Brexit: general situation of individuals

 

Situation of Belgian citizens in the United Kingdom

 As the Withdrawal Treaty provides for a transition period that wil run until 31 December 2020, the situation of Belgian citizens who already reside in or wish to travel to the United Kingdom will remain unchanged until that date.

After the transition period, the applicable rules will change depending on the situation:

  1. For Belgian citizens who are already resident in the UK or settle in the UK at the latest on 31/12/2020 and register for the EU Settlement Scheme in time, the situation will largely remain unchanged as set out in the Withdrawal Treaty (see question 1, 2, 3).
     
  2. Belgian citizens who wish to settle in the UK after 31/12/2020 can not invoke the Withdrawal Treaty for that purpose. They will have to comply with the specific requirements of the British immigration law that will enter into force on 1 January 2021. The British Home Office will make an immigration permit (long stay visa) dependent upon a points-based assessment of candidates (see question 3). The conversion of a short stay of maximum 3 months, for which no visa will be required, to a long stay (regularisation) will not be possible during your stay in the UK. The correct visa for a long stay must be acquired before your departure to the UK. For more information about the procedure you can contact the British embassy in Brussels and the information portal of the British government.
     
  3. Belgian citizens who travel to the UK after 31/12/2020 for a short stay will in principle be able to do so without a visa for a maximum period of 3 months (see question 4 for specific modalities and exceptions). Presently Belgian citizens can still travel to the UK with either a valid identity card or a valid passport. From 1 October 2021, the British government will only accept a valid passport for short stays in the UK. In addition, Belgian citizens are recommended to consider taking out a private health insurance. After 31/12/2020 the European Health Insurance Card will no longer be valid.

More information about the situation of Belgian citizens in the United Kingdom can be found on the page ‘practical suggestions for Belgian citizens residing in the United Kingdom’ and the ‘FAQ’.

 
Situation of British nationals in Belgium

Click here if you are a British national who resides in Belgium under a special identity card from the Protocol Directorate

British nationals and their family members resident in Belgium must register with the municipality in which they reside in accordance with the rules already in force and keep this information up to date.

As the Withdrawal Treaty provides for a transition period that wil last until 31 December 2020, the situation of British nationals who already reside in or wish to travel to the Belgium will definitely remain unchanged until that date.

After the transition period, the applicable rules will change depending on the situation:

  1. British nationals and their family members who exercised their right to free movement by residing, or working cross-border, in Belgium before 31/12/2020 may apply for the status of beneficiary of the Withdrawal Treaty. Certain family members, who can prove a relationship with a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Treaty, will still be allowed to join their family member in Belgium after the transition period. British nationals and their family members who already legally reside in Belgium will be invited by letter later this year to apply for a new residence status in Belgium. They will be given at least until 30 June 2021 to do so. This residence status will allow them to invoke the rights granted to them in the Withdrawal Treaty.
     
  2. British nationals who wish to settle and reside in Belgium after 31/12/2020 will not be able to invoke the Withdrawal Treaty for that purpose. They will have to comply with the general rules that will apply in Belgium to immigrants who are not nationals of a Member State of the European Union, the European Economic Area, or Switzerland. Nonetheless, there will be an exception for certain family members, who can prove a relationship with a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Treaty who will still be able to join their family member in Belgium after the transition period (see point 1).
     
  3. British nationals who wish to travel to Belgium after 31/12/2020 for a short stay (maximum 90 days over a period of 180 days) will still be able to do so without a visa.

More information about the situation of British nationals in Belgium can be found on the website of the Immigration Office of the Federal Public Service Internal Affairs. We recommend you to regularly consult their page to remain updated about any changes.