Almost 340,000 new Belgians
16 April 2007
BRUSSELS- The simplified naturalisation process has already resulted in 337,904 new Belgian citizens. That is an average of 4,277 a month, Home Affairs Minister Patrick Dewael (Flemish liberal Open Vld) has informed MP Pieter De Crem (Flemish Christian democrat CD&V).
The simplified naturalisation process allows foreigners who have been living in Belgium legally for seven years to acquire Belgian nationality by applying to the civil registry in their home municipality. They are no longer required to demonstrate knowledge of the language and prove their willingness to integrate.
The law came into effect on 1 May 2000 and Dewael’s figures are from up until 31 December 2006. Changes to the law came into effect on 1 January 2007 however, shortening the residency requirement to three years rather than seven.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Belgian news