Altea Attorney

Recovering Belgian Citizenship

In the past, individuals with Belgian citizenship have automatically or voluntarily lost their citizenship.

Prior to the last major amendment to the Belgian Citizenship Code made in 2012, some individuals filed citizenship recovery requests, often with the encouragement of the Belgian embassy.

However, it came as a surprise when these requests were rejected by the Royal Prosecutor because they were unable to furnish an unrestricted Belgian residence permit and proof of lawful residence on Belgian soil in the preceding 12 months.

Many then sued in the Brussels Court of First Instance. These cases are currently being listed for trial.

At Altea, we are particularly concerned by the unique situation of these Belgian citizens who we believe have been overlooked by the law, thereby being deprived of an important part of their identity and their ties to Belgium.

If the current text of the Belgian Citizenship Code were to be strictly interpreted by courts, this would be the case. Yet the case law is not yet firmly established.

Our view is that a literal interpretation of the Belgian Citizenship Code is nonsensical and inconsistent with the overall spirit of the law.

Furthermore, we believe it clearly results in discrimination and unequal treatment, with no respect for the legitimate expectations of these individuals. Consequently, such questions referred to the Constitutional Court for preliminary ruling are most certainly worthy of consideration by the judge.

These particularly complex legal situations deserve close attention and counsel from specialists.

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.