18 December 2023, by Abi Carter

As of December 1, 2023, nearly 48.000 people have gained Dutch citizenship through naturalisation this year, a slight increase compared to the same period last year. 

48.000 people have already received Dutch citizenship in 2023

So far this year, 47.890 people have passed their Dutch Civic Integration Exam or Staatsexamen and have become naturalised Dutch citizens, according to new figures from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), published last week ahead of Nationalisation Day. That includes around 35.000 adults and 13.000 children. 

This record maintains the trend of high numbers of naturalisations seen in recent years. In 2022 as a whole, 51.480 people became Dutch citizens, and 55.930 were naturalised in 2021. In comparison, 27.090 applications were processed in 2019, according to the IND. 

IND preparing itself to receive more citizenship requests

The IND said in a press release that the increase is the result of a rise in the number of migrants coming to the Netherlands in recent years. Migrants can submit a citizenship application after living in the Netherlands under a residence permit for three or five years, depending on their personal circumstances. 

Of the people who became Dutch this year, a large proportion (14.020) had a permit to stay with a member of their family, while 12.400 had been granted asylum. The most common nationality among applicants was Syrian. 

Irlan Agous, who is responsible for processing naturalisation applications at the IND, said the service was preparing itself for receiving more and more requests. “In recent years we have invested a lot to continue to provide timely and careful services, even when dealing with large numbers of requests,” he said. “As a result, an applicant now receives clarity much faster than before.” He added that 2025 and 2026 were also expected to be very busy years. 

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