To come to Belgium as a foreigner, you must be able to produce specific identity and residence documents: otherwise, you will be refused access to Belgian territory.
In general, for EU nationals, an identity card or passport is sufficient.
Foreigners who have another nationality may need a visa.
To stay in Belgium for a long period or permanently, there are other residence statuses.
The required documents depend on :
The visa is in the form of a sticker that the consulate inserts in the passport.
It gives permission to reside in Belgium or to travel there for a certain period of time.
The FPS Foreign Affairs is responsible for granting the visa.
There are different types of visa. When you apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate, you will be told directly which type of visa you need.
The visa must be applied for at the Belgian embassy or consulate of the country where you live.
If there is no Belgian embassy or consulate in the country where you live, you should contact the Belgian embassy that is competent for your country. This is usually located in one of the neighbouring countries.
The visa application procedure can in some cases take a long time. Therefore, apply at least four weeks before your departure.
On the website of the FPS Foreign Affairs, you will find all the information you need about the visa for Belgium. You can also request information from the Belgian embassy or the local Belgian consulate.
If you want to reside in Belgium for a very long time or permanently, you will need another residence document after the visa expires.
Here are the different ways to obtain a residence permit in Belgium:
We will help you to obtain the right to settle in Belgium for professional reasons.
1. THE SINGLE PERMIT (for salaried workers)
As from 03/01/2019, a third-country national who wishes to work in Belgium for more than 90 days must submit a single application to the competent Region, through his employer, which is equivalent to an application for a work permit and an application for a residence permit.
If the work permit and the residence permit are granted, respectively by the Region and by the Aliens Office, the third-country national will receive a single document certifying that he or she is authorised to stay in Belgium for more than 90 days in order to work there (single permit).
All residence permits issued by Belgium from 03/01/2019 onwards will bear a reference to access to the labour market. There are three mentions :
THE PERMIT B
However, the type B work permit does not disappear completely.
The following third-country nationals remain subject to the regulations on the employment of foreign workers (work permit B or exemption) :
The application is then submitted to the Region concerned.
It is fairly easy to obtain a B permit when you hold a higher education, university (or equivalent) degree, a bachelor's or master's degree and issued by a public institution recognised by the French community.
SUBMISSION OF THE APPLICATION FOR A SINGLE PERMIT
An application for a work permit is equivalent to an application for a residence permit.
The third-country national submits this application, through his employer, to the competent Region.
The conditions and procedures for submitting the application are determined by the competent Region and explained on its website.
WHERE TO SUBMIT THE APPLICATION?
Third-country nationals who are abroad and do not have a residence permit in Belgium must submit their application for a single permit afterwards to the competent Belgian diplomatic post.
A third-country national who is authorised to stay in Belgium for a period not exceeding 90 days, or for a period of more than 90 days, may submit his application during his stay.
The Aliens Office and the Region process the application jointly and take a decision on the matter that concerns them.
2. PROFESSIONAL CARD (For self-employed workers, company managers, etc.)
On the other hand, if you wish to exercise a self-employed professional activity on Belgian territory, as a natural person or as a representative of a company or association, whether or not this mandate is remunerated, you must apply for and obtain a professional card in Belgium.
A professional card is a title that allows a foreigner to exercise an activity as a self-employed person in Belgium.
You must meet the following conditions:
The application is submitted:
The processing time for such an application is approximately 2 months. Moreover, when the administration grants a professional card in Belgium, it is generally granted the first time for a period of one year. Thereafter, the card may be renewed directly on Belgian territory, and is generally granted for a period of 2 years at the time of renewal.
You're a company executive. You can apply for a business card while benefiting from the "special tax regime for foreigners".
The persons concerned, who are deemed to be non-residents of the Kingdom, are only taxable on the basis of the remuneration corresponding to their services performed in Belgium, as well as on their other income from Belgian sources. Thus, any activity carried out abroad will not be taxed.
Moreover, certain allowances paid by the employer to the foreign executive do not constitute taxable remuneration, but are considered as "employer's own expenses".
In order to benefit from this advantageous tax regime, you will have to meet the following conditions:
1. Possess a nationality other than Belgian nationality,
2. The person concerned must be an executive of the company. This means that the position is characterized by a high level of competence and responsibility,
3. Employment in Belgium must be of a temporary nature. The temporary nature of the employment must necessarily be supported by a series of precise and concordant data, relating both to the individual situation of the executive concerned and to the nature of the function performed,
4. The employer must be part of an international group of companies:
* Or companies of an international nature. Belgian groups with an international character are also taken into consideration.
B. HOW TO COME AND INVEST IN BELGIUM?
(IN PARTICULAR WITH A VIEW TO OBTAINING A RESIDENCE PERMIT)
Belgium is a small country, located in the heart of Europe, between the main countries of Western Europe.
More than a thousand public and private international organisations have their headquarters or a permanent secretariat there. In addition to the institutions of the European Union, the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Benelux Secretariat, Belgium is also home to the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE).
Belgium is a federal state composed of three regions: Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia. Each region enjoys a large degree of autonomy. The strengths and responsibilities of the regions include trade, the economy, employment, industry, agriculture and the environment.
