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Naturalisation- waited 5 years- REJECTED


Hi Xpats!

A quick phone call to the Chamber this morning reveals that after 5 years of pure waiting I've been rejected for Naturalisation (been living her for over 12+ years) I will receive a letter within 3 weeks, I'm told. I ask the reason and the person only said I've been in contact with the courts (speeding fine?!)

What's my option now?!
Could I just go via declaration route?

Does that ensure a 'yes' without having to endure some kind of 'chamber review'- I'm certainly qualifying (language, finance, integrated etc.)

le sigh, back to the drawing board after soooo long...

Phil Cole Mar 27, 2017 12:43

Wow. That sounds very tough - rejected for a speeding fine that went to court?? Was that in Belgium or another country.

Anywho - at this stage my suggestion would be to contact a notary who deals with naturalisation. You will get a range of answers here but as we don't know all the details and each file is unique, the best advice will be from an expert.

The info I know (and please do take with a pinch of salt) is that you can appeal. But, the commune have told me that appears can take up to a year. So you could end up appealing, waiting a year, and the answer is the same as it's rare for them to change their mind. However, I have been told that you can just submit a new application, and it will be looked at with a fresh set of eyes.

However, I can see why things might have taken so long. The rules changed in January 2013, and if you have waited 5 years it suggests that you could have applied under the old rules.

There is a blog which talks about someone who has been through the appeals process in Belgium when they're initial application was refused - you can see it here - https://cheeseweb.eu/2014/11/applying-belgian-citizenship/

Sorry I cannot help anymore. I believe you should speak to an immigration/naturalisation lawyer as your first step.

Phil Cole Mar 27, 2017 13:05

Having just spoken to some colleagues... it seems the rules that changed in January 2013 completely altered the "easy" route to becoming a Belgian citizen. You used to be able to apply through naturalisation as a matter of course, however in 2013 the rules on naturalisation were changed meaning that you could only apply via that route if you were an exceptional candidate - athlete, scientist, or had or could offer outstanding service to the Belgian state. Even under the old rules from 2012 and before, only 26% of people who applied via the naturalisation route were approved.

So I believe your option now is to go via the general citizenship route, which requires (amongst other things):
- speak at least one of the three national languages;
- integrated into society;
- Have worked at least 468 days in Belgium during the previous five years

For the declaration route, you have to satify one of the below:
- Born in Belgium without any interruptions since birth; or
- be the parent of a Belgian child; or
- Be married to a Belgian citizen and lived together for the past 3 years and you have resided yourself in Belgium for at least 5 years; or
- Resided in Belgium for 5 years and be handicapped, invalid or retired; or
- have lived in Belgium for at least 5 years and have an unlimited residence permit in Belgium;

themissus Mar 27, 2017 15:14

Thanks to those who answered- I just needed a little 'support'.

As a fact, I applied under the old scheme and endured the period of no-govn't-limbo as well during this 5 years span...
I was rejected 1 year ago due parking tickets (?) - some erroneously still on record- clarified the facts with proofs from Police etc., and appealed with the help of a lawyer and now have been officially rejected again. (nothing egregious here!)

At this point, I've been married to an EU-national for some time who will apply later this year, and our children and I will follow up later this year.

Honestly, I completely understand it's a privilege to become a citizen of Belgium, and I do not wish to understate that- but after 12 years, a full time career, marriage, children, and all that goes with it- this has been a colossal waste of time, money (multiple sworn translations, lawyers, days lost, etc..) it's been more headache than it's worth.

shortof Mar 27, 2017 15:25 Marked as helpful by the topicstarter

Got nationality by declaration after 4 months.
5 years proof of income.
Translated and legalised birth certificate.

That was all I needed.

A handful of people since 2013 have got nationality by naturalisation. You should have withdrawn your application 5 years ago and have used declaration route.

shortof Mar 27, 2017 15:27

Oh it also cost just 270 euro. 200 for déclaration process fees and 70 for translation and legalisation.

themissus Mar 27, 2017 15:33

Thank you Shortof,

Could you provide the link for declaration you followed?

Also, in what way did you provide the proof of income ( I have no problems there, but I'd like an example that's all!)

And in which Commune did you apply? (as a point of reference)

Thank you!

Judeporche Mar 27, 2017 17:09

I need an urgent reply.I was removed officially from Belgium National register due to not having an official address for over 3months and I have gone to the commune where I live to officially change to my new address and the commune told me that they will have to ask the permission of immigration office in Brussel before they can officially register me back again.My question now is that how long does it take before immigration will take decision and what will be outcome of the decision because I am working and I will be expecting my tax paper so because my new address is not officially register in the national register in Belgium.The commune said Immigration has the right to say either yes or no.and if immigration ask them to register me then I will be officially be register back to Belgium national register.

shortof Mar 27, 2017 20:19

Top google search with words "declaration nationalite belgique"
All you need to know about the declaration procedure which has been in place for over 4 years which you would have been better applying for 4 years ago. You do still have to undergo a "good person" search so if you have a record, that might make a difference.
It is not relevant where you apply, you just need to supply the relevant documents.

shortof Mar 27, 2017 20:21

Proof of income is with annual income statements plus the payslips for 2018 if you apply now.

themissus Mar 29, 2017 13:36

I got the official letter yesterday afternoon- no real reason was identified, only 'negative aspects' in my dossier.
I don't even know what those could be- the most 'terrible' thing I've done is have parking tickets.
Meh- I'm going to go via declaration now!


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