Changes of nationality

Record number of naturalisations of Britons

Record number of naturalisations of Britons

In July 2019, 272 Britons have acquired the Belgian nationality, i.e. about a hundred more than in the previous month, which was already a record. Over the first 7 months of the year, 1,045 Britons have become Belgian, i.e. 88 % more than in the first 7 months of 2018. Since June 2016 and the Brexit announcement, the number of Britons having acquired the Belgian nationality has reached 3,902. This is three times more than for the 10 years preceding the referendum altogether (from June 2006 to the end of May 2016 - 1,205 cases).

In total, in July 2019, 3,931 persons have acquired the Belgian nationality. The main countries of origin of naturalised Belgians in July are Morocco, the United Kingdom, Romania, Italy and Poland.

These figures come from the provisional monthly results of the statistics on changes of nationality calculated based on Demobel, Statbel’s demographic database.


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.