Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in China
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Retention of Belgian nationality

(unofficial translation, in case of unclarity the Dutch or French version prevail)


The Belgian who

  • Was born abroad after Januari 1st, 1967
  • Never received a Belgian ID card or Belgian passport between 18 and 28 years old
  • Never had his principal residence In Belgium between 18 and 28 years old
  • Does not work abroad either for the Belgian government or for a Belgian company or association in accordance with Belgian law
  • Has one or more other nationalities

has to make a declaration stating his intention to retain the Belgian nationality before the age of 28 years old. 

In case of doubt we advise you to make a declaration of retention.

Persons who obtained the Belgian nationality by naturalization, option, regaining (i.e. after expression of will) do not have to make a declaration of retention. 

Persons who obtained the Belgian nationality in a legal manner before their 28th birthday (most of them will have obtained it before their 18th birthday) have to make a declaration of retention.

Anyway, a Belgian who has reached the age of 18 years old and meets most of the conditions that will cause the loss of Belgian nationality can make a declaration of retention if he does not intend to settle in Belgium before his 28th birthday.


This declaration of retention shall be made before the head of the Belgian consular offices at the consular post where you are registered in the consular population register.


We remain at your disposal for further information: check your personal information, giving information concerning the required documents and procedure.

Legal basis: article 22, §1, 5° and article 22, §2 (in effect since 12.07.2018) of the Belgian nationality Code