Nationality

This section provides more information on nationality.

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Amendments to the Code of Belgian Nationality

The following applications for Belgian nationality can be submitted to the Embassies and Consulates(-General) of Belgium abroad:

a. Declarations of attribution of Belgian nationality by a Belgian parent to his child before the age of 5, in cases where both were born abroad.

b. Declarations of retaining Belgian nationality by Belgian young people born and residing abroad between the ages of 18 and 28.

c. Regaining Belgian nationality on the basis of art. 17 and art. 24;

For persons not legally residing in Belgium, it is no longer possible to acquire Belgian nationality on a voluntary basis.

Residence in Belgium must be understood to mean registration in the population register (register of foreign nationals) of a Belgian municipality.

Consequently, since 1 January 2013, the following applications for Belgian nationality are no longer possible by persons not legally residing in Belgium:

a. naturalisation;

b. nationality by option based on:

  • civil marriage to a Belgian;
  • young people aged between 18 and 22, born abroad to an Belgian parent;
  • applications based on art. 12 of the Code of Belgian Nationality

 

Attribution of Belgian nationality

Since 1985, children born abroad of at least one Belgian parent born in Belgium are automatically Belgian.

If the Belgian parent(s) was/were born abroad, a declaration of attribution of Belgian nationality must be made for the child to become Belgian.

The declaration must be made at the Embassy of Belgium in London within 5 years of the child's birth.

Belgian parents not born in Belgium who believe that their child is in this case are requested to contact the Embassy of Belgium in London as soon as possible (email: london.nat@diplobel.fed.be).

After the submission of the required legalised and translated documents, an appointment can be made to sign the declaration of attribution of nationality by one parent/the Belgian parent.

The child becomes Belgian on the date the deed is signed.

For more detailed information, please consult the website of the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs (https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en) in Brussels.

 

Loss of Belgian nationality (*)

Some Belgians born and residing abroad lose their Belgian nationality if they do not make a declaration of conservation at the Embassy/Consulate-General of Belgium in their country of residence.

The declaration of conservation of Belgian nationality must be made by Belgians who:

  • were born abroad, AND
  • were born after 1 January 1967, AND
  • had uninterrupted residence abroad from the age of eighteen to twenty-eight, AND
  • have one (or more) other nationality(ies) besides Belgian nationality, AND
  • cannot claim that their long-term residence abroad was related to an assignment of the Belgian government or of a Belgian company/association under Belgian law.

Those citizens who meet all the above conditions are requested to consult the Embassy of Belgium in London by email (london.nat@diplobel.fed.be) as soon as possible. .

They can make the declaration of conservation at any time between their 18th and 28th birthday, upon prior submission of the required documents.

The declaration only needs to be made once. For this reason, it is recommended to make it at the age of 18, upon applying for a Belgian identity card or passport.

If these Belgians do not make a declaration of conservation before their 28th birthday, the persons concerned and, in certain cases, their children who are still minors, will automatically lose their Belgian nationality.

For more information, those concerned may consult the website of the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs in Brussels.

 

(*)

New since 12.07.2018

If you were not yet 28 years old on 12 July 2018 and if you applied for and received a Belgian identity card or Belgian passport between your 18th and 28th birthday, you will not lose Belgian nationality when you turn 28, even if you meet all the other conditions for loss of nationality listed above.