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3,500 UK citizens have already obtained Belgian citizenship
Nearly 3,500 Brits have become Belgian citizens since the UK decided to leave the European Union in June of 2016. The figures were released by the Belgian Federal Public Service Interior Affairs, which expects the number of new Belgo-Brits to increase to 4,000 by November.
The number of UK citizens living in Belgium who have completed the procedure to obtain Belgian citizenship has slowly, but steadily been rising since the referendum. Last year, an average 82 British citizens per month obtained Belgian nationality. This year that monthly average has risen to 119.
Many of the UK nationals deciding to take the plunge to become Belgian are employed by the EU institutions. EU regulations mandate that employees must be nationals of the bloc’s member countries. Officials may also be asked to resign if they no longer meet the employment requirements.
Some 2,000 UK nationals worked in the EU institutions as full-time civil servants, or as agents on temporary or fixed-term contracts in 2018.
Photo: Belga / Thierry Roge
Written by Linda A. Thompson