Since October 2021, newly issued residence permits for third-country nationals will contain the ISO three-letter code indicating nationality according to the European uniform model, instead of the fully written out nationality.
The ISO three-letter code is printed on the front side of the residence document under the section “Nationality”. Please note that the provisions below therefore do not relate to what is printed on the back of the residence document in the MRZ.
For example: a residence permit type A (limited stay) issued in 2022 to an Albanian national by a municipality located in Flanders contains the ISO three letter code "ALB" under nationality. Residence permits issued before October 2021 still had "Albanië" under nationality.
Residence permits issued to EU citizens also contain the ISO three letter code indicating nationality since May 2021, instead of the full written nationality.
On the PDF document in annex you can find the overview per nationality which the corresponding the ISO three-letter code is on the Belgian residence permits according to the European uniform model;
On the page General Principles you will find an overview of the principles for travelling on the bases of residence permits. Principle 1 determines: “The following 5 identity parameters have to match 100% between the travel document and the residence permit: Name, First Name, Sex, Date of Birth and Nationality. If there is not a 100% match than it is not possible to travel with that combination.” Thus, the nationality on the residence permit indicated by the ISO three-letter code must correspond to the nationality indicated on the travel document used.
For the following Belgian residence permits, the nationality remains fully written out on the permit:
- Residence permits delivered to third country nationals before October 2021;
- Residence permits delivered to EU citizens before May 2021;
- Residence permits which are not delivered according to the European uniform model.
A limited number of three-letter codes on Belgian residence cards refer to special categories of third country nationals registered in the Belgian National Register. These three-letter codes below do not appear on the above website as they originate from the codes of the Belgian National Register.
Entities and territorial authorities not recognised as states by at least one Member State:
- Kosovo : RKS
Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China
- SAR Hong Kong: CHN
- SAR Macau: CHN
British citizens who are not nationals of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- British nationals (overseas): GBN
- British overseas territories citizens: GBD
- British overseas citizens: GBO
- British protected persons: GBP
- British subjects: GBS
Refugee (in the sense of Article 1 of the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 relating to the status of refugees), this includes both recognitions by Belgium and recognitions by other states: XXB.
Accompanying travel document: recognised refugees must travel with a travel document issued by the State offering them protection. They cannot travel on the basis of a travel document issued by their country of origin. Recognised refugees may never travel with the national passport of their country of origin
Stateless Person (in the sense of Article 1 of the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons of 28 September 1954) recognized by Belgium: XXA.
Accompanying travel document: this person must travel with a travel document issued by Belgium.
Registration in the Belgian National Register as "Indefinite (in Dutch: Onbepaald / in French: Indéterminé / in German: Unbestimmt)": XXX
Accompanying travel document: this person must travel with a laissez-passer delivered by Belgium (sole exception for Palestinians with XXX on residence card, see category below)
Three possible codes for Palestinians, depending on the individual case:
- Palestine: PSE. This concerns Palestinians who were not recognized as refugees and who originate from areas under Palestinian control (Gaza and the West Bank) and have Palestinian nationality.
Accompanying travel document: the person concerned must travel with a travel document with indication nationality "Palestine" issued by the Palestinian Authority.
- Of palestinian origin: XXB. Refugee (in the sense of Article 1 of the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 relating to the status of refugees), this specifically a recognition by Belgium.
Accompanying travel document: these Palestinians are recognized as refugees by Belgium, therefore they must travel with a travel document indicating “refugee”. They cannot travel on the basis of a travel document provided another state or by the Palestinian authorities.
- Of palestinian origin: XXX. This concerns Palestinians who were not recognised as refugees by Belgium and who did not come from a territory under Palestinian control (e.g. they came from Lebanon, Jordan, ...), and who have a Palestinian origin.
Accompanying travel document: the person concerned cannot travel on the basis of a travel document issued by the Palestinian authorities. The person concerned must travel on a travel document issued by another state (e.g. Lebanon) with the indication nationality "Palestine".