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 “settled status” registration system is currently in a public test phase and should be fully open to the public by the 30th of March 2019. In this context, keep all the 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). EU citizens and their family members who wish to do so, may already register online  during the public test phase (see Home Office web page), with the condition of owning a Belgian Passport (or a biometric residence permit for the non-EU members of the family) and to have at their disposal an Android device (smartphone or tablet) to download the application (see Home Office web page). From the 30th of March, a Belgian identity card will be a sufficient proof of your identity for the settled status request. However, it will not be possible to scan the identity card via the Android application. Contrary to the Belgian biometric passport, the identity card will have to be sent to the Home Office for verification. The British Prime Minister announced that, contrarily to what had been said previously, the registry procedure will be free of charge. Anyone who signs up during the test phase has to pay an administrative fee, but will be fully reimbursed subsequently. Those who register after the 30th of March 2019 will be able to do so without any administrative fee(s). We bring your attention to the fact that you have until the 31st of December 2020 to acquire the settled status. It is an obligatory procedure for  every Belgian citizen living in the United Kingdom and 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.