The Bulletin, Brussels’ premier English-speaking magazine, has published a guide to obtaining Belgian citizenship.
The guide uses MPG’s Immigrant Citizens Survey and Migrant Integration Policy Index to describe how the path to citizenship in Belgium compares with other European countries. It also refers to MPG’s in-depth analysis of the new Belgian National Law went into effect on January 1st 2013.
Extracts from the guide:
Becoming Belgian: there is a will…
For some of us expats, the adventure of living in Belgium has been going on for some time now. And as days turn to months and years, we find ourselves thinking, speaking and acting more like Belgians than ever thought possible. So its not surprising then that, according to the Immigrant Citizens Survey (ICS), 75% of non-EU residents want to celebrate this transformation by becoming Belgian citizens.
…but not always an easy way
Good expat intentions aside, Belgium has not paved the smoothest of roads to Belgian citizenship. For example, the country obtained a score of only 69% in terms of Access to Nationality from the Migration Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) because among others its citizenship procedures were found to be discretionary, changeable, and inefficient.
These critiques are mirrored by comments in The Bulletin’s expat forum, where most complain about the lack of information, unclear requirements and a long wait accompanied by the impossibility of asking for an application status update.
To further complicate affairs for Belgian hopefuls, a new Belgian National Law went into affect on January 1st 2013. While Migration Integration Policy Analyst Thomas Huddleston offers a useful in-depth analysis on how the law differs from former legislation, the main message is this: the path to Belgian citizenship, while clearer, is no less demanding.