- I am an expat
- I am an organisation
UK citizens are an important part of the cosmopolitan tapestry of life in Brussels. The Brussels-Capital Region has for many decades had a large community of British “expats” - residents who are UK citizens. Like all of Brussels diverse communities, the British in Brussels contribute significantly to the economic prosperity and intellectual capital of the Region, as well as its cultural vibrancy. Brexit does nothing to change these facts, but it did have a major impact on the Region’s long-term and newly arrived UK residents.
As one of the Region’s primary providers of advice to International Brusselers, especially through our Expat Welcome Desk, commissioner.brussels has supported UK citizens in these difficult times. We have thereby become a hub of expertise on the administrative difficulties which impact the British in Brussels. With this dedicated UK Citizens & Brexit Helpdesk on our website, accompanied by series of webinars and newsletters throughout 2023, we hope to offer UK citizens a useful guide to life in Brussels in the post-Brexit era.
The content of this Helpdesk is divided into parallel chapters for UK citizens who were already registered in Belgium before the end of the Brexit transition period (31 December 2020) and those arriving after this cut-off date. The legal context for these two groups is radically different, so make sure that you are reading the right pages for your status!
This UK Citizens & Brexit Helpdesk, the webinars and our newsletter have all been developed in a project funded by the EU’s Brexit Adjustment Reserve, as part of a package of activities coordinated by Brussels International.
Our project also includes a research and analysis element, which we called the “Brexit Impact Scan”. Combining perspectives from population data, an online survey, an evaluation of the enquiries we receive, and an assessment of the new legal frameworks and procedures, we have drafted some reflections on the consequences of Brexit for UK citizens in Brussels. The report does not claim to be a rigorous scientific study, but it does offer a snapshot of a community in flux and the administrative challenges they face.
This UK Citizens & Brexit Helpdesk has been developed in cooperation with the legal experts at global immigration firm Fragomen, who also worked with us to manage the webinars and draft the newsletters.