PrincipleWhere to lodge your application for leave to remainUseful texts
As a general rule, authorization to stay in Belgium for more than 3 months is granted to a foreign student wishing to pursue higher education there, or spend a preparatory year ahead of higher education*, as a regular student, in an educational establishment organized, recognized or subsidized by the public authorities, if that student:
a) proves that he is a regular student** in a higher education establishment organized, recognized or subsidized by the public authorities,
b) proves that he has sufficient means of subsistence,
c) proves that he is not carrying any of the diseases which might endanger public health, and
d) if aged over 21, produces a document stating that he has no convictions for crimes or offences under common law.
* Preparatory year ahead of higher education means:
a) the seventh year of secondary education in preparation for higher education. In other words, a year of studies organized specifically to prepare the student for higher education and supplement his knowledge in one or more fixed disciplines, or
b) a year of languages (French, Dutch, German) followed in an educational establishment organized, recognized and subsidized by the public authorities, provided that the said year is in preparation for higher education.
** Regular student
Three attestations are taken into consideration:
a) the attestation of registration as a regular student in a programme of courses of university or non-university higher education,
b) the attestation of admission or pre-registration in a programme of courses of university or non-university higher education. This document must specify the conditions accompanying the definitive registration, and
c) the attestation of registration for an admission examination (a test or set of tests which must be passed before registration).
Registration as a 'free student' or auditor, or for isolated courses, will not be taken into consideration. On the other hand, part-time education may be taken into consideration if the said education is the principal activity and the preparation for or complement to full-time education. In such cases, a detailed plan of the studies envisaged and a supporting letter are to be attached to the file.
Where to lodge your application for leave to remain?
If you are abroad, click here to find out more about the procedure to follow
If you are in Belgium, click here to find out more about the procedure to follow
Law of 15 December 1980 on entry, stay, settlement and removal of foreign nationals
Royal decree of 8 October 1981 on entry, stay, settlement and removal of foreign nationals