A few months ago, I received an email from Nathan who is part of the Dutch Australian community on Facebook. His wife was upset to discover she had lost her Dutch citizenship in Australia – and only by a matter of 2 days when laws changed. She is now on a quest to regain a Dutch passport.
They shared this story via email to see if I could help. Unfortunately visas, citizenship issues and the like are not my area of expertise and I wouldn’t know how to appeal this apart from via the local consulate. However as this website/blog is to bring Dutch Australians together to share experiences I asked him for permission to publish his email here on the website as perhaps others are in a similar situation? If so, please contact us and I can put you in touch with Kelly & Nathan, or come and discuss your circumstances and experiences over in the Dutch Australian Facebook community.
Emails received from Nathan April 2013…
“Kelly was born in Australia (1977) to Dutch parents, who are still Dutch citizens. I think she got her first Dutch passport in 2000. We went to the embassy here in Sydney.
Kelly’s Dutch passport expired in 2005, and the reason why we have not renewed it prior to this is we were not in a position financially or practically to travel to the Netherlands until now. We had 4 children in the period 2004-2009, our first child in 2004 and we had our youngest son in Dec 2009. We simply were not thinking about travelling etc.
We have only just come into a position where a trip to the Netherlands is possible (and very likely) and so we began the process of looking into renewing Kelly’s passport. This literally happened on the weekend of the 31/03/2013 when we found out the unfortunate news of the 31/03/2013 citizenship cut off date. We sent an email straight away (on the 31st) to the consulate asking if they would allow that email to be considered the start of our application process (as we were technically still within their cut off date) however we could not physically come into the office as it was closed.
We still have not had an official reply to that email, but we went into the consulate the following week (as soon as we could) and were told that our application would most likely be rejected, but could still apply if we chose to (and then possibly appeal if rejected) but were told that it would be highly unlikely to succeed.
We are really disappointed about this as our Dutch heritage is very important (to both of us) particularly, as we parent out children and look to our future and travel plans etc.
- Kelly’s parents are both Dutch, (they have not become Australian citizens even though they have lived here for 30+ years)
- Much of her extend family still lives in the Netherlands
- Kelly is only Australain by birth, not by acquisition.
- We teach our kids Dutch songs that Kelly’s mum and dad taught her
- Kelly still speaks Dutch (although a bit rusty, she picks it up again when she is surrounded by others speaking it!)
- We have dutch food traditions that we continue in our home and at special times of the year such as…oliebollen, poffertjes krautcuk, speculaas, hagelslag, stroopwafels, zoute drops, ontbijtkoek, to name a few
- Dutch art and clogs etc are in our home and we teach our kids about them
Is anyone else in a similar situation or have any advice? Please comment below, contact us or come and discuss on the Facebook page.
Dutch Australian is a community of those with connections to both Australian and The Netherlands. This blog follows the adventures of our Dutch Australian family as well as highlighting information and articles of interest to dual nationals. You might like to read more about me, get to know other Dutch Australian people and explore other articles on the blog. Come and chat to others over in the Dutch Australian Facebook community, we’d love to meet you! If you’ve enjoyed this post, I’d really appreciate you taking the time to comment below or share. You can also contact me directly and sign up for our e-newsletter to keep up to date.