As the name implies, a family reunion visa in Belgium allows individuals residing in other countries to come to Belgium.
Expats who have family members or a partner residing in another country don’t have to worry about living miles away from each other. Their loved ones can apply for a family reunion visa in Belgium to close the distance between them.
The nationality of the expat living in Belgium, the nationality of the individual applying for a family reunion visa in Belgium, and the family connection between the two individuals all play a role in the application process. Different conditions apply depending on the aforementioned factors.
Citizens from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland
Individuals from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland do not need to apply for a family reunion visa in Belgium. They can join their family members or partners in Belgium as soon as they wish. But, it doesn’t mean there are no conditions at all.
Citizens from the specified countries who plan to stay in Belgium for up to 3 months still need to register as foreigners. Within 10 days of their arrival in Belgium, they must head to the local town hall and report their presence to Belgian authorities. They must present their passport or ID and, after this, they will be given a declaration of arrival. The process ends here, and they can tour around Belgium with their family members or spouse.
However, this condition is not for everyone. It only applies to those who are staying in private accommodation. Individuals staying in a hotel do not need to comply with this regulation.
More conditions are required to be met if EU, EEA, or Swiss residents plan to stay longer for more than three months. They have to register with the Belgian authorities within three months of their arrival.
They also have to show documents that ascertain their ability to financially support themselves while residing in the country. Health insurance is also needed and the coverage should be appropriate for them. Other documents may include evidence of adequate housing and relationship to the individual in Belgium.
The application will be passed on to the Belgian Immigration Office, who will decide on whether it is approved or denied. It may take up to 6 months for the decision to be made.
Upon approval of the application, citizens can be included in the population register and may obtain a foreigner’s identity card, upon request. To be clear, this ID card does not serve as a residence permit. Rather, they just prove that the ID holder is a registered resident. They can use the ID and reside in Belgium for up to five years.
Citizens of Other Nationalities but who have a Relative or Partner who is an EU, EEA, or Swiss Citizen
Citizens of other nationalities can also obtain a family reunion visa in Belgium.
EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens who have spouses, registered partners, or children younger than 21 years old can stay together in Belgium. Individuals residing in Belgium should register at the local commune for reasons of employment, finding work, studying, or sufficient resources. They also need health insurance and the financial means to support themselves and the relatives they plan to bring to the country.
Dependent parents of EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens who are currently employed or looking for a job in Belgium can come with them. This does not, however, apply to those who are pursuing their studies in the country.
A long-stay D visa at the Belgian embassy located in one’s home country should be applied for if one decides to start the application process outside of Belgium. Then, when the individual arrives in Belgium, they should register at the local Belgian town hall. By doing so, they can obtain a residence permit. This must be done no later than 8 days after arriving in Belgium.
The residence permit is valid for up to five years. It can also be renewed thereafter.
Neither the Individual in Belgium nor the Relative or Partner is an EU, EEA, or Swiss Citizen
There shouldn’t be any problem if both parties are of nationalities other than those in the EU, EEA, or Switzerland. A family reunion visa in Belgium can still be applied for.
As long as the individual in Belgium is authorized to stay in the country or has permanently settled there, the spouse, registered partner, or unmarried children are still eligible to apply for a family reunion visa in Belgium. The unmarried child should be 18 years of age or younger.
Who are Exactly Considered Family Members?
A family reunion visa in Belgium can be applied for by a spouse, registered partner, or legal partner. They should have been in a duly attested and stable relationship for at least one year. Both individuals should be older than 21 years old.
Unmarried children who are 18 years old or younger can also apply for a family reunion visa in Belgium. This also includes children who have been adopted.
If the child is older than 18 years old, a family reunion visa in Belgium can only be granted if the child has disabilities and is unable to live independently. The spouse, registered partner, or individual residing in Belgium should be the legal guardian of the child.
Requirements to Apply for a Family Reunion Visa in Belgium
An application form should be filled out and the following documents must be attached:
- Valid passport
- Marriage or civil partnership certificate, or birth certificate
- Medical certificate
- Adequate health insurance
- Evidence that the applicant has a place to live
- Evidence that the applicant can financially support himself
Documents written in a language other than Dutch, French, or German need to be officially translated. This should be done by an authorized translator to be considered valid.
At times, the embassy may require applicants to have their documents certified by the relevant institutions in their home country. This is done to ensure that the documents are bona fide.
Families living apart from each other have the opportunity to be reunited when they are granted a family reunion visa in Belgium. Apart from that, living and working in the country can be a great opportunity because of the good healthcare, education, culture, and public facilities that it offers. Living in Belgium, together with loved ones, would truly be something to look forward to.