Immigration. Travel. Living.

Belgium: residence permit getting

Flag of Belgium

We will describe below what legal grounds for emigration should be and the main ways of getting a residence permit in Belgium.

Citizens from the third countries, which are not members of the European Union, to obtain a residence permit in Belgium, first of all, must apply to the Belgian Consulate in their country and open a long-term visa (type D). Diplomatic officials will provide the necessary assistance in preparing documents and clarifying individual requirements for foreigners, depending on the purpose of the move.

After arriving in the country, no later than 8 days, you must appear at the municipal administrative office (maison communale/gemeentehuis) at your place of residence to register in the register of foreigners. This is a mandatory procedure for all persons planning to stay in Belgium for more than 3 months. It is very important to collect the maximum number of documents confirming legal stay in the country and the right to get a Belgian residence permit.

Requirements for documents

Depending on the situation, the requirements for the list of documents may differ, let’s highlight the main ones:

  • A valid international passport.
  • At least four-color photographs.
  • Medical insurance.
  • Certificate of no criminal record and dangerous diseases.
  • Proof of residence in the state (lease or property ownership).
  • Proof of financial security (bank statement, employment contract, scholarship, etc.).

The grounds for obtaining a residence permit in Belgium are a work permit, enrollment in a university, a marriage certificate, and other reasons.

Within a few weeks, the documents are under consideration, and in case of a positive decision, the foreigner receives a special ID card, in other words, a residence permit. Initially, a residence permit in Belgium is issued for one year with the right to renew. Continuous residence in this country for more than 5 years allows you to obtain permanent residence, and, under certain conditions, citizenship.

More information about the ID card can be found on the official website of the Belgian Immigration Office, where, in addition to French and Dutch, information is available in English.

For the purpose of family reunification

man in white shirt carrying girl in gray shirt

Family members and financially dependent relatives can join a foreigner with a permit in the country:

  • Legal spouses and partners.
  • Minor children (under 18 years old), including adopted ones. Dependent relatives, including adult children and parents, if guardianship is formalized.

To get a residence permit in Belgium on the basis of family reunification, an immigrant will need to document the relationship, as well as have sufficient living space and income level for all relatives to live in the country.

For the purpose of employment

For professional immigration to Belgium with the subsequent receipt of a residence permit, first of all, you need to find a Belgian employer who will issue a work permit for a foreigner. This is not so easy to do. Skills, language skills and education, and most importantly, competition with local citizens and Europeans play a key role in this matter.

Depending on the length of stay in the country, the status of a foreigner, and some other factors, there are different types of work permits in Belgium (A, B, C). However, the most prestigious employment option is considered to be the EU Blue Card. The document is issued only to highly qualified specialists with sufficient experience and a salary of at least 56.1 thousand Euros per year.

For the purpose of training

Studying at one of the universities involves obtaining a residence permit in Belgium. Belgium has a fairly high-quality education, diplomas from local universities are quoted almost all over the world, a large number of programs are presented in English. In most cases, a permit to stay in the country is issued only upon admission to an accredited educational institution for the full-time department. Basic requirements for an international student:

  • Confirmation of admission to a Belgian university.
  • Proof of financial means to live in the state.

The amount must be at least 670 Euros per month.

On average, tuition fees at Belgian universities for third-country nationals (outside the EU) are 4175 Euros per year.

For the purpose of doing business

The investment attractiveness of Belgium is known all over the world. This is facilitated by a favorable geographic location, a high level of income of the population, an effective tax policy of the government, a transparent legal system, and many other factors. One of the main conditions for obtaining a residence permit in Belgium by foreigners, due to the conduct of business in the country, is the issuance of a professional card.

Only the presence of this document will allow you to fully conduct business in Belgium and, accordingly, issue a permit to stay in the state. Local officials consider in detail each application, namely the prospects of a business project, financial capabilities, experience and skills of an entrepreneur, and most importantly, the future effect of a particular type of activity on the Belgian economy.

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