce your current nationality. There are a few exceptions to this rule.
  • You must make the declaration of solidarity. See under Steps in the application process 'The naturalization ceremony'

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Related subjects


To receive a visa you'll need: a passport, Unabridged Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificate with an Apostille or marital status document.

Residency permit

As a South African expat who want to live and work in the Netherlands you'll need a residence permit. Notification that you can collect your Residence Permit (In Dutch: Verblijfsvergunning of Verblijfstitel or further referred to as VVR) will be posted to you via Fixx iT.


For this appointment you will need your Unabridged Birth Certificate & Apostille, Marriage Certificate & Apostille (if applicable), proof of residence (rental contract), proof of ID (passport) and employment contract.


It is compulsory to register at the municipality in the Netherlands (In Dutch: “inchrijven bij de Gemeente”) and in the same appointment you will complete the application for your BSN number.


The DigiD is a user log-in and password that you must set up to get access to numerous Dutch government websites. You can only apply for the DigiD after you have received your BSN.

Driving licence

For the first 185 days you are allowed to drive with your South African drivers licence. But in this period you need to apply for the Dutch drivers.

TB Examination

Within the first 3 months, you have to go for a TB examination. You can do this at the GGD in Utrecht.