Since June 23rd I have had a rather big dilemma on my mind. As most of you will know the citizens of the United Kingdom have voted to leave membership of the EU, nicknamed Brexit. I think no one really saw it coming, that it would be official, since the polls were so close but really? Who really imagined that they would no longer be part of the EU?
Within the first few days after the vote I was curious what my options had become, as an English person living in the Netherlands. Up until now there is still no certainty what will actually happen, or how I will be personally affected. So everyone is having the same doubts and concerns.
Now that it is getting closer to August I have the option to choose to apply for Dutch Citizenship, and to become a rightful owner of a Dutch passport. Because in August I will be officially living in the Netherlands for 5 years. However there is currently a motion at the government that will most likely go ahead, stating that it will be 7 years residency instead of 5. So I may still need to wait another 2 years to apply. What also makes this more amusing is that my passport runs out also in 2 years so I’ll most likely have to apply and pay for a UK passport again anyway!
The doubts I have, is that if I apply for Dutch citizenship through naturalization (the only option that applies to me) that I will lose the right to keep my English citizenship so it will not be dual citizenship. Of course no one really knows what will happen to expats abroad who still have English citizenship, but I don’t know if I should apply for Dutch citizenship in August or to wait and see how the United Kingdom plays it out.
And the only way to have dual citizenship is if I was married… well I’m not rushing into that anytime soon haha! But I do feel that having dual citizenship will give me better options in the future, in regards to travelling back home and visiting family/friends, or to work in England if I return, or even when I have children in the future who could then also have dual citizenship.
Well for now I am playing the waiting game with the UK. Waiting to see what their next move it, what will be decided and what options I may have.