Good to know 

Only persons over the age of 18 and emancipated minors can apply for Belgian nationality.

When minors are involved, we use the term to ‘attribution of nationality’.

There are two ways of acquiring Belgian nationality: declaration of nationality and naturalisation. Naturalisation, however, is reserved exclusively for people who can prove that they have contributed to Belgium’s international reputation (scientific, cultural, intellectual, sporting, etc.) and is granted by the House of Representatives.

Since the reform of the Nationality Code on 1 January 2013, naturalisation has only been granted in exceptional cases: for people demonstrating exceptional merit or for recognised stateless persons. The declaration of nationality therefore becomes the common method of obtaining Belgian nationality for adults.

There are 5 categories of declaration of nationality:

Foreign nationals born in Belgium and legally resident there since birth

Foreign nationals who have been legally resident in Belgium for 5 years and can prove their economic, social and linguistic integration

Foreign nationals who have been residing legally in Belgium for 5 years and who are married to a Belgian national or are the parents of a Belgian child who is a minor, and can prove knowledge of one of the national languages, as well as having followed an integration programme or having worked for at least 238 days and followed a vocational training course of at least 400 hours.

Foreign nationals who have been legally resident in Belgium for 5 years and who have reached pensionable age or who suffer from a handicap or disability that prevents them from working.

Foreign nationals who have been legally resident in Belgium for 10 years and can prove their involvement in the life of the host community.

In all cases, the applicant must prove at least 5 years of legal and uninterrupted residence in the country. There are no exceptions to this 5-year rule…

In the majority of cases, the applicant must also be able to prove knowledge of one of the three official languages regardless of the linguistic region in which the applicant resides.

Depending on the case, it may be necessary to prove the applicant’s economic integration (proof of a minimum number of working days in Belgium) and/or social integration (diploma obtained in Belgium, minimum of 400 hours of vocational training or completion of a social integration course).

Ms Halabi, a lawyer specialising in naturalisation, and her associates can, (in addition to the firm’s DIY guides) improve your chances of securing a positive outcome for your application for Belgian nationality and assist in the event of litigation.

Specialising in immigration law and having a Master’s degree in international law, Ms Halabi will apply all her expertise to defend your rights and secure positive outcomes.