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).
By way of derogation, a third-country national who is in a country to which he or she has applied for asylum may go to the Belgian diplomatic or consular post responsible for that country, provided that the asylum procedure is still in progress. He must therefore present proof that he is authorized to stay in the country pending a decision on his asylum application.
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.