A foreigner who marries a Belgian does not automatically receive Belgian nationality. To acquire Belgian nationality, you must be living with your Belgian spouse at the time of the application. Depending on your residence rights in the country, you must also have been living together for a certain time.
Each of the partners must satisfy one of the following conditions:
- have lived together for at least three years in Belgium. This condition applies if, at the time of the application, the foreigner does not have an authorisation to stay in the country for more than three months or to settle here.
- have lived together for at least six months in Belgium. This condition applies if, at the time of the application, the foreigner has authorisation to remain for more than three months in Belgium or to settle here.
The spouse who wishes to acquire Belgian nationality must make a declaration before the municipal Registrar for births, marriages and deaths.
If your main place of residence is abroad, you must make a declaration at the Belgian embassy or consulate. These services will then contact the public prosecutor of the Court of First Instance of Brussels for opinion.
Marriage for foreigners
In Belgium a marriage can be performed if one of the future spouses:
- is a Belgian citizen at the time of the ceremony
- has had his or her place of residence in Belgium for more than three months
Residence in Belgium for more than three months can be demonstrated by any means:
- air ticket
- receipt for rent
- evidence of administrative formalities completed with the authorities
In the event of doubt the Registrar will take a decision.
The Registrar may not refuse to perform the marriage on the grounds of the mere fact that a foreigner is present in the country illegally.
Foreigners must satisfy the marriage conditions of the country in which they have nationality.
For more information, contact the municipal Registrar's Department where you want to be married.