British expats besiege Brussels town halls in rush to become Belgian

Published:  30 Jun at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
According to Belgian officials, hundreds of desperate UK citizens living and working in Brussels and the rest of the country are rushing to start nationalisation proceedings.

The little country of Belgium is home to around 24,000 Britons, many of whom are working for Brussels-based organisations such as NATO and the EU institutions. Since the Brexit shock, many have decided to apply for Belgian nationality rather than endure two years of uncertainty followed by the possibility of not being able to stay.

Mayor of Brussels’ Ixelles borough Dominique Dufourny told reporters she’d seen queues of Brits starting at around 7.30 a.m, all hoping to get the necessary documents and start the process as soon as possible. The wealthy suburban districts of Uccle and Woluwe Saint Lambert are seeing similar numbers, with a spokesperson for Saint Lambert saying there are normally no such requests and calling the reaction to Brexit an ‘explosion'.

Eligibility for Belgian citizenship is given after an applicant has lived and worked in the country for five years and has basic competency in one of Belgium’s three official languages, German, French or Dutch. For expats with no work history in the country, a 10-year stay is needed, plus proof of having integrated into Belgian society to an extent.

One British national living in the commuter belt surrounding Brussels told reporters he’s getting together the necessary documents to apply for citizenship for himself, his wife and their family of four children. Many of his British friends, he said, are also applying as they believe the consequences of the Leave vote will bring catastrophe on the UK. I will not, he added, condemn my children to solely being citizens of a country determined to stay on the road to ruin.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive