Dear fellow Belgians in the United Kingdom,
The Embassy of Belgium has held an information session about EU citizens’ rights in the context of Brexit on 21 June 2018, the recording of which can be watched here. The presentation shown in the video can be accessed here.
Due to the current circumstances surrounding Brexit and the lack of solid information, the Embassy is not in a position to make any recommendations when it comes to procedures to follow in order to obtain the right to stay.
Even though the Home Office has not communicated all the details regarding the stay of citizens from EU member states, it would from now on be prudent to keep any document proving residency in the United Kingdom. Those documents could then be presented to the Home Office in case of need. Furthermore it is a good reflex to have one’s administrative file in order, particularly one’s identity documents: the ID and the passport, if applicable.
In a referendum on 23rd June 2016, a majority voted for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. On the 29th of March 2017, the British Government formally notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the Union. The United Kingdom and the European Union are at present negotiating an agreement setting out the arrangement for its withdrawal.
The United Kingdom remains a member state of the European Union until an agreement setting out the arrangements for withdrawal has entered into force. Barring a turnaround, the UK will leave the European Union the 29th of March 2019. Nevertheless, a transition period has been agreed upon. It will last from so-called Brexit day on 29th March 2019 to 31st December 2020.
In the meantime we refer to information from the British Government on the present status of EU citizens in the United Kingdom (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/status-of-eu-nationals-in-the-uk-what-you-ne...), the new registration scheme (https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families) as well as the British Government’s recently started information campaign (https://eucitizensrights.campaign.gov.uk/).
On the other side of the negotiating table, there is the EU Task Force 50’s website (https://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/taskforce-article-50-negotiations-...) which contains the latest FAQ and can be accessed via https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/2017-12-12_qa... and the joint report agreed by both parties on December 8th 2017: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/joint_report.pdf. The EU Commission has also released a set of videos on the status of citizens in the context of Brexit, available here: http://y2u.be/jmoaS78eCDo, http://y2u.be/mmGdodfEnK0 and https://bit.ly/2M4qfm3.
As a matter of fact, Belgians in the United Kingdom can apply with the British Authorities for:
- an EU registration certificate which confirms their rights to live in the United Kingdom under present rules (https://www.gov.uk/eea-registration-certificate/apply). In principle, this is a document for EU citizens who reside for less than five years in the United Kingdom.
- British Permanent Residence Status to reside in the United Kingdom (http://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/product/eea-pr). Permanent Resident Status is only granted to people who prove they already lawfully resided in the United Kingdom for more than five years.
- British citizenship (https://www.gov.uk/browse/citizenship/citizenship). According to current Belgian citizenship law, Belgians who voluntarily acquire British citizenship will not automatically lose Belgian nationality.
The Embassy and the Belgian authorities in Brussels will continue to closely monitor developments in relation to the status of their citizens in the United Kingdom. Therefore, we invite all Belgians in the United Kingdom who have not yet registered with the Embassy, to do so. Information on how to register you can find on our website.
It is also possible to receive regular updates on developments via email from the Home Office by registering via https://gov.smartwebportal.co.uk/homeoffice/public/webform.asp?id=67&id2...