Altea Attorney

Belgian Nationality


Declaration of nationality (article 12bis)

A new nationality code came into effect on 1 January 2013. The Belgian legislator wanted for the acquisition of the nationality not to become a shortcut for immigration.

To be able to gain Belgian nationality, either by marriage, long-term stay or birth, the required length of residency on Belgian territory has been increased to a minimum of 5 years of lawful residence in the country.

There are also conditions related to integration which vary depending on situations. In order to obtain nationality, one has to proof the following :

  • Knowledge of at least one of the 3 national languages
  • Social integration through a diploma, a training session or a professional experience (5 years’ uninterrupted work) or attendance at an officially recognized integration programme organised by the competent authority.
  • If the person has not yet lived legally in Belgium for 10 years, economic participation through work (minimum 468 days) or through payment of social security contributions (minimum 6 trimesters)
  • If the person has lived in Belgium for over 10 years, participation to community life.

Specific sets of rules exist for spouses of Belgians, retired persons, persons with a handicap, etc.

The new legislation also gives a definition for ‘serious personal facts’, which can take form of a sentence for fiscal fraud or previous participation in a movement or association that is deemed a threat to state security, and which can be an obstacle to gaining Belgian citizenship.

The procedural fee for the application to request the Belgian nationality amounts to 150€.

The application for Belgian nationality is made at the commune city hall. The Civil State Officer has the right to refuse the application if he deems that the legal prerequisites have not been satisfied.

It is possible to contest the decision that rejects the application for nationality or revokes the nationality.

Altea offers advice by expert lawyers, adapted to your personal situation.

Contact Céline Verbrouck or Catherine de Bouyalski, specialist lawyers in immigration law and international family law, certified by the Order of Lawyers of the Bar of Brussels.

Naturalisation

The attribution of the Belgian nationality by naturalisation is not a right, but rather a favour the Belgian state can grant.

The candidate must establish that it is impossible for him to obtain it any other way (for example by declaration) and must demonstrate exceptional qualities, for example on the athletic, artistic or academic level.

Since the new code of nationality came into effect on 1st January 2013, naturalisation has been strictly organised so as to become an exceptional type of procedure for acquiring the Belgian nationality. Naturalisation must not be confused with the nationality declaration, which is considered a right.

Altea offers advice by expert lawyers, adapted to your personal situation.

Contact Céline Verbrouck or Catherine de Bouyalski, specialist lawyers in immigration law and international family law, certified by the Order of Lawyers of the Bar of Brussels.