(Law of 15 December 1980, Articles 9 and 13)
Where to lodge your applicationThe supporting documents to be provided when applying for leave to remainProcessing of the application for leave to remainIssue of the residence permitRefusal to issue the residence permitObligations upon the worker
Procedure to follow when you are already in Belgium and you wish to stay there for more than 3 months to pursue a professional activity there
Where to lodge your application
If you are already in Belgium, you can lodge your application for leave to remain, via a letter stating reasons, with the municipal administration in your place of residence, in the following situations:
a) You are already admitted or authorised to stay for more than 3 months in Belgium in another capacity (e.g. you are already working or studying there and you hold a residence card with limited validity) and you meet all the conditions for the issue of a residence authorisation in the framework of a professional activity (see The supporting documents to be provided when applying for leave to remain);
b) You are exempt from the visa obligation for a stay not exceeding 3 months
> because of your nationality (consult the list of third countries whose nationals are exempt from the visa obligation – Annex 1 to the visa manual), or> because you hold a residence permit allowing entry without a visa (consult the list of residence permits issued by the Schengen States – Annex 2 to the visa manual), or> because you hold a valid D visa
In all other cases, you must lodge an application for a visa (D visa) in person with the Belgian consulate competent for your place of residence or stay abroad. Click here to find out more about the procedure to follow.
The supporting documents to be provided when applying for leave to remain
You must produce:
a) the documents establishing that you are in one of the situations allowing the lodging of the application with the municipal administration (see Where to lodge your application).
When you invoke exceptional circumstances which prevent you from returning to your own country to apply there for authorisation to stay for more than 3 months in Belgium (D visa), you must also explain exactly the grounds which you believe constitute those exceptional circumstances.
b) the following documents:
> 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 application
As a general rule, the municipal administration will process your application and take the decision. It may also pass on your application to the Aliens Office.
Issue of the residence permitYou will receive a certificate of registration on the aliens register (A card) with a validity of 1 year modelled on the duration of validity of your work permit. 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.
Refusal to issue the residence permit
This decision is within the exclusive competence of the Aliens Office. It is notified to you by the municipal administration.
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, the call centre at the Aliens Office will not communicate the grounds for the refusal to third parties. These grounds may, however, be notified to your lawyer, if a written request is submitted to the Aliens Office.
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).