You are a Walloon citizen in the United Kingdom

Visas and residence:

In view of the current uncertainties surrounding the effects of BREXIT on the right of residence of Europeans in the United Kingdom, the best course of action at the moment is to remain attentive and in compliance in terms of administration.

A page, in the form of FAQs, covers the situation of Belgian nationals already settled in the United Kingdom as well as that of Belgians who wish to go there, for a short stay or to settle there. The situation of their family members is also covered.

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Health and social security:

The social protection situation for people moving within the European Union is currently governed by specific European regulations that protect the rights of EU citizens in the area of social protection:

  • these persons are still subject to the legislation of one country and therefore only pay premiums or social contributions in one country;
  • these persons have the same rights and obligations as nationals of the country in which they are insured;
  • with regard to their benefits, the periods elapsed during which these persons were insured, worked or resided in other countries is taken into account (all periods are added together);
  • if these persons are entitled to a benefit from one country, they generally also receive it if they reside in another country (exportability).

These principles and regulations apply to:

  • Walloons who work or reside in the United Kingdom;
  • British nationals who work or reside in the Walloon Region.

Pending a Brexit settlement, they will remain applicable until 29 March 2019 (or the new date established by the extension of the Brexit deadline).

Situation in the event a deal is reached with Europe:

The text of the withdrawal agreement as negotiated between the EU and the United Kingdom provides for two periods:

  • from 30 March 2019 to 31 December 2020 inclusive: a transitional period during which the United Kingdom is no longer a member of the EU. However, European social protection rules remain fully applicable: the situation of Walloons in the United Kingdom is therefore unchanged;
  • from 1 January 2021: EU regulations are no longer applicable. However, certain social protection rights remain guaranteed for Walloons, stateless persons, refugees and EU citizens who have made use of the free movement of persons before 31 December 2020. An arrangement still needs to be worked out for the other situations.

Situation in the event of no-deal with Europe:

A distinction should be made between the following situations:

You live in the United Kingdom:

  • already before 30 March 2019: your rights acquired before that date are guaranteed in the United Kingdom;
  • after 30 March 2019: you will be subject to United Kingdom legislation. In this case, you should contact the relevant British authorities.

You live in the Walloon Region and you are temporarily staying in the United Kingdom after 29 March 2019 (for example, for a holiday or a family visit) or you are seconded to the United Kingdom:

Your rights to social protection remain safeguarded. In effect, the Walloon Government has prepared a draft decree which aims to continue the current situation with regard to the social protection of Walloons in the United Kingdom, until 31 December 2020. For example, in the event of a temporary stay in the United Kingdom, an insured Belgian national will receive a European health insurance card issued by their Belgian mutual insurance company. They will be able to use it to access the National Health Service in the United Kingdom free of charge. This decree is obviously subject to the principle of reciprocity between the Walloon Region and the United Kingdom.

This draft decree will be applicable to all branches of social protection under regional competence, in particular the branches managed by the AViQ in terms of long-term health care, family benefits and assistance allowances for the elderly.

As the draft Walloon decree only covers the competences specific to the Walloon Region, if you wish to have information on the consequences of Brexit regarding matters managed by the Federal Government, we advise you to consult the website of the FPS Social Security. "For any question(s) specifically pertaining to your situation, we also advise you to contact your insurance company".

For questions relating to the availability of medicines and medical devices, the validity of regulations, travel with medicines and orders of products from the United Kingdom, visit the website of the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP).

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Employment and work permit:

Your mobility within the EU and recognition of your professional qualifications by the various Member States is regulated by EU Directive 2005/36/EC. The system of mutual recognition of professional qualifications is guaranteed to continue until 29 March 2019. Beyond that date, it all depends on whether or not an agreement between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom has been reached.

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Students, researchers, professors, recognition of diplomas:

What are the consequences for academic exchanges between the United Kingdom and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation? At this stage, the current British Government has committed itself to unilaterally maintaining the residence rights of European citizens (including students, researchers and professors).
For its part, on 30 January 2019 the European Commission adopted a range of emergency measures guaranteeing, among other things, that young people from the European Union and the United Kingdom participating in the Erasmus+ programme as of 30 March 2019 will be able to continue their stay without interruption.

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Travelling with your pets:

The conditions for travelling to the United Kingdom with pets are not yet known. It is not known whether authorisations will be necessary for non-commercial activities. Please note: the United Kingdom is made up of various regions with a high degree of autonomy in many areas, meaning that applications for authorisations do not always go through a central point.

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Warning: The contents may be modified regularly depending on the negotiations.

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