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 permit
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 your studies (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. 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.
The supporting documents to be provided when applying for leave to remain
You must produce the documents establishing that you are in one of the situations allowing the lodging of the application with the municipal administration and the following documents:
a) an attestation of registration as a regular student in higher education delivered by an educational establishment organised, recognised or subsidised by the public authoritiesb) if you are following part-time education, proof that the said education is to be your principal activity and a preparation for or complement to full-time education (detailed study plan and supporting letter) c) if you are following a preparatory year ahead of higher education, proof of the preparatory character of the education with regard to the higher education envisaged (detailed study plan, supporting letter and, where possible, an attestation by the relevant higher education establishment authorising the taking of registrations at the end of the preparatory year)d) proof that you satisfy the conditions for access to higher education (diploma, academic record, attestation that account is being taken of the application for equivalence or decision or dispatch of equivalence)e) proof that you have sufficient means of subsistencef) a medical certificate attesting that the applicant is not carrying any of the diseases which might endanger public healthg) if you are aged over 21, 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 permit
You 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.