Citizenship in Belgium | How to get an EU Passport
Borders separate countries and citizens. Being born in between these imaginary lines can have a dramatic impact on the rest of your life, if the land of your birthplace grants citizenship on the basis of jus soli.
For instance, if you were born on Brazilian soil, then you will be conveyed Brazilian citizenship, regardless of your parents’ nationality.
Other countries have jus sanguinis citizenship, Latin for the right of blood. If you are born in Thailand, for instance, it makes little difference unless one or both of your parents are Thai nationals.
Bound by laws, customs and governments, some people are born in a place more fortunate than others. If you happen to be born in North Korea… well, you aren’t allowed to leave for almost any reason.
Choosing Your Own Life
Even if you weren’t dealt a shorthand, it might become necessary or desirable for you to renounce your citizenship. You won’t be alone… several famous billionaires have renounced American citizenship.
You don’t need to be a billionaire. You just need to have another passport and citizenship from a different country. In fact, in 2012, it is estimated that 8000 US citizens will renounce their citizenship.
Governments and Power
Being the most powerful institutions in the world, governments have the power to exert tremendous control over your life. They can force you to pay taxes, enlist you in a war, control where you live or travel, who you do business with; many different facets of life are affected by your environment. Some may even threaten to take away your ability to leave and take away your most valuable document, your passport.
Even if you decide to leave your home country, you will sometimes feel the impact from your government back home. If you are American, your banking options are restricted. If you are from a county with difficult visa policies, such as Russia, travel can become burdensome. Imagine if you were a legitimate Nigerian businessman – could you imagine the difficulty of engaging in commerce?
You Have a Choice
As an entrepreneur or investor, you are a valuable member of society, and countries have begun to compete for the producers – or even someone willing to be flexible with their time and location – so you can get a legitimate citizenship and passport.
Passport: The Freedom Document
While you are stuck with only one citizenship, your life is completely in the hands of your government. They have the right to tax you, steal your assets, and restrict your freedom of movement.
Having a second passport gives you direct access to live and work in another country, the ability to travel, access to freedom – the benefits of a 2nd passport are tremendous. You may also have access to different banking and investment opportunities. Above all else, you have the ultimate insurance policy: an escape hatch, a lifeboat, your last resort.
There are many different legitimate options for citizenship around the world, and there are also passport scams. It can be difficult to differentiate between erroneous and certified information. That’s why I’ve written a guide to alternative citizenship.
The cost of delay.
One of them where you can get a passport in just a few months is the small Caribbean nation of Dominica.
St Kitts is another country where citizenship can be essentially bought through an investment in real estate, or through a donation to the government. The citizenship in Kitts and Nevis program has seen such high demand, they also raised fees in 2012. Other than these two countries, there are very few officially recognized instant citizenship programs in the world.
Citizenship is the basis upon which the rest of your life is often built. Many times it is ignored, and it can be taken from you, leaving you stateless with NO options. Take action and secure your 2nd citizenship today.
One citizenship that I go over in robust detail is the process for citizenship in Belgium.
Citizenship in Belgium
Belgium is an interesting option for citizenship, but the problem is that it is part of the Euro – which is politically and fiscally bankrupt. It is also a high tax location, but it can be tax efficient as an investor, as there are no capital gains taxes in Belgium.
Belgium is worthy of consideration as an alternative citizenship, particularly if you want to spend some time in a European nation.
In general, a Belgian citizenship can be applied for after only 3 years of residency.
1. Arrive in Belgium
If you are American, You can go into Belgium for 90 days visa free. Apply for residency. Make sure you get some sort of permanent residency, and you are listed on an address list.
If you can demonstrate that you are economically independent, generally you don’t have a problem getting approved. You should apply for an ID card – and awarded residency from long stay visa. You don’t need to maintain a physical residence in Belgium.
2. Permanent Residency In Belgium for 3 years
You do need to maintain an address and keep your residency up to date. However, you will be able to move freely throughout the Eurozone. Renew residence permit annually, then apply for naturalization. You don’t have to buy property. The more you can demonstrate ties to the country, the better off you will be.
3. Apply for Belgian Citizenship
Go to consulate or commune and receive
- A stamped copy of your identification card
- Stamped printed list of all your residences in Belgium. Each official stamp costs EUR8.50
- Get an original of your birth certificate translated by an official translator – a Traducteur Assermente
- Official form of application for Belgian citizenship.
The application is detailed, and has questions regarding immediate family members and their place of birth. You will be asked to state a clear reason as to why you want Belgian citizenship, and you will also make a statement declaring loyalty to the Belgian state and the Belgian King – which you must copy in your handwriting and sign.
You may also need to certify your birth certificate when you apply for Belgian citizenship, and take this document to a Greffe who will give you an official stamp. You meet with a Greffe at a Palais de justice. In Brussels, the Palais de Justice can be found next to the Louise Metro stop.
Submit your application, your certified, stamped birth certificate, to the Chambre des Representants, which is located on Boulevard de Région.
Your full citizen application needs to include:
- Printed list of legal Belgian residencies (with official Commune stamp)
- Official photocopy of your Belgian ID card (with official Commune stamp)
- Certified copy of your birth certificate
- Official translation of your birth certificate (official stamps from Traducteur Assermente AND the Greffe at the Palais de Justice)
- Your completed citizen application form, with signed statements of loyalty.
Your citizenship can be processed under an expedited process, or it can take up to two years to complete the process.
Proficiency in Dutch or French is sometimes required for the final step in the process to receive citizenship and passport from Belgium, though others have reported that they received citizenship without being fluent in Dutch or French.
A common misconception is that a passport in Belgium can take 7 years to acquire. While after 7 years of permanent residency, Belgian citizenship is seen as a right (basically automatically granted) – there are expedited timelines for qualified citizens, who wish to apply for citizenship at the discretion of the Belgian government.
If a citizenship in Belgium isn’t suitable for your situation, consider a different alternative 2nd citizenship.