Brexit: Minister of Justice urged to ensure the ‘M card’ qualifies for Belgian nationality

In a letter submitted by “Brexit and the Belgian Brits”, the Belgian Minister of Justice has been formally requested to include the “M card” among the list of residence documents which qualify for the acquisition of Belgian nationality by declaration.

The “M card” is the special residence document which is issued to British citizens who qualify as beneficiaries of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. All British citizens who wish to retain a right of residence in Belgium must apply for an “M card” before 31 December 2020.

At present, the “M card” does not feature among the list of residence which qualify for the purposes proving lawful residence for the purposes of acquiring Belgian nationality by declaration.

As a result, this prevents British citizens from being able to prove their right of lawful residence when applying for Belgian nationality by declaration under Article 12bis of the Belgian Nationality Code.

This in sharp contrast to the situation of EU citizens and their family members who can apply on the basis of E, E+, F or F+ cards and even using special identity cards, following our firm’s successful involvement in cases before the Belgian Supreme Court (Hof van Cassatie / Cour de Cassation).

This is likely to constitute unlawful discrimination contrary to the Belgian Constitution.

Our firm provided legal advice to “Brexit and the Belgian Brits”.

In the event you are affected by a refusal of the Belgian authorities to grant you Belgian nationality on the basis that you have held an M card, please feel free to contact us for further assistance.

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