Period of validity of the registration certificate for an EU-citizen/residence card for the family member of an EU citizen

As a rule, both the registration certificate (for EU citizens) and the residence card for the family member of an EU citizen (for family members who are not EU citizens) are valid for five years.

During that five-year period your stay is conditional. This means that you must continue to fulfil the same conditions concerning the European right to free movement of persons even after you have obtained your registration certificate or electronic E card.

Family members of an EU citizen must also continue to fulfil the conditions for family reunification after receiving an electronic F card during the period. If they fail to do so, their residence will be terminated.

However, if, as an EU citizen, you intend to stay in Belgium for less than five years, the period of validity of your registration certificate may be restricted to a period specified by you. The registration certificate or, where applicable, the residence card of your family members will have the same period of validity.

Once the period of validity of the registration certificate or residence card has expired, you must apply for a renewal from the municipality of the place where you are staying.


Articles 31-33 of the Royal Decree of 8 October 1981 on access to the territory, residence, settlement and removal of foreign nationals.

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