The platform for Belgium's international community

Search form

menu menu

belgian citizenship application - letter of justification


Hi all, I am an EU citizen applying for Belgian citizenship. According to the records of the commune there is a 1 month gap between the expiration of my old ID card a couple of years ago and the request for a new one. As part of the dossier I need to write a letter justifying the gap. As far as I am aware, I was within required deadlines for renewing the card (is there not a 3 month window?) and there was no issue made at the time of the renewal, so I am not sure what I am supposed to be justifying. Does anyone have experience of having to make such a justification?


When our old E cards expired last year we received pro-forma letters (NOT issued by the commune) telling us to go to the commune with new photos within a specified timescale. The letter was issued perhaps 3 months before the expiry date of the old cards and the permitted timescale was certainly well short of 3 months.

I understand that Belgian law permits the renewal of an E card up to 6 months in advance of the expiry date of the previous card and REQUIRES its renewal at least one month BEFORE that expiry date.

If that is correct (and I believe it is), you were some two months late applying to renew your card and that may well be sufficient to scupper your present application for Belgian citizenship.

Apr 10, 2017 10:51

Belgium no longer sends reminders to nationals to renew id cards nor residents to renew residents cards

There is no 3 month window for residents. If you do not renew your residence before expiry of card or paper residence your residency will lapse.

Apr 10, 2017 14:17
Joyce 33

I have f card .living with a belgian guy .am mot working .is it possible to apply for a F+card

Apr 10, 2017 21:16
Joyce 33

Sorry good evenin

Apr 10, 2017 21:18

Hi Olive, It would be very interesting to know which commune this is as I've had a similar experience. Despite living in Etterbeek for almost 15 years I was told I have a gap in my sejour. In typical commune fashion it was originally multiple gaps, but after 5 mins discussion it had magically turned into a single gap!

Thing is - I did everything on time the last time my card was renewed and the only gap I can think of is when they had to issue my ID card twice due to an admin mistake on their side. Otherwise I'm stumped.

Apr 13, 2017 13:57

Hi Olive and all, I'd likewise be interested as I've also sought to apply for citizenship recently and Ixelles commune told me that I have a 7 month gap between ID cards thus blocking my application. It may be the case that there is this gap - I honestly can't recall. In any event I have many other ways of proving that I was resident in the commune during this period and find it hard to believe that the physical card itself is the only proof the commune/Ministry accepts of residency for the purposes of citizenship (not least my employment and payment of taxes...). If anyone has experience of the communes/Ministry taking a different (and dare I suggest pragmatic) approach I'd be glad to hear!

Apr 18, 2017 13:22

Hi Olive and all,

I think there is a misunderstanding between interruption of residence (being registered to the population register) and interruption between residence cards (that happens often and mostly because of communes' mess ups), which sadly communes use against those who intend to apply for permanent residency and citizenship. Techinically an interruption of legal stay happens when one is being removed from the population register. If this did not happen than the residence should be considered uninterrupted. And if you ask for extract from your file ( 'exercise du droit d'acces'), which commune is obliged to to issue upon reguest, it should clearly state all the data. And if there is an interruption, it should be there.
Long story short: if they just need a justification letter write it and put some convincing arguments and see what happens.
And just so you know, commune's task is to verify eligibility of your dossier not to decide upon it. if they still refuse to accept the dossier ask for offical letter providing the reasons. But it also depends which commune you are at.
Best luck,

Apr 19, 2017 10:45