Belgium – Family member

Are you a non-EU citizen living in Belgium and would you like to bring your non-EU family members to live with you there? You can find information below on the conditions, procedures and rights your family members can enjoy during their stay.

You can exercise a self-employed activity in Belgium if you comply with the regulatory obligations and if you can demonstrate the importance of your activity for the region in terms of economic value (for instance job creation, useful investments, innovative character, social or cultural value, etc.).

If you fulfil the conditions, you will be issued a long stay visa type D, a professional card and a residence permit.

Certain categories of foreign nationals are exempted from the requirement to hold a professional card.

Where and how to apply

Visa D

Your family members can submit an application for family reunification to the Belgian diplomatic or consular postSearch for available translations of the preceding link in their country of origin or country of residence. They need to submit a number of documents, including proof of payment of the administrative feeSearch for available translations of the preceding link (see ‘Documents required’).

The authorities take their fingerprints and a digital photo.

Your family members receive a proof of submission (annex 15quinquiesSearch for available translations of the preceding link).

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.

Documents required

To apply for a residence permit, your family members must submit:

Further requirements

Residence permit

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.

Further information

Family reunification in BelgiumSearch for available translations of the preceding link

Family reunification for beneficiaries of international protection in BelgiumSearch for available translations of the preceding link

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.

Long-term residence

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.