THE DUAL NATIONALITY SCAVENGER HUNT
Becoming a Dutch American
By Alena Herranen, February 26, 2011
Imagine that you are Dutch citizen married to an American. You eventually become an American but would like to retain your Dutch citizenship. What do you do? You begin an elaborate scavenger hunt outlined by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Phase One: Statement of Confirmation
The first item on the scavenger hunt list is a Statement of Confirmation issued by the Netherlands Consulate. This sounds simple, but it is actually a multi-step task list that can take a couple of months to accomplish.
To request the Statement of Confirmation, obtain or prepare the following documents:
- 1. Authenticated marriage certificate issued in the last six months
- 1.1. Find the website for the county recorder’s office for the county in which you were married.
- 1.2. Download the order form for ordering a marriage certificate (or complete online if available).
- 1.3. You sign the order form before a notary
- 1.4. The notary fees vary (usually less than $10.00 per signature)
- 1.5. Send the form to the county recorder with the required fee for the marriage certificate (about $15.00 but depends on county).
- 1.6. When the marriage certificate arrives, send it to the Secretary of State of the state in which you were married with a cover letter requesting an Apostille.
- 1.7. Pay the required fee ($20.00 in California)
- 1.8. The authenticated marriage certificate will be returned to you by mail
- 2. Authenticated naturalization certificate
- 2.1. Make a copy of your original naturalization certificate
- 2.2. Make an appointment with the US Customs and Immigration Services office to have the copy certified as a “certified true copy.” You can schedule your appointment online.
- 2.3. Take the original naturalization certificate and the copy to your appointment. They will attach a Form G-24 to the copy of your naturalization certificate to certify that the copy is a “certified true copy.”
- 2.4. There is no fee for this service.
- 2.5. Send the Certified True Copy of your naturalization certificate to the US Department of State in Washington DC with a request for an Apostille.
- 2.6. Pay a fee of $8.00.
- 2.7. The authenticated naturalization certificate will be returned to you by mail.
- 3. Current Dutch passport
- 4. Notarized copy of current US passport
- 4.1. Make a copy of your US passport
- 4.2. Bring the original US passport and the photocopy to a notary.
- 4.3. The notary will attach an acknowledgement to the copy.
- 4.4. The notary fees vary (usually less than $10.00 per signature)
- 5. Proof of residency
- 5.1. A utility bill in your name will suffice for proof of residency.
- 6. Authenticated US birth certificate of spouse issued in the last six months
- 6.1. Find the website for the county recorder’s office for the county in which your spouse was born.
- 6.2. Download the order form for ordering a birth certificate (or complete online if available).
- 6.3. Your spouse must sign the order form before a notary
- 6.4. The notary fees vary (usually less than $10.00 per signature)
- 6.5. Send the order form to the county recorder with the required fee for the birth certificate (about $19 but depends on county).
- 6.6. When the birth certificate arrives, send it to the Secretary of State of the state in which you were married with a cover letter requesting an Apostille.
- 6.7. Pay the required fee ($20.00 in California)
- 6.8. The authenticated birth certificate will be returned to you by mail.
- 7. Affidavit of marital status or authenticated divorce decree
- 7.1. Download the Affidavit of Marital Status from the website of the Netherlands Consulate.
- 7.2. Complete the form and sign it before a notary.
- 7.3. The notary fees vary (usually less than $10.00 per signature)
- 7.4. If you are divorced, you will need to provide an authenticated divorce decree instead of an Affidavit of Marital Status
- 7.4.1. Send the divorce decree to the Secretary of State with a request for an Apostille.
- 7.4.2. Pay the required fee ($20.00 in California)
- 7.4.3. he authenticated divorce decree will be returned to you by mail.
- 8. Notarized copy of current US passport of spouse
- 8.1. Make a copy of your spouse’s US passport
- 8.2. Your spouse must bring the original US passport and the photocopy to a notary.
- 8.3. The notary will attach an acknowledgement to the copy.
- 8.4. The notary fees vary (usually less than $10.00 per signature)
- 9. Payment for the Statement of Confirmation
- 10. Return Fed Ex label
- 10.1. You must include a Federal Express label for the return of your documents and the Statement of Confirmation.
- 10.2. The Federal Express charge will be around $20.00.
- 11. Cover letter
- 11.1. Your cover letter should state that you are requesting a Statement of Confirmation and should list all your enclosures.
Send all of the items listed above to the Netherlands Consulate General via Federal Express. Plan on spending $20.00 on shipping to the consulate. They will process the documents and issue a Statement of Confirmation and return all of the documents to you with the return Federal Express label that you provide.
Phase Two: Dutch Passport
When you receive the Statement of Confirmation, you may begin phase two, namely ordering the Dutch passport.
To order a Dutch passport, you need:
- 1. Current Dutch passport plus one copy
- 2. Current US passport plus one copy
- 3. One recent passport picture (not more than 3 months old) complying with the Dutch passport photo requirements
- 3.1. The passport photo requirements are very particular. You must refer to the Photomatrix Guidelines describing the requirements at http://dc.the-netherlands.org/dsresource?objectid=buzabeheer:190948&type=org.
- 3.2. Passport photo fees vary but should cost around $15.00.
- 3.3. You can have passport photos taken for lower costs, but they are often noncompliant with Dutch requirements.
- 3.4. A photo studio (www.unionpostsf.com) in San Francisco that is familiar with the Dutch requirements is listed on the Netherlands Consulate website.
- 4. Passport application form plus one copy
- 5. If your marital status has changed, you will need the legalized documents reflecting the change plus one copy.
- 5.1. As stated above, you will have to send the marriage certificate or divorce decree to the Secretary of State to obtain an Apostille.
- 6. Statement of Confirmation plus one copy
- 7. Passport fee of $84.50 in cash
After assembling the above items, you must schedule an appointment with the Dutch embassy or consulate online at http://dc.the-netherlands.org/the_Embassy/Schedule_your_appointment. You must appear in person at the appointment date and time with the above items. The Dutch consulate or embassy will confirm your identity and take fingerprints. The Dutch passport will take about 2 to 3 weeks to process if the application and documents are correct and complete. You can pick it up in person or have it mailed to you via Federal Express.
If you have the tenacity and patience to complete this dual nationality scavenger hunt properly, you will hold an American and Dutch passport and you will have dual nationality. Congratulations!
For more information:
Hague Conference on Private International Law
US Department of State Office of Authentications
California Secretary of State Apostille
Nevada Secretary of State Apostille