+32 487 84 65 40 info@nansenrefugee.be

Registering children at birth is a crucial mechanism for preventing statelessness. Today in Belgium, there are certain – understandable – difficulties in obtaining Ukrainian passports for Ukrainian newborns. 


Here is some key information: 

  • Under Ukrainian law, newborn babies must be registered immediately, although no later than one month after birth (Section 5 of the Civil Code). 
  • The birth certificate must be obtained and made available by Belgium as soon as possible (this procedure is often carried out/initiated at the hospital). 
  • If the embassy reports difficulties or a temporary inability to produce the passport, as a last resort and as a provisional measure, newborn babies can also be registered in their mother’s passport. 
  • Ukrainian nationality at birth is obtained by one or both parents, applying the rule of jus sanguinis at birth. The legislation also provides for jus soli rules, applicable to third-country nationals, persons of undetermined nationality and stateless persons (Article 7 of the Civil Code). 
  • In 2001, a new law on Ukrainian citizenship introduced a simplified procedure for acquiring Ukrainian nationality, under which applicants are no longer required to renounce their previous nationality (thus becoming stateless) before applying for Ukrainian citizenship. People with ties to Ukraine are no longer required to have a good command of the Ukrainian language and five years’ legal residence. 


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