Preparatory year

The definition of "preparatory year" is given in Article 58, 5° of the Law of 15 December 1980 regarding the access to the territory, residence, settlement and removal of aliens, amended by the Law of 11 July 2021, which entered into force on 15 August 2021.

The preparatory year which is usually called the "seventh specialisation year" does not meet this definition because it is organised by secondary education institutions.

Therefore, an application for a residence permit that is supported by a certificate of admission or enrolment for a preparatory year issued by a secondary education institution, no longer falls within the scope of the provisions of the Law of 15 December 1980 on students.

Consequently, it is not recommended to apply for a visa on the basis of a certificate issued by a secondary education institution.

The provisions of the Law of 15 December 1980 on students will remain applicable to foreign students who are enrolled in a preparatory programme, provided that this programme is organised by a higher education institution, either to provide the additional knowledge required to gain access to the envisaged higher studies or to master one of the national languages, provided that the envisaged studies are taught in this language.