Embassy of Belgium in the UK – providing more than just services and updates

Belgium-born people permanently living in the UK can rely on the services offered by the Embassy of Belgium, which is situated in London. Apart from processing Belgian passports and life certificates for its nationals, the Embassy also provides services to foreign nationals related to visa applications. The Visa Section is open from Monday to Friday between 2 and 4.30 pm.

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Belgians prepare for Brexit: Should we stay, or should we go?

In light of the recent changes in legal regulations caused by the uncertainties caused by Brexit, it is recommended that all Belgian citizens residing in the United Kingdom stay up to date with the most recent changes as information becomes available. According to the latest updates, Belgian embassy officials are not in a position to make any recommendations to Belgian nationals permanently residing in the UK as to whether it is best to leave the country or wait until further notice.

At this stage, it is likely that any Belgian citizens who have been lawfully residing in the UK for the past five years will have the right to apply for permanent residence. The regulations have not been formally announced yet, therefore, according to the information provided on the official page of the Embassy of Belgium in the United Kingdom, any Belgian citizens wishing to remain in the UK after Brexit formally takes place must keep all relevant documentation in order.

Gambling regulations in the UK

Another hot potato on the table of Belgian officials is related to the changes in the UK gambling legislation. Thus, since the introduction of a number of new restrictions on advertising of gambling ads targeting a younger demographic, particularly minors and vulnerable audience, on 1 April 2019, betting and gaming operators in the UK must keep their advertising and marketing campaigns compliant with the new law in order to remain licensed.

The ban on gambling ads makes it illegal to place any advertising campaigns related to gambling and sports betting. This involves all media channels, including TV and internet ads. The new legislation also prohibits gambling operators from featuring celebrities and sportspeople who are under the age of 25 in their advertising campaigns. The goal is to reduce gambling addiction rates. Therefore, the Embassy of Belgium reminds its nationals to stay up to date with these changes and abide by the law at all times.

One of the newer states to online gambling change is in the South African territories. Having made online gambling legal in 2011, they have taken the UK model (the model that allow site like Lucky Monkey to be launched) and had success with it.

Non-EU nationals visiting Belgium

As part of its customer-facing services, the Embassy of Belgium in the UK provides assistance with the visa application process to all visitors coming to Belgium from non-EU countries. Most importantly, such applications for a Schengen visa can be made online. The visa processing time depends on the nationality for some nationals; however, the average time is between 12 to 15 days.

Here is a brief summary of the application process:

1. Fill in the online Application Form

2. Attend your Visa appointment at the Embassy of Belgium UK

3. Provide all the required documentation to the Visa Section

4. Once your visa is processed, you will receive it in your passport via post.

For further information and assistance, the Embassy of Belgium in the United Kingdom invites the general public to get in touch via email and book an appointment.