You can apply for family reunification if you have a right to stay in Belgium for more than three months or a permanent resident status.
The following persons are considered to be family members:
- your spouse or registered partner (equivalent to marriage) or your legal partner within a duly attested and stable relationship for at least one year. Both you and your spouse, fiancé or partner must be over the age of 21;
- your minor children who are unmarried;
- your adult children, who are unmarried and who are disabled;
- your parents (only if you are an unaccompanied minor and have been granted international protection).
As a sponsor, you need to fulfil certain conditions (means of subsistence, health insurance, accommodation, living under the same roof, etc.). Some categories (for example persons who have been granted refugee status less than 1 year ago) are exempted from some of these conditions.
If you and your family members fulfil the conditions, your family members will be issued a residence permit and a long stay visa type D.
Where and how to apply
Your family members can submit an application for family reunification to the Belgian diplomatic or consular post in their country of origin or country of residence. They need to submit a number of documents, including proof of payment of the administrative fee (see ‘Documents required’).
The authorities take their fingerprints and a digital photo.
Your family members receive a proof of submission (annex 15quinquies).
You can check the status of your visa application online by entering your reference number and the location of the diplomatic or consular post.
The Immigration Office needs to take a decision within 9 months. The processing time can be extended due to the complexity of your case or an inquiry in the context of marriages of convenience. If no decision has been taken within this (extended) period, the visa will be granted automatically.
The diplomatic or consular post will inform your family members about the decision of the Immigration Office.
If the family members who want to join you are from a third country whose nationals are not subject to visa requirements, they can travel to Belgium and apply for family reunification at the municipality during their legal stay.
To apply for a residence permit, your family members must submit:
After your arrival in Belgium, your family members need to register at the municipality of their place of residence within 8 working days. The municipality issues a residence permit for a limited period of time (A-card).
Duration of validity of permit
The residence permit for family members is valid for 1 year. The permit is renewable.
Conditions for renewal
Your family members need to apply for renewal to the municipality of their place of residence between 45 and 30 days before their residence permit expires.
In the first 5 years, you family members receive a residence permit for a limited period of time (A-card). After 5 years, they can apply for a single permit for an unlimited period of time (B-card).
If your application for family reunification has been rejected by the Immigration Office, you can lodge an appeal against this decision before the Council for Alien Law Litigation (CALL) within 30 days after you received the decision.
Access to employment
Your family members have access to employment once they have obtained their residence permit.
Change of employment
Change of employment is allowed.
Access to education
Same rights to education as Belgians or EU-citizens residing in Belgium.
Change of status
If your personal situation or purpose of stay changes during your legal stay in Belgium, you can apply for most other statuses.
You cannot apply for a single permit for work and stay in Belgium from within the territory.
Your family members can apply for EU long-term resident status after 5 years of uninterrupted legal stay in Belgium, provided they have sufficient, regular and stable means of subsistence and health insurance.
No information available at the moment.