Nationality defines our belonging to a community. It’s the juridical belonging of a person to a state’s constituent population. Belgian nationality can be acquired through 3 different possibilities :
- Through attribution of nationality
- Through declaration of nationality
- Through naturalization
Each procedure is submitted to specific conditions. Introducing the request does not mean automatic obtention of the Belgian nationality. A child can be Belgian by right before the age of 18 if he/she meets certain conditions imposed by law and, optionally, following a request filed by one of his/her Belgian parents. This is called attribution of Belgian nationality. As from 18 years of age, a person can become Belgian following a voluntary personal request. This is called acquisition of Belgian nationality. Finally, naturalization, which concerns only adult people, is a favor granted by the House of Representatives (Belgian Parliament). This procedure is from now on exclusively reserved to stateless people who have lived in Belgium for 2 years as well as persons who are unable to acquire Belgian nationality through ordinary procedures and who can justify or demonstrate “exceptional merits”.