Retaining Belgian nationality
In 1 January 1985 the Belgian nationality law entered into force. According to article 22 § 1 5°, some Belgians, along with their underage children, shall lose their Belgian nationality, if before their 28th birthday they have not signed a declaration stating their intention to retain Belgian nationality at the Belgian diplomatic post where they are registered. 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.
The above-mentioned concerns those Belgians who:
- were born abroad 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.
Attribution of Belgian nationality to children
Belgians who were born abroad (not in Belgium) and who wish to attribute Belgian nationality to their children also born abroad (in Finland or Estonia) must contact our embassy within five years after the birth to sign a “declaration of attribution of nationality” for the child (in accordance with the Belgian nationality law, article 8). It should be emphasized that in this situation, the acquisition of nationality is not automatic. Make sure to contact the embassy well in advance of the legal deadline to allow the departments concerned to properly process the case.
In all cases where a Belgian becomes a parent abroad, it is important to contact the embassy as soon as possible to register the child in the national register.