The three regions have developed their own economic policy, based on their needs.
Together they make Belgium one of the most attractive countries in Europe:
An environment with plenty of opportunities, stable economic growth and a strong currency. Belgium was one of the first European countries to introduce the euro.
By clicking on this link, you will have more information about the advantages of investing in Belgium: http://why.brussels/.
We can advise you on your investments and enable you to obtain a residence permit on this basis!
BUYING A HOME
You wish to acquire a property in Belgium?
Buying a property is a complex procedure that requires many steps. Before you start buying a home, it is essential that you are properly informed.
To finance the purchase, you will probably have to take out a mortgage. As soon as you sign the notarial deed, you will become the official owner of the home and will have to pay the property tax annually. It is recommended that you take out home insurance for your new home.
We can assist you in all these steps. However, the purchase of a property in Belgium will not give you an automatic right to stay there.
RENTING A HOME
Do you want to rent a property in Belgium?
You will have to conclude a lease contract.
Do you have rental problems?
We can help you in your dealings and represent you in court.
D. HOW TO OBTAIN A FAMILY REUNION IN BELGIUM?
You want to come to Belgium or are authorised to reside here on the basis of your marriage, cohabitation or filiation. We can advise you!
Where is the application made?
In the country of residence
In principle, the application for family reunification is made from the country of residence to the Belgian embassy.
You can only apply to stay in Belgium if you are in one of the following situations:
E. HOW TO COME AND STUDY IN BELGIUM?
Do you want to come and study in Belgium because you have planned your studies here? We can advise you!
Several possibilities are available to you:
1. 1. To study at a higher education institution or a preparatory year for higher education in an institution organised, recognised or subsidised by the public authorities:
You have automatic access to your stay if you produce the following 4 documents:
1) A certificate of enrolment or pre-enrolment
2) Proof of sufficient means of subsistence to cover subsistence, health, education and repatriation expenses
3) A medical certificate
4) A certificate of good conduct if you are over 21 years of age.
2. To pursue higher education in a private educational institution:
If you plan to study at a private school, the right of residence is not automatic!
The administration will examine your application individually, taking into account several objective criteria. International criteria are also taken into consideration.
WHERE DOES THE APPLICATION COME IN?
In the country of origin
Your application for residence must be submitted to the Belgian diplomatic or consular post in your country of origin.
If you are already legally resident in Belgium, you can submit your application to the municipal administration of your place of residence by means of the "change of status" procedure.
If you demonstrate exceptional circumstances that make a return even to your country impossible, you can also submit the application to your local authority on the basis of Article 9a.
F. HOW TO COME AND LIVE IN BELGIUM IF YOU ARE A EUROPEAN CITIZEN (FREE MOVEMENT OF EUROPEANS)
Article 45 TFEU establishes the free movement of EU nationals as a fundamental right. As a European, you therefore have rights to assert, including freedom:
1. WHO IS CONCERNED?
2. WITHIN WHAT LIMITS?
HOW TO ACQUIRE BELGIAN NATIONALITY?
Why acquire Belgian nationality?
As a foreigner who has been established in Belgium for several years, you will enjoy all the advantages of Belgian nationality by benefiting from the status of Belgian citizen and the related rights.
Such an application is complex and requires legal aid. Indeed, the regulations have been profoundly modified in 2013.
As a minor, you will be able to acquire Belgian nationality by automatic attribution of nationality (adoption, birth in Belgium, ...).
If you have reached the age of majority, you can acquire Belgian nationality by declaration or possibly through the exceptional naturalisation procedure.
In all cases, prior to acquiring nationality, the person concerned must reside legally in Belgium with a residence permit that is taken into consideration by the Belgian Nationality Code.
A short stay in the Schengen area may not exceed 90 days in any 180-day period.
If you travel regularly, you must count the number of days already spent in the Schengen area during the 180-day period preceding each day of this new stay. To help you calculate the number of days you are still allowed to stay, use the electronic calculator.
Enter your data as described below:
Please note that the result obtained is not legally binding.
HOW TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FOR REGULARISATION IN BELGIUM?
If you do not think you can obtain a residence permit on the basis of the previous sections, we may consider submitting an application for regularisation of residence for exceptional or medical circumstances.
1. EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES (9bis)
In principle, any application for a residence permit for more than three persons is made abroad at the Belgian diplomatic post in the country of origin.
However, if you are residing in a precarious or illegal situation and are unable to travel to your country of origin to apply for a residence permit on Belgian territory, you can submit an application for regularisation and invoke exceptional circumstances to justify an impossible return to your country of origin.
If necessary, such a request must be submitted to the municipal administration of the Belgian commune where you reside.
The exceptional nature of the circumstances invoked will be examined by the competent authority.
It is also possible to initiate the medical regularisation procedure aimed at authorising the residence of aliens who, because of the degree of seriousness of their illness, would entail unacceptable humanitarian consequences, i.e. if the illness is of such a nature as to entail a real risk to their life or physical integrity or a real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment where there is no adequate treatment in their country of origin or in the country where they are staying.
The foreign national shall provide with the application all relevant and up-to-date information concerning the disease and the availability and accessibility of adequate treatment in the country of origin or the country of stay