(Law of 15 December 1980, Articles 9 and 13)
Where to lodge your visa applicationThe supporting documents to be provided with the visa applicationProcessing of the visa applicationIssue of the visaRefusal to issue the visaTracking the progress of a visa applicationRegistering at the municipal administrationObligations upon the worker
Procedure to follow when you are abroad and you wish to stay in Belgium for more than 3 months to pursue a professional activity there
Where to lodge your visa application
Lodge your application for leave to remain (D visa) in person at the Belgian consulate competent for your place of residence or stay abroad.
It is possible that you might need to make an appointment to lodge your visa application. It is also possible that the consulate might cooperate with an external service provider entrusted with sundry tasks (information, making an appointment, receiving files, etc.). In that case, additional service fees will be charged.
If there is no Belgian consulate in the country where you reside, contact the Belgian consulate competent for that country. This is usually in a neighbouring country.
To find out more about the territorial competence of the Belgian consulates, click here
The supporting documents to be provided with the visa application
> a completed and signed visa application form (in duplicate)> a travel document into which a visa can be affixed and which is valid for more than 12 months (e.g. a passport)> a valid work permit B, or, as appropriate, proof that the applicant is exempt from the obligation to hold a work permit, i.e. an attestation issued by the public service competent to exempt him from that obligation or any other proof deemed to be sufficient by the authorities competent to attest to such exemption> if this document has not been produced with the application for a work permit, a medical certificate attesting that the applicant is not carrying any of the diseases which might endanger public health> a certificate attesting to the lack of any convictions for crimes or offences under common law
You must lodge the original documents, plus a photocopy of these documents. The originals will be returned to you.
The foreign official documents must be legalised or carry an apostil, unless an exemption is provided in a treaty. All the relevant information on this formality is available on the website of the SPF Foreign Affairs (http://diplomatie.belgium.be).
The documents drawn up abroad in a language other than German, French or Dutch are to be translated in accordance with the original by a sworn translator. The translation must be legalised as a separate document in line with the procedure laid down in the country of origin, and then by the competent Belgian consulate or Embassy.
Processing of the visa application
As a general rule, your visa application will be sent by the consulate to the Aliens Office, which will take the final decision.
Issue of the visa
The visa affixed in your travel document is a national long-stay visa (D visa).
The D visa has the same effects as a residence card with regard to free movement on the SCHENGEN territory. Accordingly, you are authorised to travel to another SCHENGEN State for a total period not exceeding 3 months in a 6-month period, starting from the date of your first entry on to the SCHENGEN territory, always provided that you meet the entry conditions and have not been reported by the SCHENGEN State into whose territory you are travelling. If you fail to meet the entry conditions, you may nevertheless be authorised to transit to the SCHENGEN State which issued the D visa.
Refusal to issue the visa
This decision is within the exclusive competence of the Aliens Office. It is notified to you by the consulate.
You may appeal against this decision. The information on avenues of recourse can be found on the refusal form.
For the sake of respecting your privacy, neither the consulate nor the SPF Foreign Affairs, nor the call centre at the Aliens Office will communicate the grounds for the refusal of a visa to third parties, whether host or sponsor. These grounds may, however, be notified to your lawyer, if a written request is submitted to the Aliens Office.
Tracking the progress of a visa applicationFirst of all, contact the consulate where you lodged your visa application, with due regard to the practical arrangements stated on its website.If your application has been referred to the Aliens Office for a decision, start by consulting the www.dofi.fgov.be site (What is happening to my visa application?). Enter the reference of your visa application and the location of the competent consulate to find out information about its status.
If necessary, ring or email the call centre at the Aliens Office (+ 32 2 793 80 00 or email@example.com).
Registering at the municipal administration
Go to the municipal administration in the place where you are staying within 8 days of your arrival in Belgium to ask to be registered on the aliens register and issued with a residence card (A card). This residence permit is registered on the list of residence permits issued by the SCHENGEN States allowing entry without a visa (Annex 2 to visa manual I).
As a general rule, you apply for the renewal of your residence permit between the 45th and the 30th day prior to its expiry date. This renewal is issued by the Aliens Office, on production of a valid work permit.
Obligations upon the worker
Certain categories of foreign workers are under an obligation to declare the activities they will be pursuing in Belgium before they start to work.
For any additional information on this obligation, refer the worker to the LIMOSA site (www.limosa.be) or a LIMOSA contact centre (+ 32 2 788 51 57 – firstname.lastname@example.org).