After lengthy negotiations, the Withdrawal Agreement, which sets out the terms of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union, was finally approved on both sides of the Channel. The United Kingdom left the European Union at midnight on 31 January 2020.
The Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transition period from 1 February 2020 to 31 December 2020. During this period, the European regulatory framework will largely continue to apply and UK nationals and their family members will continue to be able to exercise their right to free movement and residence. They did not have to take any further steps to do so.
The purpose of the Withdrawal Agreement is to safeguard the acquired rights of UK nationals and their family members who resided or worked in the European Union as British frontier workers before the end of the transition period. With regard to the right of entry and residence, which is the competence of the Immigration Office, the final steps are currently being taken to implement the Withdrawal Agreement.
All UK nationals and their family members who wish to retain their right of residence must apply for a new residence card as beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement, including those who already hold a valid residence document (annex 8, 8bis, E, E+, F, F+ card). British frontier workers who wish to continue their economic activity after the transition period will have to apply for a new local border traffic card as beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement. Even if they already hold a valid local border traffic document (Annex 15).
The application for a residence card as a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement or for a local border traffic card for beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement must be made within the application period provided for this purpose, which runs from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021. Until then, their rights shall be protected.
All UK nationals and their family members residing in Belgium will shortly be informed personally by letter of the procedure to be followed to apply at the commune for a new residence card as beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement.
You can find more information on the procedure to follow to obtain a new residence card for beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement or a new local border traffic card for beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement and on the impact of the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union on your stay HERE.
DISCLAIMER: this information is only provisional. The legislation to implement the Withdrawal Agreement at the end of the transition period is not yet final. For this reason, the Immigration Office is not at this stage in a position to respond to questions relating to individual cases.