Once upon a time, Brexit was the topic everyone has an opinion on, not coronavirus.
Brits make up a noticeable chunk of the expats in Belgium, so their future was prime pint conversation back when we could go to bars.
In 2021, it's still a conversation starter among a smaller section of society, as Belgium's Brits face the legal issues clouding their future in the country they set out to make their new home.
The primary concern was if Brits could get a document to prove they were here pre-Brexit. Then the M-card came into being, giving all Brits living in Belgium before 31 December 2020 proof of their status in Belgium.
The next issue came during the first quarter of 2021, as communes warned they couldn't make the cards yet. That particular problem went away with time.
That brings us to the latest issue: citizenship. Here's the crux:
"Despite legislation having been adopted to include M cards among the residence documents accepted as proving the right to work in Belgium, the Royal Decree has not been adapted to include M cards among the residence documents accepted as proving lawful residence for the purposes of acquiring Belgian nationality by declaration." For the full details, see the piece here.
How's your experience with citizenship/registration going (M card or otherwise)? Let me know @johnstonjules
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Belgium has to be careful with implementing relaxations only for people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to infectious disease expert Erika Vlieghe, who is not in favour of the possibility.
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The Brussels Times