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What protection do I get with the E card?


Hi all,

Relatively new recipient of the E card - arrived in Brussels in May 2016 but it took until last month to get the E card from the commune. I'm a UK passport holder and EU national.

With Brexit on everyone's mind, I want to ask the question that is probably impossible to answer. What protection, if any, will having the E card offer me if things all go wrong with Brexit and it gets harder to work in Belgium? Does having the E card offer me any protection, or does this more kick in when you get the E+ card?

Slightly worried that I've moved to Brussels and within 2 years may have to leave...

Johnny5 Nov 21, 2016 13:27

As an added element to this, my partner has the E card too (we both work) but he has a criminal record in the UK, and so if the E card doesn't offer protection for us living here now and a visa is needed post-Brexit (and so a criminal record extract has to be given to get it) then that may then also cause issues in him not getting a visa...

Oh the fun!

J Nov 21, 2016 14:17

The Belgians are not going to throw you out - you both work => pay taxes. Whatever happens, a solution will be found to keep you paying taxes in Belgium.

anon Nov 21, 2016 17:47

Your e card, doesn't offer you protection.

It's a residence permit.

Mikek1300gt Nov 21, 2016 18:39

The chances of Belgium throwing out resident Brits is zero . There may be restrictions on others coming in the future, but economic reality will prevail.

Life Art Model Nov 21, 2016 18:43

I don't know what protection you're expecting from a residence permit?

The card doesn't grant you immediate Belgian nationality.

I'd be worrying about nonsense like Brexit later.

shortof Nov 21, 2016 20:25

E card offers no protection and no right to social benefits.
E+ card offers permanent residency and can be transferred between other EU countries, but NOT if a criminal record includes a custodial sentence of 2+ years or another if there are issued on public policy, your rights to stay in another EU country is lessened with the 2+ years custodial or if you have history of liking IS for example.

Johnny5 Nov 22, 2016 12:05

Thanks all. To clarify, by protection I meant the right to stay post Brexit rather than any sort of other protection. I suppose it all comes down to the fact that it's a residency permit based on a set of rules that existed at the time, and whether they choose to make that invalid as the UK won't be in the EU anymore (under which the E card was issued).

If they choose to make retrospective changes that would be a pretty petty and nasty thing to do - the UK are now talking about the majority of EU nationals being given the permanent right to remain in the UK after Brexit, but this is more because the vast majority will have been there for 5 years by the time we exit and so they cannot legally kick them out, and not because the UK has chosen to change their tune...

My gut feel is that they aren't going to start going round picking up registered Brits who have been here less than 5 years and kicking them out of Belgium, but who's to know. It does create a bit of worry as we don't know what the future may hold or whether leaving a cushy job in the UK for a life on the continent was the right move anymore!

Don't worry, the Mr isn't a fan of IS so we're all clean there. Just doubt we would get a work visa if Belgium/the EU starts to insist on that at some point for Brits.

anon Nov 22, 2016 12:25

Strangely enough, there are hundreds of Americans, Russians, Japanese, Turks, Morocans, Congolese, and other nationalities living and working in Belgium, and none of them are EU Nationals.

Johnny5 Nov 22, 2016 13:40

Thanks Anon, but I refer you to the point on working visas and my partner - that's more my concern if it comes in

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