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Belgian nationality


We started the proceedure to apply for Belgian nationality 2 weeks ago.
We had an appointment at the Commune today and handed over all the relevant forms including our original Birth certificates. I asked if we could not give a copy but they insisted they needed the originals.
I now wonder if we should have let them go as it is important to keep one’s original birth certificate.
I could have requested certified copies from the UK.
Can I call them on Monday and make this suggestion or will it already be too late to postpone?


You should not have given the "originals", as they're almost certainly not valid under Belgian law. You should have requested a (new/copy/duplicate/whatever you want to call it) certificate from the UK. The certificate is dated and has to have been issued less than 12 months prior to your application.

The commune should have told you this.

Apr 27, 2018 14:06

..... and you have to provide legalised translations of the certificates - and my understanding is that the newly issued birth (and marriage) certificates have to be dated no more than 6 months prior to the date that they are formally handed to the commune.

Assuming that the female member of the couple uses her married surname in Belgium (ie that her eID is in that name following her passport), an up-to-date copy and translation of the marriage certificate is required to "prove" the change of name.

You should order new copies of your certificates NOW, it can be done online, as they may take some time to arrive. Make sure that you understand what is required in the way of legalised translations.

Apr 27, 2018 16:42

Just as an indicator, I recently requested a birth certificate copy online, and it took about three weeks to get it. (Non-complicated, both parents UK citizens). But it's very easy to do on the web.

Apr 27, 2018 18:56

Thank you all. I suspected that might be the case. In theory therefore, ‘the officials’ should reject the original birth certificates and they should be returned to us.
Thank you for all the advice. I shall order certified copies on line as suggested.

Apr 28, 2018 09:13

You will no doubt get it back anyway. However, as said above, you will need a new one (less than 6 months old) translated and certified. If you are doing the 5 year scheme you will need proof of 5 years unbroken social security (I had a 2 week holiday between jobs so failed on that) and if 10 year residence version, you need a language exam certificate. Plus 3 or 4 letters stating that you will be an asset as a Belgian citizen.

Apr 28, 2018 23:47

The legal basis for it all can be found here (in French)

The unacceptability of the original certificates comes about because that concept doesn't exist in Belgian law and administration. Certificates are always extracts of a role and have a limited legal life - 3months for those issued in Belgium, 6 months for those issued elsewhere.

The law refers to the need for foreign certificates to be appostled - all certificates newly issued by the authorities in EU countries are considered to be automatically acceptable as they are.

Apr 29, 2018 10:38