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Brexit: ten-fold surge in applications to become a Belgian!

The number of British nationals applying for naturalisation in Belgium has increased ten-fold since the Referendum.  All going well, the UK will leave the EU on 29 March and its citizens will no longer enjoy any EU national privileges.

During an average month ninety Britons are applying for Belgian nationality nowadays.  Though the rights of EU nationals settled in the UK and Britons already living on the continent of Europe are guaranteed, Brexit has caused a lot of concern.  Many Britons already living in another EU country are playing safe and are applying for dual nationality.

Between Referendum Day, 23 June 2016, and December 2018 2,689 Britons were awarded Belgian nationality.  Exactly 1,000 Brits acquired Belgian nationality in 2018.  In 2017 the figure was 1,306 or 109 a month.

The Belgian home office has no figures on how many British applications are still being processed.   Britons eager to become a Belgian should apply to their local authority and will be asked to prove they have been living in Belgium legally for five years.  Applicants should also show they form part of local society.  Often having a job here will sway the authorities.  Under present legislation Britons acquiring Belgian nationality will retain their British citizenship.

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