Can anyone recommend a good source of legal advice for a UK national living/working in Belgium legally for 20 odd yrs caught in a Brexit conundrum ?
Preferably in the Liege area.
What sort of "Brexit conundrum"?
If you're looking for advice for your status in Belgium and you've been living / working here legally for 20 years, you certainly don't need a lawyer. Just go to your commune, and apply for Belgian citizenship.
I'm not sure why you need legal advice. There is a set procedure to which you either qualify or you do not. If you have already applied and failed for some reason, the appeal procedure is very slow. Better to put a new application in fixing any errors in the first one.
My wife and I have both lived here for well over 20 years. We have both recently obtained Belgian nationality. Combined with our existing UK nationality (Belgium accepts dual nationality) we can now live, move or work anywhere in the EU or in the UK.
Your local commune should be capable of advising you. Basically there are two options if you have been living/working here for 20 years.
1. Proving that you have been paying Belgian social security for 5 years without any break (and I mean no break - I had 2 weeks between employee and independent status).
2. 10 years residency for which the commune will have your records. In this case, you will need to get a certificate for one of the official languages and a few letters (4 or 5 should do) from Belgians stating that you will be a good member of the community. Get a good mix of these, like your doctor, your employer, your neighbour and make sure they say different things.
You'll probably need a police report saying you are ok. You will need to order a new birth certificate from UK and have it translated and legalised. The multi language version is not always acceptable (yes, it should be but our commune rejected it).
It's a bureaucratic obstacle race but not that difficult.
If all else fails, buy a house in Portugal.
There are more than 2 options for Belgian nationality.
Dear Bobk. Hopefully you are finding a solution. Our dear friend SHORTOF in his usual style has come up with some other options without any explanation. So if you are married to a Belgian, handicapped or of pension age or have a Belgian professional diploma of 400h, there are other options.
My guess is that we are back to the two basic ones I suggested. As ever, talk to your commune.
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