Article 10, §§ 2 and 5, Article 10bis, §1 and article 40ter, first paragraph, of the Act of 15 December 1980]
Since November 1, 2023, the sponsor must have at least €2,048,53 euros net/month.
This amount is equal to 120% of the amount referred to in Article 14, §1, 3°, of the Act of 26 May 2002 on the right to social integration (https://www.mi-is.be/nl/equivalent-leefloon).
The sponsor's income must be stable and regular. They must therefore submit documents that cover a suitably long reference period.
Not all income is eligible.
In certain cases, the income of other family members may be considered.
Having income below the reference amount does not automatically lead to a rejection of the application for family reunification.
In the following situations, the sponsor does not have to prove stable, regular and adequate means of subsistence:
- The sponsor enjoys international protection granted by Belgium, provided that the blood or affinity link already existed before their arrival in Belgium and that family reunification is applied for within the year (12 months) after the decision of the CGRS to grant international protection.
- The sponsor has been authorised unrestricted residence in Belgium for at least 12 months and the applicant is his/her child, his/her spouse's child (or assimilated partner) or a common child, provided that this child comes to live with him/her before reaching 18 years of age, is unmarried and is the only one coming to join the sponsor.
- The sponsor is a settled Belgian and the applicant is his blood relative in the descending line, the blood relative in the descending line of his spouse (or assimilated partner) or a common blood relative in the descending line, provided that this blood relative in the descending line comes to live with him before reaching 18 years of age and is the only one who comes to join the sponsor.
If the descendant relative is between 18 and 21 years of age, the Belgian sponsor must prove that he has means of subsistence, and if the descendant relative is older than 21 years of age, the Belgian sponsor must prove that he has means of subsistence and that the applicant is dependent on him.
If the sponsor is a salaried employee, he may present an employment contract, pay slips, the most recent tax assessment notice from the FPS Finance or the certificate from the FPS Finance showing the future tax to be paid, excerpts from a bank account, a pension slip, proof that he is earning rental income, or any other document showing that he has stable, regular and sufficient income.
If the sponsor is self-employed, see here.
Unemployment benefits may be considered if the sponsor proves that he is actively seeking employment or is not required to.
Income from interim employment earned following a period of unemployment may be considered. This income is also considered if this interim work has been continuously performed for at least one year and generates an income equal to the reference amount.
Disability benefits (income replacement allowance, integration allowance and disability allowance) are considered.
Useful information: The sponsor's income must be stable and regular. They must therefore submit documents that cover a suitably long reference period. Ideally, the documents cover the 12 months preceding the application. The period may even be longer if the sponsor is self-employed.
The following income is ineligible:
- certain income from supplementary schemes, such as the living wage and supplementary child benefit;
- financial social assistance (PCSW);
- child allowance;
- tide-over allowance;
- transitional allowance;
- income from an employment contract signed pursuant to Article 60, § 7, of the Organic Law on Public Centres for Social Welfare of 08/07/1976. This agreement must allow the person who signs it to work for a period of time, after which he can obtain full social security benefits. Incidentally, the employment agreement provides that the agreement will end automatically when the person has worked long enough to obtain full social security benefits. Such an activity is therefore not a source of stable and regular means of subsistence within the meaning of the Act of 15/12/1980;
- the formal obligation commitment made for the benefit of a student (Annex 32). Consequently, the student who wishes to be accompanied or joined by his spouse and his minor children must prove that he has means of subsistence at least equal to the reference amount.
In the following situations, the income of the other family members is considered:
- The sponsor obtained long-term resident status in another State of the European Union before being authorised to stay in Belgium for more than 90 days, and the family unit was already (re-)formed in this other State of the Union ;
- The sponsor has a European Blue Card (H card) and the family unit was already (re-)formed in another state of the European Union.
Having income below the reference amount does not automatically lead to a rejection of the application for family reunification. The Immigration Office examines the general situation of the sponsor and determines the income that he must have available to provide for his own and his family's needs, without becoming a burden on the government.
This means that the Immigration Office may consider that the condition is met if the sponsor proves with documents that, with income lower than the reference amount, he can meet his needs and those of his family.
Two types of documents must be submitted with the application for family reunification:
- documents proving that the sponsor has stable and regular means of subsistence and also the amount thereof; and
- all documents that allow the Immigration Office to form a correct picture of the sponsor's financial situation, his needs and the needs of his family (for example, the amount of rent if he is a tenant, the amount of alimony he receives or pays, rental amounts he earns if he rents out property, certain reductions granted on the basis of his personal situation, any premiums, a certificate issued by his bank or the national bank showing that there are no arrears in mortgage loans or consumer credit, etc.).