Changes of nationality

Belgium recorded 39,275 nationality changes in 2021

Belgium recorded 39,275 nationality changes in 2021

In 2021, 39,275 persons changed their nationality in Belgium. 39,233 persons acquired the Belgian nationality, while 42 were deprived of it. This is what emerged from the figures of Statbel, the Belgian statistical office.

The top five nationalities who obtained Belgian nationality in 2021:

  1. Moroccans (3,698)
  2. Syrians (3,385)
  3. Romanians (1,968)
  4. Iraqi (1,891)
  5. Afghans (1,460)

Change of nationality.

The acquisition and granting of the Belgian nationality are complex legal matters. However, Statbel’s approach for the calculation of nationality changes is very simple: someone changes his/her nationality when his/her nationality as registered in the national register changes.

Therefore, we only take into account the people for whom a nationality has already been registered. Persons who acquire the Belgian nationality when no previous nationality has been registered are not included in these statistics. Also, we only take into account the persons domiciled in our country.

This definition, although without any real legal content, covers a large number of legal categories from the Code of Belgian Nationality (naturalisation, acquisition by declaration, etc.). The condition of having a previous nationality means that a number of situation are not included in this statistic. This is largely the case, for example, when the Belgian nationality is granted based on the nationality of the father or the mother (Art. 8 of the Law of 4 December 2012 and previous laws). Usually, no previous nationality is registered in this case.

The nationality is registered in the national register under “information type 031”. For more information about the acquisition of the nationality and the “information type 031”, please visit the websites of the FPS Home Affairs - Directorate General for Institutions and Population and of the FPS Justice.

There is a change of nationality when the nationality in the National Register of a person domiciled in Belgium as recorded in the information type 031 changes.