You must meet three requirements for your name to be registered in the register kept by your embassy or consulate:
- You must be Belgian
- Your must not be registered in a population register of a Belgian municipality
- You must prove that your main residence does actually fall within the area of jurisdiction of the embassy or consulate.
Minors must also meet a fourth requirement: they must be registered where one of their parents has been registered.
You must submit a number of documents (see below) to prove that you meet these registration requirements.
Belgian citizens who do not meet these requirements, but who are residing abroad for a protracted period of time, may notify their embassy or consulate of their presence, but will not benefit from the same services as 'registered' Belgians (see above).
Based on the proof you submit that you are no longer registered in a Belgian municipality, the consulate or embassy will register you in its register. When you apply to have your name struck from the register, the municipality in question will issue you with a document called the 'model 8' form, serving as proof that your name has been removed from its list.
If you are already abroad, you may request that your name be struck from the population register of your municipality by sending a letter to your local municipal authorities (Lettre à la commune pour demander la radiation des registres). In principle, you should enclose proof of being settled abroad (e.g. in the form of a certificate issued by the local authorities or by a Belgian embassy or consulate, a copy of your local residence permit, or such like).
If you come from another country where you were registered with an embassy or consulate, you will not have a 'model 8' form. This being the case, the consulate or embassy will contact the consular office of your last place of residence and request the transfer of your administrative file.
When you register, you will be asked to produce the following documents:
- A 'model 8' form if you have come from Belgium;
- your Belgian identity card, as issued by your municipal authority, consulate or embassy;
- the questionnaire Inscription à l'Ambassade, duly filled in, dated and signed;
- a photocopy of your passport;
- a photocopy of your long-term visa (a tourist visa will not suffice) or your local residence permit or local identity card. Since the nature of the documents required may differ according to the local situation, we would recommend that you contact your embassy or consulate beforehand;
- the application form for the federal elections and the proxy form, if applicable (see also the “elections” section)
Once you have registered, please alert the consulate or embassy to:
- Any change in your own civil status or that of members of your family, by submitting an original excerpt from the relevant document, e.g. marriage certificate, divorce certificate, birth certificate, adoption certificate or name change deed);
- any change in the composition of your household;
- any change of nationality;
- any change of address;
- any change of profession;
- your wish to alter your voting method if you have been registered as a voter.
The embassy or consulate will incorporate any changes into your administrative file and modify your records in the National Register. The National Register is the central database kept by the Belgian authorities. Amongst other things it lists the names of all Belgians registered in the population registers administered by a municipal authority in Belgium or a Belgian embassy or consulate abroad.
Each person whose name features in the population registers of an embassy or consulate is entitled to access and rectify their data (both the details listed in the population registers and those inscribed in the National Register). For more information on this subject, please contact your respective Belgian embassy or consulate.