Residence Formalities

FAMILY REUNIFICATION

If a member of your family is living in Brussels and you wish to rejoin him/her, this is possible thanks to the family reunification procedure. According to the law of 15 December 1980, EU nationals can settle in Belgium with other EU family members under certain conditions.

Who is considered to be a family member ?
  • A spouse;
  • A partner (being at least 21 years old);
  • Ascendants and those from the partner, in their care;
  • Descendants  under 21 years or in their care, and those from the partner.
Important! If you are a family member of an EU civil servant click here.

STEP 1: report to the municipality to obtain a certificate of registration application called 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 family’ s status (tableau);
  • Some passport photographs;
  • A small fee will be charged.

Your municipality will then issue an “application for a registration” or Appendix 19, which are valid for 3 months. This period of 3 months will permit you to gather all the required document.

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.

Required documents to present at the municipality:

For everyone :
  • A Belgian residence permit from the person living here;
  • An employment contract of the person living here or proof of sufficient means;
  • Health insurance;
  • Proof of sufficent housing in Brussels (registerd lease contract)

If you register as You need to prove by
A spouse The marriage link  marriage certificate or a registered partnership equivalent to marriage (made in Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Norway, UK or Sweden. )
A partner

The partnership link 

and

The long-term relationship which is proved by one of the following criteria
- A legal partnership made abroad or in Belgium (Déclaration de cohabitation légale / Verklaring van wettelijk samenwonen)
- An uninterrupted cohabitation for at least 1 year in Belgium or abroad prior to reunification demand;


OR

- Have known each other for at least 2 years;have regular contact with each other by telephone, regular mail or email;have met 3 times at least during these past 2 years, for at least 45 days.


OR

- Having a child together.
As an ascendant Relationship link Birth certificate + proof of entrust
As a descendant Relationship link Birth certificate, proof of the custody + proof of entrust


Important: for people coming from certain countries, copies of birth or marriage certificates must be authenticated by the Belgian diplomatic or consular authorities in the country of origin. In addition, if they are drawn up in a language other than French or Dutch, they must be accompanied by a certified translation by a sworn translator.

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 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 validity and is renewable. 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.


STEP 3: Ask your permanent stay E+ CARD

  • After 5 years of residence, report to the municipality and apply for a permanent stay;
  • Receive an Appendix 22;
  • Receive after maximum 5  months, a E+ CARD, valid for 5 years and 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
Registered partnership allows two persons living as a couple to register their union at the relevant authorities of the country in which they reside.

Registered partnership abroad is equivalent to marriage in Belgium if it was registered in compliance with legislation in one of the following countries: Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Norway, UK or Sweden. In this case, it gives the same immigration rights to both partners.

In Belgium, registered partnership is called "legal cohabitation." A declaration of legal cohabitation can only be signed if the signatories are legally competent to conclude a contract, are not married and do not legally cohabit with another person. Registered partnership allows two people living in couple to register their union with the relevant authorities of their country of residence. That doesn't only apply for heterosexual and homosexual couples; one can legally cohabit with a family member for instance.

Conditions:
  • The partners must be unmarried (proved by an official document or certificate of celibacy) or legally divorced;
  • Must be a minimum of 18 years old (proved by birth certificate);
  • Must be cohabiting (both partners must be registered as living at the same address);
  • Declare cohabitation to the civil register (burgerlijke stand/état civil) in the municipality of residence.
Foreign certificates must be legalised in accordance with the Minister of Justice’s circular of 17 February  1993 on the authentication of foreign certificates. This amounts to dual legalisation by the Belgian consulate and the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs (19 rue des Petits Carmes, 1000 Brussels, tel: 02 501 89 00, fax: 02 501 37 90).