Brexit: ‘M card’ now qualifies as proof of legal residence for Belgian nationality

Following our successful lobbying efforts on behalf of “Brexit and the Belgian Brits”, a royal decree was adopted on 30 August 2021 and published today by the Belgian Minister of Justice which ensures that the “M card” is now explicitly included among the list of residence documents which qualify for the acquisition of Belgian nationality by declaration.

Following the change of rules, which will enter into force on 11 September 2021, the “M card” will now feature among the list of residence documents which qualify for the purposes proving lawful residence when applying for 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 2021.

In addition to the M card – both with and without a permanent residence endorsement – the list of qualifying residence documents will also include Annex 56 which is a temporary residence document issued to applicants pending the issue of their M card.

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 or a special identity card or if you have been refused an M card, please feel free to contact us for further assistance.

Source: Arrêté royal du 30 août 2021 modifiant l’arrêté royal du 14 janvier 2013 portant exécution de la loi du 4 décembre 2012 modifiant le Code de la nationalité belge afin de rendre l’acquisition de la nationalité belge neutre du point de vue de l’immigration,  MB 01/09/2021 p. 93770 / Koninklijk besluit van 30 augustus 2021 tot wijziging van het koninklijk besluit van 14 januari 2013 tot uitvoering van de wet van 4 december 2012 tot wijziging van het Wetboek van de Belgische nationaliteit teneinde het verkrijgen van de Belgische nationaliteit migratieneutraal te maken, BS 01/09/2021 p. 93770

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