After five years of continuous legal residence in the Netherlands, a permanent residence permit may be requested. The main conditions are: passing the civic integration examination (unless an exception applies), the residence permit must have a non-temporary purpose at the moment of the application and there is sufficient long-term income.
There are several types of permanent residence permits. EU citizens can apply for an EU permanent residence card and non-EU nationals can apply for a European and a national permanent residence permit. Whether the non-EU citizen is eligible for a European or a national permanent residence permit depends on the type of residence permit(s) issued in the past and possible residence-gaps in between those residence permits. Erik Scheers has successfully contested this very restrictive gap-policy before the Dutch Council of State (Raad van State). This High Court decided that the national gap-rules are in conflict with European law. After this decision, these rules were adjusted.
After five years of continuous residency, you can also choose to acquire Dutch nationality or citizenship (naturalization). For certain categories, there are exceptions to the 5-year term, which can be adjusted to 3 or even 2 years. However, the conditions to become Dutch will soon change into stricter rules: the 5-year period will be changed to 7 years and the exemption categories will become more restrictive. There will be a transition arrangement for people who have already stayed in the Netherlands for more than 3 years.
Important differences between naturalization and the permanent residence permit are the income requirement (doesn’t apply with naturalization) and the requirement that to obtain Dutch citizenship you normally (unless an exception applies) need to renounce your current nationality.
Looking for an experienced permanent residence permit lawyer?
Scheers Advocacy informs you about the conditions and possible exceptions in your specific situation and can assist in preparing and submitting an application for permanent residency or obtaining Dutch citizenship. To have more information about the conditions, exceptions and possible guidance in your specific case, please contact Scheers Advocatuur.