Expatica news

More than 5,000 new citizens in 2004

10 August 2005

BRUSSELS — Some 5,258 foreigners were naturalised in Belgium last year, the majority of whom were Moroccans, it was revealed on Wednesday.

A further 3,023 applications for Belgian citizenship were rejected and about the same number were deferred.

The figures were provided by Parliament chairman Herman De Croo to French-language newspaper ‘La Dernière Heure’.

The newspaper also provides a table outlining where the new Belgian citizens originate from.

Moroccans top the list with 886 approved citizenship applications, followed by 730 Congolese. Serbians are in third place with 452.

Turkish immigrants are ranked 4th with 313 naturalisations, while most other countries are represented in the remaining number of naturalizations.

Immigrants originating from Russia (91), China (55), Poland and Iraq figure more prominently than those from Yemen, Cambodia, Gambia or the US.

Just eight US nationals were granted Belgian citizenship last year.

The Belgian Parliament receives about 12,000 naturalisation applications annually.

The number of approvals was higher in 2004 than the previous year because the adjudication committee met more often.

The report made no mention of the possible impact of the accelerated naturalisation legislation.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news