You can have Belgian nationality legally or voluntarily. You can also lose your Belgian nationality. This section will provide you with further information.

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For general information about nationality laws, please refer to the website of the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs.

Retaining Belgian nationality

If you were born abroad (not in Belgium) after 1 January 1967, you must take action to retain your Belgian nationality and that of your minor children.

The above-mentioned concerns those Belgians who:

  • were born outside Belgium after 1 January 1967
  • hold one or multiple other nationalities besides the Belgian nationality
  • did not have your principal residence in Belgium during the period between the age of eighteen and twenty-eight
  • have not worked abroad either for the Belgian government or for a Belgian company or association during the period between the age of eighteen and twenty-eight

The persons concerned, shall be contacted by the embassy on basis of the information in the national register few months before their 28th birthday. The necessary action can be taken already earlier once the person has turned 18.

If the declaration has not been signed nor the concerned person has got delivered a Belgian passport or identity card, they shall lose their Belgian nationality on their 28th birthday.

Since 12/07/2018 the concerned persons no longer need to sign the declaration to retain their Belgian nationality, if they have applied for and got delivered a Belgian passport or an identity card between their 18th and 28th birthdays.

Multiple nationalities

At present, if you voluntarily acquire a foreign nationality, you will no longer renounce your Belgian nationality.

If you are a Belgian citizen and you automatically receive another nationality (= without having taken any steps to do so, e.g., at birth because one or both of your parents have a different nationality), you will not lose your Belgian nationality because of this and can therefore have two or more nationalities.

If you hold another nationality and obtain Belgian nationality, the Belgian authorities will not ask you to renounce your original nationality. It is however advisable that you consult your national authorities to find out whether the acquisition of Belgian nationality would result in the loss of your original nationality, according to the legislation in force in your country.

Attribution of Belgian nationality to children

Procedures regarding the attribution of Belgian nationality to newborn children can take time. We invite the parents to contact us as early as possible, and imperatively before the child's fifth birthday. Please provide us with the available documentation concerning the child, the parents and the marital status of the parents at the time of birth.

In the specific case of a nationality attribution, Belgians born abroad who wish to pass on their Belgian nationality to their children also born abroad (in Finland or Estonia) must contact our embassy before their fifth anniversary to sign a “declaration of attribution of nationality”. It should be emphasized that in this situation, the acquisition of nationality is not automatic.