Residence Formalities

MORE THAN 90 DAYS

If you, as a EU citizen or citizen of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, want to stay more than three months in Belgium, you are classified as a resident and will have to go through a range of formalities to obtain a residence permit or “long-term stay”.

A right of residence is granted to all the citizens provided they carry a passport or identity card of the country of origin and a number of documents according to their status (worker, student, jobseeker ...).

STEP 1: You receive a certificate of registration application or APPENDIX 19

Present yourself within a period of 3 months from the date of arrival in Belgium to the municipal authority in your place of residence.

Bring the following documents:

  • A valid passport or ID card;
  • Your lease contract;
  • A health insurance;
  • Specific documents depending on your status (table).
  • Some passport photos,
  • A small fee will be charged.

Status Required documents
Employee Belgian employment contract
Job seeker Enrolment to Actiris + copies of application letters sent to potential employers
Self-employed

Registration with the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises +Affiliation to a Social security fund for self-employed
Someone having sufficient means Prove of income (pension allowance, income from rented accomodation, savings, commitment that charge will be taken by someone…)

Student Enrolment to a Belgian university/school, health insurance, prove of sufficient means of subsistence
Trainee Traineeship contract
European civil servant Certificate provided by the European or international institution that employs him
Family member: partner/Spouse/Children/Parent See “Family reunification”
Seconded national expert Certificate provided by the European or international institution that employs him + A1 form (social security certificate proving that you pay social contributions in your home country)

  • Your municipality will then issue an “application for a registration” or Appendix 19, which is valid for 3 months. This period of 3 months will permit you to gather all the required documents.
  • Your municipality will list you and your family in a provisional register
  • Expect a control of residence by the police, after which you will be registered in the aliens register and will get a national number.

Control of residency by the municipality

Each municipality verifies the presence or absence of persons on its territory.
Generally the police are responsible for checking people’s movements.
In the event of a request for domiciliation, a local police officer will call at the declared address and verify that the names of the inhabitants correspond to the declaration. The officer completes a questionnaire and sends it to the municipality.
The municipalities have established several criteria for evaluating if a person actually lives at a certain place:
  • The person lives at this address for the majority of the year;
  • The person returns to this address after work;
  • It is the area where the children go to school;
  • It is the address to which energy consumption (gas, electricity and water) is invoiced.
Once this inquiry is positive, your entry in the population register is confirmed and you receive a “national number” which enables you to be identified conclusively in Belgium.

This national register number or NISS is a unique identification number attributed to all individuals entered in the population and foreigners register held by the municipalities. It consists of 11 numbers and begins with your birth date in reverse order!

Population registers are files which hold information (address, nationality, etc.) on individuals who set up residence in Belgian municipalities. Each local municipality must keep a population register up to date. They are currently computerised.

STEP 2: you receive a residence permit or APPENDIX 8

  • After +-3 months you will be called by the commune to receive your residence permit.
  • Your municipality will give you the Appendix 8 which is available in two formats: a paper format with an unlimited validity (free but not popular) or an electronic format ( E Card) with an electronic chip (cost +- 20€ and very practical) which has a 5 years and renewable validity. If you chose the E card then you will have to order it and you will receive your pin and puk codes at home to activate the card at the commune.
The permanent residence can be applied for after an uninterrupted stay of five years starting from the provisional register.

STEP 1: Ask for Appendix 22

You must present yourself to the municipal authority in your place of residence and ask for the so called Appendix 22 (séjour permanent-Duurzaam verblijf).

STEP 2: You will receive a permanent resident permit

Once all the conditions of the Appendix 22 are met:
  • You will receive the Appendix 8 bis and the status of permanent stay. This document is available in two formats: paper format (unlimited validity) or electronic format: E+ Card (5 years validity renewable).
  • You will be registered in the population register instead of the aliens’ register.
    The fact of being registered in the population register gives you right to social integration.
When to unsubscribe from the municipality?
When leaving Belgium, you are required to inform the Aliens service before departure. It will carry out your removal from the register of foreigners.
You have two options to report your departure from Belgium:
  • Either by going voluntarily to the Aliens service, a document of deregistration called  "Model 8" will be given in exchange for your residence permit. During your visit to the municipality, be sure to have your residence permit with you.
  • Either by returning your permit by mail to the Aliens service. In this case, indicate in your letter your new address abroad, and the date of your departure.