Foreigner outside the EU, or EEA, or Switzerland and not related to a subject of the EU, EEA or Switzerland

Short stay and tourist visa

When a foreigner arrives in Brussels as a tourist, he/she must register his/her presence (except when he/she is staying in a hotel) at info.EtrangersVreemdelingen@brucity.be

Required:

  • National passport with visa C (tourist visa) or his/her national passport + legal residency of a country of the EU, EEA or Switzerland or only in the possession of his/her passport if he/she is exempt from the tourist visa requirement (examples of exempted countries: United States, Japan, Albania,…)
  • 10 euros
  • a photo

He/she will receive a declaration of arrival. This is a very important document: it covers the foreigner's legal stay in Belgium. With this declaration of arrival he/she must also specify the name and the exact address of the person who is housing him/her.

First registration in the immigration register

If you do not have the nationality of a member state of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, and are not bound (by marriage, partnership or direct descent) to a national of a member state of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, and you want to settle in Brussels permanently, you must register via: info.EtrangersVreemdelingen@brucity.be

Holders of a settlement visa (visa D)

There is a whole series of visa D: family reunification, stay with restriction to the work permit, the professional card, the activities, student visa,...

People without visa D but who legally stay in Belgium (short stay or tourist visa) and who want to settle as an employee

This is possible subject to submission of all required documents (see Required documents) during the legal stay.

Family reunification​

The right to family reunification does not apply anymore for people entering the country with a visa C, except when:

  • the applicant has a visa C with a view to marriage or a partnership and submits all required documents (see Required documents)
  • the applicant is a minor
  • the applicant is the parent of an unaccompanied minor or of a minor under subsidiary protection

The right to family reunification also applies to the foreigner who is exempt from visa requirement for short stays (e.g. the United States, Serbia, Japan,…) or who is in the possession of a valid legal residency of a member state of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland. All required documents must be submitted during the legal stay (see Required documents).

Please note: in this category the family reunification concerns the spouse, the partner, the children younger than 18 (exception: unmarried disabled child of 18 or older) of the other foreigner, not the ascendants (with the exception of the aforementioned exception: parent of an unaccompanied minor or a minor under subsidiary protection).

Moreover, the spouses or partners must at least be 21 = (18 if the marital bond or registered partnership precedes the arrival of the other foreigner in Belgium). The other foreigner must also already have an unlimited legal residency for at least 12 months (except for the minor common child, the disabled child from 18, a relative of a certified refugee or if the marital bond or registered partnership preceded the arrival of the other foreigner in Belgium).

This condition is not applicable if the other foreigner has a restricted legal residency (e.g.: spouse of a person whose legal residency is restricted to the duration of the work permit).

National passport
Holders of a settlement visa (visa D);

  • family reunification: as a function of the personal situation of family reunification (spouse, child), submission of a certificate of marriage or birth certificate (translated, legalised, with a marginal note (apostille), depending on the circumstances)
  • employee: work permit B
  • self-employed person: professional card
  • stay limited to the activities: certificate regarding the activities in question and possible exemption from work permit
  • student: final registration in the school/university specified on the visa. If it concerns a stay restricted to the scholarship certificate of the scholarship, if it concerns a stay restricted to the study exchange: the certificate of the exchange.
  • ...

Without visa D but with legal stay in Belgium:

  • Employee exempted from visa C or in the possession of a valid legal residency of a member state of the EU, EEA or Switzerland: submission of a work permit B + standard medical certificate (the Immigration department can provide a copy that needs to be filled out by a GP) + extract from the criminal records (translated, legalised, with a marginal note (apostille), depending on the circumstances).
  • Self-employed persons exempted from visa C or in the possession of a valid legal residency of a member state of the EU, EEA or Switzerland: submission of a professional card + standard medical certificate (the Immigration department can provide a copy that needs to be filled out by a GP) + extract from the criminal records (translated, legalised, with a marginal note (apostille), depending on the circumstances).
  • Family reunification:
    • For the spouse: submission of a certificate of marriage (translated, legalised, with a marginal note (apostille), depending on the circumstances), it must be an original deed , not a transcription.
    • For the partner of the other foreigner in the context of a long-term relationship: submission of the foreign registered partnership (translated, legalised, with a marginal note (apostille), depending on the circumstances) or the statement of legal cohabitation (to be registered by the Marriages and legal cohabitation department) + proof of a long-term relationship (birth certificate of a common child, proof that the partners have known each other at least 2 years or of actual cohabitation in another country of at least 1 year)
    • For the child of the other foreigner: submission of a certificate of birth (translated, legalised, with a marginal note (apostille), depending on the circumstances), guardianship/ custody (if the child is joining one of the two parents)
    • For these 3 categories of family reunification other documents are also required: the registered lease contract or deed of property of the other person + standard medical certificate (the Immigration department can provide a copy that needs to be filled out by a GP) + extract from the criminal records (translated, legalised, with a marginal note (apostille), depending on the circumstances) + insurance for medical care in Belgium + proof of sufficient income of the other person (this criterion is not applicable for a child that is joining a parent).
    • Special case: the relative of a certified refugee does not need a registered lease contract, nor a deed of property, nor proof of income of the other person, nor a health insurance.

