A person wishing to stay in Belgium for more than 90 days must apply for a residence permit, regardless of the purpose of the stay (work, study, research, humanitarian, etc.).
As a rule, this person must submit their application abroad in the form of a D visa application to the Belgian diplomatic or consular post responsible for the location where he or she usually resides (Article 9 of the Law).
Exceptionally, they may submit their application in Belgium in the following cases:
- when there are exceptional circumstances that justify the application being made in Belgium (Article 9bis of the Law);
- for medical reasons (Article 9ter of the Law);
- when they are already legally resident in Belgium (article 25/2 of the Decree).
As a rule, the residence permit is issued for a limited period of time and the person receives an A card.
The person wishing to extend their stay must apply for the renewal of their A card and present the documents proving that they meet the conditions for the renewal of their A card. They must submit this request to the municipal administration of their place of residence between the 45th and 30th day before the expiry date of the A card.
Unless exempted, this person must also prove that they have made efforts to integrate into Belgian society when applying for the extension of the A card for the first time.