How your nationality is registered in the BRP

The Personal Records Database (BRP) contains your personal data. Your nationality is also recorded in the BRP. Your nationality can also be designated as ‘unknown’ or ‘stateless’. It might be possible for you to change this at the municipality.

Below you can read about the conditions for changing your nationality in the BRP.

‘Unknown nationality’

Are you registered in the BRP with the designation ‘unknown nationality’? Perhaps you actually do have a nationality. For the BRP you need to prove your nationality with valid documents.


Hassan is an asylum seeker. During his asylum application he claimed that he was born in Iraq. And that he has Iraqi nationality. His parents were also born in Iraq. Hassan has no documents for his birth and also no passport. Because Hassan has no documents to prove his nationality, his nationality will be designated as ‘unknown’ in the BRP.

Change your ‘unknown nationality’

Would you like to change the ‘unknown nationality’ designation in the BRP? Then you will need certain documents. You need to fulfil the conditions for registering your nationality in the BRP. Your nationality can be proven with 1 of the following documents:

  • a valid passport
  • a valid identity card
  • a different valid travel document
  • a declaration from the country of your nationality
  • it can also be proven by the nationality law of the country of your (claimed) nationality. The municipality must be able to see your country of birth from the documents. The municipality also must be able to see who your parents are and their nationality. A personal declaration is not sufficient proof for registering your nationality.


Matthew Smith has Australian nationality. When he registers in The Hague, he shows his valid Australian passport. Matthew Smith will then be registered in the BRP as being an Australian national.


If you are not a citizen of any country, you are considered a stateless person. This can happen if you did not acquire a nationality at birth. You are also considered stateless if you have lost your nationality and you have not acquired another nationality. To officially establish that you are stateless you need certain valid documents. These documents must clearly show that you are stateless. Sometimes somebody can be considered stateless based on foreign laws.


Sahra was born in the Netherlands and her mother is a Somali national. The Somali nationality of Sahra’s mother is registered in the BRP. Sahra’s father is unknown. Under Somalia’s citizenship law, Sahra can only acquire Somali nationality through her father. This is why Sahra does not have Somali nationality. She also does not have any other nationality. This is why Sahra is stateless. Her nationality is designated as ‘stateless’ in the BRP.

No valid documents?

You do not have any documentary evidence to prove your nationality or statelessness? Then at your request the municipality can ask for information about your nationality at the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). You will then have to submit as much proof as possible of your nationality or statelessness to the municipality. The documents which are required can differ depending on the person or situation.

If the documentary evidence is approved, the municipality will ask for a written declaration by the IND. The declaration by the IND will specify the nationality it believes you have. The IND can also state that your nationality is unknown or that you are stateless. The municipality will use the declaration by the IND to register your nationality or statelessness in the BRP. If the IND has declared that your nationality is unknown, this will also be registered in the BRP.

Changing the registration of your nationality can have consequences. These can differ depending on the person or situation.

More information

Do you have any questions about statelessness or (unknown) nationality? Or would you like to change the registration of your nationality in the BRP? Make an appointment through the page Change personal data in the BRP.

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