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Obtaining Belgian nationality

April 10, 2020

Belgian law provides for two procedures for obtaining nationality: naturalization and declaration of nationality.


Naturalization is possible for special categories of citizens. As part of this procedure, the candidate should receive special merit in the fields of science, sports, culture and society, which contribute to increasing the prestige of Belgium at the international level.


The declaration of citizenship is open to all other applicants. In the context of this procedure, the prerequisite is the integration of the candidate into Belgian society.


First of all, the success of the integration is proven by five years of continuous residence in Belgium and the knowledge of one of the national languages ​​(French, Dutch, German).
The candidate must also prove his economic integration (studies or work).

A successful candidate must meet the following conditions:

a) Being adult (18 years old).
b) Having no criminal record. Applications from persons under investigation or convicted of immigration or tax offenses, as well as offenses punishable by imprisonment, will not be considered.
c) Having a residence permit for an unlimited period.
d) Having had a legal residence in Belgium for 5 years. When calculating 5 years of residence, a residence permit of limited duration (3 months) is taken into account.
e) Having knowledge of one of the three national languages ​​(French, Dutch, German).
Language proficiency is proven either by a certificate confirming the completion of the language courses or by passing the corresponding exam (A2 level), or by any document listed in paragraph f).
f) Having successfully integrated into Belgian society
The following documents are authorized as proof:

  • Belgian secondary school diploma;

  • vocational training diploma in Belgium (at least 400 hours of training);

  • certificate confirming the completion of the integration course;

  • 5 years professional experience in Belgium (without interruption) as a worker, employee, civil servant or private entrepreneur.

g) Participation in the Belgian economy

The following proofs are admitted:

  • 468 working days in Belgium during the last 5 years as a worker, employee, civil servant;

  • if the candidate has worked as a private entrepreneur, they must prove that in the last 5 years, the contributions for social services for 6 quarters have been paid.

Confirmation of participation in the economic life of Belgium is not compulsory for the spouses of Belgian citizens and for the parents of Belgian minors, but in this case, they must:

  • either pass the integration courses;

  • either have a Belgian secondary education diploma;

  • either follow vocational training (at least 400 hours) and work 234 days as a worker, employee or civil servant for the last 5 years or work as a private entrepreneur, paying social contributions for at least 3 quarters.


That said, not all situations fit the model, which is why often the help of a lawyer is required to successfully apply for citizenship.


Our lawyers are specialized in legal assistance for obtaining citizenship.

For more information or to book a consultation, contact us.

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