Registration and reporting obligation (general)

Reporting obligation for short-term stays:

If you are an EU citizen visiting Belgium for a stay of less than three months, you and any family members who are accompanying you or joining you must report to the municipality of the place where you will be temporarily staying within 10 days of arriving. You will then receive a short-term stay permit from the municipality in the form of an ‘Annex 3ter’.

In order to be issued with an Annex 3ter, you must present a valid ID card or passport. Family members who are not EU citizens must present a passport which, if required, has a valid visa for Belgium. If you or your family members do not have a valid ID card (or passport), you must prove your identity by another means.

The reporting obligation does not apply if:

  • you are staying in accommodation that falls under the legislation on checking the details of all foreign guests
  • you are admitted for treatment in a hospital or similar nursing facility during your stay in Belgium
  • you have been arrested and detained in a prison or a social welfare establishment

If you do not report to the municipality within 10 working days of arriving, the municipality may impose an administrative fine of EUR 200.

Registration obligation for long-term stays:

If you wish to stay in Belgium for more than three months, then you must register with the municipality of the place where you are staying within three months of arriving in Belgium. Your family members who are not EU citizens, must apply for a residence permit from the municipality in the form of a ‘residence card for the family member of an EU citizen’.

If you do not apply for the registration certificate or residence permit within a period of three months of arriving in Belgium, the municipality may impose an administrative fine of EUR 200.

EU citizens (as well as family members who are EU citizens) must prove their EU citizenship by means of a valid ID card or passport when applying for registration. If you do not have a valid ID card (or passport), you must prove your identity by another means.

Once your EU citizenship has been confirmed, the municipality will issue you with an ‘Annex 19’ (pending application for registration certificate) and put you on the waiting list register for EU citizens. After the ‘pending application for registration certificate’ has been issued, the municipality will carry out a check on your residence and then they will register you in the foreign nationals register.

When you apply (or at the latest within three months of the Annex 19 being issued), you must submit all the documents that prove that you meet the requirements for a long term stay in Belgium:

Job-seekers:

  • proof of your job applications (cover letters), or
  • proof of registration with an employment agency, and
  • any other document showing that you have a reasonable chance of finding employment, taking into account your personal circumstances, such as diplomas, any past or future professional training, previous work experience and duration of unemployment

Employees and posted employees:

  • an employer’s declaration or employment contract

Self-employed persons:

  • proof of registration in the Kruispuntbank van Ondernemingen [Crossroads Bank for Businesses, equivalent to the Companies Register], with business number
  • proof that you are enrolled with a social insurance fund

Economically inactive EU citizens:

  • proof of healthcare insurance
  • proof that you have sufficient means of subsistence without having to rely on benefit payments

Students:

  • a certificate of enrolment at an accredited educational establishment
  • proof of healthcare insurance
  • a declaration that you have sufficient means of subsistence without having to rely on benefit payments

Family members who are EU citizens and who come to join or accompany someone who is an EU citizen:

  • proof of family or partnership relationship by means of an official document which, if necessary, has been legalised and translated (e.g. marriage certificate, birth certificate, extract from the Civil Register, etc.).
  • if you are joining or accompanying an economically inactive EU citizen: proof of healthcare insurance and proof that the EU citizen you are joining has sufficient means of subsistence without having to rely on benefit payments
  • if you are joining or accompanying an EU citizen as a legally registered partner: proof of the lasting and stable relationship and, if both partners are under the age of 21, proof that they are both at least 18 years old and that they were cohabiting for at least one year before the arrival date of the EU citizen being joined.
  • where applicable (children over 21 years of age or relatives in the ascending line): proof that you are a dependant of the EU citizen accompanying or joining you.

If not all the required evidence is provided within three months of the Annex 19 being issued, the municipality will refuse the application for a registration certificate. You will then have an extra month to submit all the required documents. If you have still not submitted all the required documents after this extra month, the municipality will refuse your application and, if necessary, issue you with an order to leave the Belgian territory.

If you produce all the required documents within the three-month period, or within the one month time extension, there are two possibilities:

  • either the municipality will approve your right of residence immediately, or
  • the municipality will forward your application to the Immigration Office.

The Immigration Office will then decide on your application within six months.

If your right of residence is recognised, the municipality will issue you with a ‘registration certificate’ in the form of a paper copy of an Annex 8; if you prefer, you can also apply for an electronic E card at that time.

Family members who are not EU citizens and to whom the right to stay abroad has already been granted by means of a D visa must report to the municipal administration of the place where they are staying within three months of arriving in Belgium. Following the residence check, you will be entered in the foreign nationals register and you will receive a residence card for the family member of an EU citizen in the form of an F card.

Family members who are not EU citizens and who submit their residence application to the municipal administration in Belgium must prove their family or partnership relationship by means of an official document which, if necessary, has been legalised and translated (e.g. marriage certificate, birth certificate, extract of Civil Registry certificates, etc.). Once the family or partnership relationship with the EU citizen is proven, the municipality will immediately issue an Annex 19ter as proof of the pending application.

After the actual place of residence has been checked, the municipality registers the family member in the Foreign nationals register and the family member receives a registration certificate with a period of validity of six months, counting from the date of the application.

The family member must submit the following documents at the latest within three months of the Annex 19ter being issued:

  • proof of identity by means of a passport containing, if necessary, a valid entry visa or other document proving that you, as the family member of an EU citizen, enjoy freedom of movement
  • if you are joining or accompanying an economically inactive EU citizen: proof of health insurance and proof that the EU citizen you are joining has sufficient means of subsistence to live without having to rely on benefit payments
  • if you are joining or accompanying the EU citizen as a legally registered partner: proof of the lasting and stable relationship and, if both partners are under the age of 21, proof that they are both at least 18 years old and that they have lived together for at least one year before the arrival in Belgium of the EU citizen who will be joined.
  • where applicable (children over 21 years of age or relatives in the ascending line): proof that you are a dependant of the EU citizen accompanying or joining you.

If not all the required documents are submitted within three months of the Annex 19ter being issued or if the residence check is negative, the municipality will refuse the application by means of an Annex 20 and any registration certificate that has already been issued will be revoked.

If all the required documents have been submitted and the residence check is positive, the application will be transferred to the Immigration Office, which verifies the request. If the right of residence is recognised, the family member will receive a ‘residence card for the family member of an EU citizen’, in the form of an F card. The period of validity of that residence permit will be the same as the planned period of residence of the EU citizen being accompanied or joined, with a maximum period of validity of five years.

Some municipalities allow the  EU citizens and their family members to apply online for their registration certificate or residence card. You can find more information on the website of the municipality in which you are residing.

 

Legislation

Articles 41bis and 42 of the Act of 15 December 1980 on access to the territory, residence, settlement and removal of foreigners

Articles 18-20, 46-48, as well as 50 and 51 of the Royal Decree of 8 October 1981 on access to the territory, residence, settlement and removal of foreign nationals.

 

Support Service

Immigration Office

02/793.80.00

infodesk [at] ibz.fgov.be

 

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