Brexit Update: your rights as a UK citizen in Belgium

what changes on 1 January 2021

On 31st January 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union. A transition period followed, lasting until 31st December 2020 during which time, freedom of movement continued to apply. This transition period ends on 1st January 2021, which means you will have to apply for a new status as a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Withdrawal Agreement protects the right of residence for UK nationals and their families who have been living in Belgium. It also protects the exit and entry rights of UK frontier workers in Belgium.

Belgium has opted for an extended application period lasting until 31st December 2021 in order to make sure you have sufficient time to submit your application. During this period, the rights of UK nationals living in Belgium before the end of the transition period, and their family members, are protected.

We strongly recommend that you apply as soon as possible in order to protect your rights for the future and ensure as smooth a transition as possible. You can apply for your new card from 1st of January 2021 until the 31 of December 2021.

The new residence document

If you have a residence right, you will receive a residence card for beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement (M card). This card has a validity of 5 years, after you which you can renew your card or apply for a permanent residence right.

The new document for local border traffic

If you have a status as a frontier worker, you will receive a card for local border traffic as beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement (N card). This card has a validity of 5 years, after you which you can renew your card.

Download the full letter from the Belgian State Secretary for Asylum and Migration.

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