US

Jan 29 2019

Draft Legislation Proposes Rights of UK Nationals in No-Deal Brexit

Belgium

The situation

According to draft legislation published in Belgium, if the United Kingdom and European Union do not reach a Withdrawal Agreement before Brexit, the rights of UK nationals and their family members residing in Belgium on March 29, 2019 would be guaranteed until December 31, 2020.

A closer look

  • Grace period. A grace period would apply from March 30, 2019 to December 31, 2020 during which UK nationals and their family members with resident status in Belgium on March 29, 2019 would be allowed to keep their status under the same requirements as for qualifying EU nationals. 
  • Pending residency applications. UK nationals and their family members who applied for residency in Belgium before March 30, 2019 would be granted residency rights under the same requirements as for qualifying EU nationals. 
  • Employment. The draft legislation provides no specifics on labour market access rights for UK nationals and their family members. However, Fragomen expects that labour market rights would be granted under the same requirements as for qualifying EU nationals during the transition period. 
  • Arrival post Brexit. Family members of UK nationals already residing in Belgium, who arrive after March 29, 2019 would be granted residency rights under the same requirements as for qualifying EU nationals. The draft legislation does not provide further details on residency rights and labour market access for UK nationals arriving in Belgium post Brexit. There are indications that they would be granted residency and labour rights under the same requirements as for qualifying EU nationals during the transition period. After the transition period, Belgium would most likely apply a regime based on reciprocity with the United Kingdom.



Impact

UK nationals who will continue to work and reside in Belgium past March 29, 2019 should ensure that they take the necessary steps to obtain any documents required to register and obtain resident status in Belgium.

Background

The draft legislation is part of the government’s contingency planning in case no Brexit deal is concluded between the European Union and the United Kingdom before March 29, 2019.

Other EU Member States, including the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden have also announced contingency plans, with more expected soon.

Looking ahead

Final comprehensive legislation as part of contingency planning in case of no Brexit deal have yet to be published; all plans must receive final approval from the Belgian parliament. Fragomen will provide updates on the situation as they become available.

Please contact a Fragomen immigration professional for assistance in planning contingency arrangements in a single project.

For more information, please visit Fragomen's dedicated Brexit site, which contains news, FAQs, and analysis/commentary in the form of blogs, videos, webcasts and events.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to beneluxinfo@fragomen.com.