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16 March 2009

I went to the commune for a parking permit and came home with an application to naturalise

It's true. I've been meaning to do it or thinking of doing it for years. I could have done it since my third year of residency in Belgium. But I had small kids and a million necessary things to do (or one or two things to do, one million times over). Now, since then, several things have happened.

One, the girls are older. More of my brain belongs to myself, once again.

Two, as a direct result of the preceding point, the girls will soon(ish) go to university. I must prepare for that. At the moment they only have US citizenship and no right to pay EU-fees in any EU universities apart from Belgian ones, which will put them at a disadvantage if they want to go to another EU country.

Three, the secondary-school fiasco has frustrated me to the point that I want to vote those socialist party idiots out.

Four, the right to reside permanently in Belgium without the question mark of a 5-year card would be lovely.

An EU passport and right to work anywhere in Europe (five) would also not be amiss.

Six, the girls have known no other home than this country. We have made this place our home.


So, I went to the naturalisation window at the maison communale/gementehuis (town hall) and picked up the papers. This was the only part of the maison communale that did not have at least 10 people waiting in line. It appears to be a fairly straightforward process for me, just a lot of forms. Bonus: once I become Belgian, the girls automatically do too (i.e., there is no separate procedure for them).

I even went home and looked through my papers and found a birth certificate that already has an apostille. (An apostille being this official thing you need to support a document. I never knew what one was either until I came here.) It's a sure sign, I think, that now is the time.

4 comments:

  1. I know S was born in US but wouldn't L have her Belgian citizenship by birth?

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  2. No, kids born in Belgium take on the nationality of their parents. They could become Belgian later by virtue of having lived here a long time, if they want to.

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  3. Strangely enough though, kids born here do gain an extra "chocolate" gene

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