Netherlands - Council of State (Raad van State), ECLI:NL:RVS:2018:2785

A stateless applicant attempted to naturalise in the Netherlands, but her request was rejected due to a minor criminal offence she committed less than 4 years prior to applying for naturalisation. She argued that her statelessness, along with a number of other mitigating circumstances of her case, should have been taken into account by the authorities to exercise the discretion to grant her Dutch nationality, but the Court upheld the administrative authorities' decision to deny naturalisation, leaving the applicant stateless. 

Case name (in original language)
Case status
Case number
Date of decision
Court / UN Treaty Body
Council of State of the Netherlands (Raad van State)
Language(s) the decision is available in
Applicant's country of birth
Applicant's country of residence

The applicant, who is stateless, committed minor theft on 12 March 2013, for which she was sentenced to 18 hours community service. By 5 August 2013 she has served her community service sentence. She later applied for naturalisation, but her request was rejected in 2016, on the basis of there having been a criminal conviction against her within less than 4 years prior to her submitting a naturalisation request. 

Decision & Reasoning

Concerning the issue of the applicant's statelessness, the Court reasoned as follows:

"[The Court of lower instance] has correctly considered that having passed the integration test and doing voluntary work are not such exceptional circumstance that require deviation from the policy, and that statelessness does not affect the circumstance that at the relevant moment for testing whether the requirements of Article 9(1a) of the Dutch Royal Law on Nationality have been met there have been serious concerns about the applicant being a threat for public order."


The Court upheld the administrative decision to deny naturalisation, leaving the applicant stateless.