Practical suggestions for Belgians living in the United Kingdom
In light of the current uncertainties surrounding the consequences of Brexit regarding EU citizens’ rights of residence in the U.K., it is strongly advised to remain informed and to keep your administrative papers in order.
We particularly recommend 3 steps:
1. If it’s not already the case, you should register with the Belgian Embassy in London. You will find all the necessary information on the Embassy’s website.
2. Stay informed regarding the evolution of Brexit directly from the authorities that concern you:
- The Belgian Embassy to the U.K. website.
- The British Home Office (Interior Ministry)’s website. By signing up to the following link, you will receive free email with updates from the Home Office.
- Follow the publications of our Embassy on social media (notably on Facebook and Twitter).
3. The British Home Office has officially launched the EU settlement scheme (also known as ‘setteld status’) on 30 March 2019. In this context we advise you to keep all documents proving your residence in the United Kingdom. These could be useful in proving your legal residency in the U.K. at the Home Office’s request. Please keep your administrative file up to date, more specifically your identity documents (identity card and, if applicable, passport).
The first step in the application procedure is the confirmation of your identity. You can apply using a Belgian ID-card of a Belgian passport. The procedure is easier with a Belgian passport as this can be used with the available app (see below). If you have or have access to an Android device (mobile phone or tablet) you can download the ‘EU exit ID Document Check App’. For more details check the following website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-the-eu-exit-id-document-check-app.
At this moment Apple devices (iPhones of iPads) cannot be used to confirm your identity. Another possibility is to have your passport scanned at 1 of 67 locations throughout the UK. This is a paying service. You can find the complete list of locations at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-id-document-scanner-locations/locations-offering-chip-checker-services.
Your Belgian ID-card can be used to confirm your identity for the EU settlement scheme but it will not be possible to use the app to scan it. Contrary to the Belgian biometric passport, the ID-card will have to be sent to Home Office for review. Please note that it will not be possible to use the European passport return service’ for the EU settlement scheme.
The British Prime Minister announced that, contrarily to what had been said previously, the registry procedure will be free of charge
We draw your attention to the fact that you have until 31st December 2020 to apply for settled status. This procedure is compulsory for every Belgian citizen living in the United Kingdom who is not also a British or Irish citizen..
Good to know
Currently, Belgians in the U.K. can introduce a request to the British authorities in order to obtain:
- An EU registration certificate which confirms the right to live in the U.K. under current dispositions. In principle, this is a document for EU citizens who reside in the United Kingdom for less than five years.
- A British permanent residency status. The permanent residence status is only given to those who can prove their legal residence in the U.K. for more than five years.
- British nationality, following the British legislation. Under current Belgian nationality law, Belgians who voluntarily acquire British nationality do not lose their Belgian nationality.
For more information
If you are a Belgian citizen residing in the United Kingdom and you have additional questions regarding the impact of Brexit on your stay, you may send an email to: London.Brexit@diplobel.fed.be. We will try our best to reply to your query or queries in the briefest delays.
You may also consult the recording of the information session organized by the Belgian Embassy on the 24th of October 2018 about the rights of EU citizens in the context of Brexit. The slides of the presentation used during the session are also available.