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Belgium: Draft Law on Nationality

(Apr. 21, 2010) On April 2, 2010, the Belgian Council of Ministers endorsed a draft law amending the Belgian Nationality Code. The proposal was presented to the Council by Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck. (Press Release, Premier Ministre de Belgique, Nationalité belge: adaptation des conditions pour l'obtention de la nationalité belge (Apr. 2, 2010), available at

If passed by Parliament, the draft law would establish more stringent conditions for obtaining Belgian nationality through naturalization. A foreigner would have to hold a permanent residence card and show his/her willingness to integrate into Belgian society. The two main criteria for showing integration are knowledge of one of Belgium's national languages and participation in community life. (Id.)

In addition, naturalized citizens may have their Belgian citizenship taken away if they have been sentenced for a criminal offense showing evident hostility towards Belgian society or used their Belgian nationality to commit criminal offenses. Individuals who acquired Belgian citizenship through fraudluent marriage may also be stripped of their citizenship. (Id.)