The application period is the period starting from the end of the transition period, i.e. from 1 January 2021, and ending on 31 December 2021. This period is foreseen by the Withdrawal Agreement in order to give UK nationals and their families sufficient time to apply for a status of beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement and, according to this agreement, must run at least until July 2021. However, Belgium has opted for a longer period so that all UK nationals and their family members who can claim the status of beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement have time to submit their applications.
During this period, all your (residence) rights to which you are entitled under the Withdrawal Agreement will be protected. In practice, you can continue to use your valid E/E+/F/F+ card during this period, while you have had the opportunity to submit your application and pending a decision and the issue of your new card. You can also continue to use your old E/E+/F/F+ card at the border.
- When should you submit your application?
You must submit your application during the application period running from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021. If you submit your application afterwards, you must prove that you were unable to submit your application during the application period.
- Which procedure do you have to follow to submit your application?
The procedure you have to follow to submit your application varies depending on whether you want a residence status as beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement or a status for local border traffic as a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement.
By submitting an application, you are safeguarding your (residence) rights for the future.
You can submit your application during the application period from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021 but we recommend that you get this sorted out as soon as possible.
You can find the procedure to follow HERE.
As soon as you submit your application, you will receive a certificate temporarily protecting your (residence) rights and/or rights at the border pending a decision on your application. This document is valid for three months and can be extended by 3 months until a decision is taken. This document will also state that you have unrestricted access to the Belgian labour market.
You can use this document both in Belgium and at the internal and external borders of the European Union to prove that your application has been made and that you are temporarily to enjoy all the rights under the Withdrawal Agreement until a decision on the application has been taken.
As a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement, you will retain your residence rights even after the transition period, with the sole exception that you will have a new residence card for beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement.
If a positive decision is taken, you will receive your residence card for beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement (M card) or local border traffic card for beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement (N card).
If you lodge an appeal against a negative decision taken by the Immigration Office, you will receive an annex 35 which temporarily covers your stay until the Council for alien law litigation takes a decision on your case.
If you submit your application between 1 January 2021 and 1 October 2021, you must complete your application before the end of the application period, i.e. until 31 December 2021. Failure to do so will result in the application being declared inadmissible. We recommend that you rectify this as soon as possible.
If you submit your application after 1 October 2021, you must complete your application within 3 months. Failure to do so will result in the application being declared inadmissible. We advise you to put this in order as soon as possible.
You can follow the same procedure as other British people with a valid E card (see procedures). Your application will be processed in the same way. In the event of a positive decision, you will be issued with your new residence card for beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement (M card).