2 photos (in case card A was awarded), or 2 photographs (in case a certificate of registration was awarded), children younger than 12 years will receive a small proof of identity

Attention: all required documents need to be submitted during a legal stay to result in a registration in the immigration register.

If the person is a holder of a visa D, he/she will be able to order an electronic A card (temporary stay) when he/she registers. The period of validity depends on the nature of the stay (1 year in case of family reunification with a person with unlimited legal residency, in other cases, it depends on the duration of the activities, the period of validity of the work permit, of the professional card, of the duration of the spouse/relative's stay,...).

The person receives an appendix 15 in anticipation of this card (production period approximately 3 weeks). Please note: if it concerns a student with a visa D who has submitted an education/school certificate issued by another institute than the one specified on his/her visa, he/she receives a certificate of registration that is valid for 4 months as from the arrival in Belgium. To order his/her electronic A card he/she must wait for a positive recommendation of the Immigration service.

Employees or self-employed persons who are exempted from visa C or who have a valid legal residency of a member state of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland must also obtain an electronic A card if all required documents are submitted during the legal stay.

For the exceptional family reunification without visa D: when all documents were submitted, the person in question receives a receipt (appendix 15bis or 41bis) and at the registration he/she obtains a certificate of registration for maximum 6 months. After expiry of the certificate of registration and in the absence of a negative recommendation of the Immigration service, the foreigner will be able to apply for his/her electronic A card (valid for 1 year if he/she joins a person with unlimited legal residency, limited to the duration of the stay of the other person with restricted legal residency).

Remark: the certificate of registration does not allow travel outside Belgium.

  • ID card in very urgent procedure (period of receipt: 1 day - receipt after 2 pm) costs 150 euros
  • The certificate of registration costs 10 euro
  • The ID card for children younger than 12 is free of charge
  • A declaration of arrival (see also: short stay and tourist visa) costs 10 euro

45 days before his/her electronic A card expires, the person in question can request an extension of his/her stay.

Please note that the application for renewal of the residence permit must be submitted between the 45th and 30th day before the expiration date of the card. To ensure the renewal of the card on time, please send an e-mail with the supporting documents regarding the stay to info.EtrangersVreemdelingen@brucity.be at least 45 days before the expiration date of the card.

Certain documents need to be submitted:

  • employee in paid employment: new work permit B
  • self-employed person: new professional card
  • family reunification: proof of income of the other person in case of a change of address, the new registered lease contract + health insurance

These documents are submitted to the Immigration service which is the sole service authorised to grant an extension of the legal residency.

Students

If it concerns a student, the extension of the stay can be extended immediately (without consent of the Immigration service) provided that the following documents are submitted:

  • new registration in an education institute
  • proof of participation to all exams of preceding school year
  • acceptance of the costs by the guarantor ( appendix 32 (PDF, 25.81 KB) already submitted to the Belgian Consulate in the country of origin at the visa application) or certificate of scholarship
  • if the student does not receive a scholarship, the proof of income of the guarantor (except when 'checked solvency' is specified on appendix 32 (PDF, 25.81 KB))

In case of a change of education institute, the extension cannot immediately be granted. The following documents need to be submitted:

  • new acceptance of the costs ( appendix 32 (PDF, 25.81 KB)) with specification of the name of the new education institute
  • letter of motivation sent to the Immigration service to justify the change

Recommendation by the Immigration service

For any extension application subjected to a positive recommendation of the Immigration Service, the person in question will be contacted as soon as the Foreigners' Office of the City of Brussels has an answer.

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