Many of our community have received a letter similar, or even identical, to the attached and are unsure as to what it means or what to do about it so I thought I would give some background information and then direction.

Due to the UK’s exit from the EU in January this year the residency rules have changed for those who are resident in the EU but hold a UK citizenship.  Early this year letters were distributed by the Belgium Immigration Office informing those non-Belgium residents that the rules had changed and that the Residency card held had changed, it also gave a deadline for applying to transfer to the new ‘M’ Residency card.

This letter is a follow up reminder (albeit the only letter some of you will have received if you arrived through the year) that the deadline for the applications is due to expire at the end of the year.

So What?

Quite simply the change in residency status DOES NOT apply to those who hold, or are entitled to hold, a special Protocol ID, therefore all personnel supported by the UK NSE, either as an employee or a family member, will retain their rights to the Protocol ID.  The process and rules for application, renewal and cancellation of Protocol IDs have not changed due to Brexit, this means that for those with an Protocol ID (or those who have applied for or will be applying for one) there is NO FURTHER ACTION required.

This message does not apply to those who may have applied to work on the Belgium Net or those who do not have an entitlement to a Protocol ID.  If you fall into one of those brackets the advice is to go and speak with your local commune to ensure there is no action for you. 

The NSE is not able to advise personnel on their residency status if it is outside of the special Protocol ID guidelines, the HNLO may be able to assist in some circumstances – please email the Community Hub mailbox ( with your issue/question.