Same treatment for legal cohabitation vs marriage? [Belgian Citizenship as a non-EU citizen]
Sorry this is going to be a bit of a long post.
I am a non-EU citizen who has resided in Belgium for 7.5 years. I currently hold a F+ card.
Some facts about me:
I have been in a legal cohabitation contract with a Belgian citizen for more than 7 years. My Dutch is at the basic level (Level 1.2). I am studying a Master's degree in the English language at a Belgian University. I have no official economic participation yet. I finished the social integration course many years ago.
Do you think I meet the minimum requirements for apply for Belgian citizenship? I know I probably need to upgrade my Dutch to Level A2, which I have no problem with.
I have some questions though:
According to this article
, does being married have the same status as legal cohabitation when applying for Belgian Citizenship (BC)? Will I have a better chance if I get married? (I don't want to get married for practical reasons but it looks like I have to)
According to the information here
, I was wondering if I am eligible for applying for BC under the "disability' category as I suffer from an incurable condition that makes me unable to hold a job. I wonder if you know of anyone who could obtain BC via this more unusual route?
Also I wonder if anyone knows the overall rejection rate applications for BC? I'd often hear stories where eligible applicants are refused ...
Do you also happen to know which communes have the higher rates of success and faster turnout time?
Many thanks for reading this far. I'd deeply appreciate your advice.
Sorry this is going to be a bit of a short answer.
Go and ask at your commune.
As Anon says, you need to go and talk to the commune.
Strange though it might sound, the person handling your case at the commune can make it easier or harder. Not fair, but they have a lot of control.
Rejections happen, often for strange reasons. If you are being asked for letters that show you will be a good citizen, make sure to get a good mix and from people who know you and will support your application. Your doctor, ex-employer, a lawyer, neighbours are good ones to have. Each letter should be different so that they don't look as if they were all drafted by one person.
There is no harm in adding a letter explaining why you should qualify - history, what you have done in the community etc. Or get one of your friends to do a letter stating this. The officials who stamp the document do not always do research themselves!
Other reasons for rejection are police records, having a break in your ID card history, a break in your social security payments (even 1 week).
So much for being clever and trying to look it up:
"You can consult the registrar in your municipality for further information about the conditions that correspond to acquiring Belgian nationality."
"From the age of 18 a person can obtain Belgian nationality by signing a nationality declaration if that person meets one of the following criteria:
- if one has resided in Belgium for five years provided the person is handicapped, invalid, or retired"
I think that's you. It would depend on your disability be recognised as fitting the definition of "handicapped" or "invalid".
Provided you use the correct declaration procedure and provide all the correct supporting documents, it should be a formality. If you use the wrong procedure, you might end up stuck.