Acquiring Belgian nationality
What is your situation ?
Acquiring Belgian nationality on the basis of your years of residence
Obtaining Belgian nationality for your children
Acquiring Belgian nationality for exceptional merits
Recovering Belgian nationality after loosing it
You can acquire nationality on the basis of your years of residence in Belgium (declaration of Belgian nationality)
You have to apply for Belgian nationality to your municipality which will forward it to the competent public prosecutor for advice.
To submit this type of application, you must compile a file showing that:
A. You are over 18 years old, you have been living in Belgium for at least 5 years without interruption and:
- You have an unlimited residence permit in Belgium;
- You demonstrate that you are economically “integrated” (you have worked for at least 468 days in the last 5 years);
- You know at least one of the three national languages (level A.2);
- You demonstrate that you are socially “integrated” through one of the documents listed in the Belgian Nationality Code and its implementing Royal Decree.
There are easing for:
- People who have worked continuously for the last 5 years;
- People who are married to a Belgian or have a Belgian minor child; and
- People who have reached pensionable age or people with a disability.
B. You are over 18 years old, you have resided in Belgium for at least 10 years without interruption and:
- You have an unlimited residence permit in Belgium;
- You demonstrate that you have participated economically, socially or culturally in the life of the Belgian community over the last 10 years;
- You know at least one of the three national languages (level A.2).
C. You are over 18 years old, you were born in Belgium, you have resided there legally since your birth, and you have an unlimited residence permit.
Note: The Public Prosecutor can issue a negative opinion if you do not meet the above conditions or if you have committed an act considered as a serious personal act within the meaning of the Royal Decree implementing the Belgian Nationality Code. In case of a negative opinion of the Public Prosecutor, you can appeal with the territorially competent court of first instance (family section).
Your minor children can acquire Belgian nationality
- It can be by collective effect. The children automatically acquire Belgian nationality when one of their parents becomes Belgian.
However, the parent will have to show that at the time he or she acquired Belgian nationality:
a) he or she had parental authority; and
b) his or her child had his or her main residence in Belgium.
- A child born in Belgium from a parent born in Belgium and has resided there for at least 5 years during the last 10 years can also get Belgian nationality by a declaration. It is for the parents to make the nationality declaration on behalf of their children before their 12th birthday.
You can acquire Belgian nationality for exceptional merits (naturalisation)
To do so, you must apply for naturalisation to your municipality of residence, which then forwards it to the House of Representatives. You will have to provide a file that shows that :
- You are over 18 years old and have an unlimited residence permit in Belgium;
- It is almost impossible for you to acquire Belgian nationality by declaration;
- You have demonstrated exceptional merits in the scientific, sporting or socio-cultural field.
You have lost or renounced your nationality and wish to recover it
It is possible to recover your Belgian nationality if you have lost it other than by forfeiture.
The procedures are different depending on the circumstances of the loss of nationality:
- You lost your nationality without knowing it, and you have continued to be considered a Belgian citizen by the Belgian authorities for at least 10 years. You are of good faith, and it has been less than a year since the Belgian authorities officially contested your Belgian nationality. You can apply for nationality recovery by compiling a file demonstrating that you meet the conditions specified above.
- You have lost your Belgian nationality and have been informed of this by the Belgian authorities. Or, you have renounced your Belgian nationality. You can regain it by applying the recovery of your Belgian nationality by compiling a file showing that:
- You are over 18 years old and have had your main residence in Belgium for at least 12 months;
- You have an unlimited stay in Belgium.
In case of loss of Belgian nationality resulting from renunciation and, depending on the circumstances, the Public Prosecutor may consider that he does not have to issue the negative opinion even though you don’t meet all the conditions for nationality recovery.
You were born abroad, lived abroad between your 18th and 28th birthday, and did not make a Belgian nationality declaration before your 28th birthday. You, therefore, lost your Belgian nationality. In case of recovery application, the Public Prosecutor may also consider that he does not have to issue a negative opinion, if :
- You have not lived in Belgium for 12 months; or
- You do not have an unlimited residence permit in Belgium.
Important information on nationality if you are Belgian born abroad and, or, your child is born abroad
You are a Belgian citizen, born abroad, you live abroad, and your child was born abroad. You want your child to obtain Belgian nationality.
You must make a declaration to this effect before the civil registrar of your municipality or, before the head of the Belgian diplomatic or consular mission of the country where you live before your child’s 5th birthday.
You are Belgian born abroad, and you had your residence abroad between your 18th and 28th birthday.
If you wish to retain your Belgian nationality, you must make a declaration to this effect before the head of the Belgian diplomatic mission or consular post of your residence before your 28th birthday.
Please note that all official documents must be certified. Furthermore, if they aren’t in one of the official languages of Belgium, they must be translated into French or Dutch by a sworn translator recognised by the Belgian authorities. We regularly work with sworn translators who work in different languages. We can therefore assist you with this type of procedure.
Concerning these kind of files, Immigration-plan can :
1. ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS
Based on the description of your situation, answer your questions and tell you whether you meet the above conditions regarding the criteria of the Belgian authorities.
2. TELL YOU WHAT DOCUMENTS TO ATTACH TO THE FILE
List the various documents needed and send you a copy of the standard documents required to submit a complete application for nationality to the Belgian authorities.
3. CHECK YOUR FILE
Check your file once you have collected all the required documents to ensure that it is as complete as possible.
4. WRITE A COVERING LETTER
Write a covering letter to the file explaining, based on the relevant articles of law and court decisions, why you should acquire Belgian nationality given the file submitted.