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.

NOTICE: 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 (more info in the "more than 90 days unit"), 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;
If you register asYou need to proveby
A spouseThe marriage link marriage certificate or a registered partnership equivalent to marriage (made in Germany, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, UK or Sweden.)
A partnerThe partnership link 


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.
- 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.
- Having a child together.
As an ascendantRelationship linkBirth certificate + proof of entrust
As a descendantRelationship linkBirth certificate, proof of the custody + proof of entrust


1) Family reunification is also possible as an "other family member". Other family member” under article 47/1 of the law of 15 December 1980 on access to Other family members" means:

  • the de facto partner with whom he has a lasting and stable relationship. In this case the relationship may be proven by any legal means, but the Immigration Office takes into account the intensity, length and stability of the relationship between the partners.
  • family members who are dependent on the Union citizen
  • family members who, in the country of origin, formed part of the citizen's household,
  • family members whom the Union citizen has to care for personally due to serious health problems he territory.

    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.
    More details on Legalisation of documents here.

2) Please note that specific rules apply to family reunification with a Belgian national. See more info here.

STEP 2 : you receive a residence permit

  • Between 3 and 6 months (on the basis of your relationship as a family member) you will be called by the commune to order your electronic residence permit (EU card)
  • While you are waiting for your electronic residence permit to be issued (+-3 weeks), you will receive an “Appendix 8 ter” which provisionally certifies your registration.
  • Once you receive PIN/PUK codes at your home address you will then be able to collect your residence permit in person at the municipatliy.

STEP 3 : Ask your permanent stay EU+ CARD

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). The Immigration Office shall take a decision within five months from the date of submission of annex 22. 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.

For more details consult the Immigration Office website.

Legally registered partnership

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,  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.


  • 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.