Temporary Residence Permits in Belgium: A Simple Guide

Stepping into the world of Belgian bureaucracy can be as intricate as a Brussels lace, especially when it comes to temporary residence permits.

In this simple guide, we unravel the complexities, offering expats a straightforward, yet engaging, walkthrough of Belgium’s temporary residence permit process. Let’s embark on this journey with a dash of wit and a clear roadmap to securing your stay in Belgium.

Categories Of Residence Permit

Individuals seeking a Belgium residence permit should be aware that there are two categories: temporary and permanent Belgian resident permits. 

The first is given when moving to Belgium for work or education, as well as when starting a business or investing. The second is a natural step for people who want to live permanently in the country.

Belgium Residence Permit Types

There are two kinds of residence permits in Belgium that allow you to stay for more than 90 days:

Type of residence permitDescription
Belgium temporary residence permitIf you intend to stay in Belgium for longer than three months, you must apply for a long-stay visa (also known as a D visa) to get temporary residency. This residency permit permits you to stay in Belgium for up to five years to study, work, and live.
Belgium permanent residence permitAfter five years of residence in Belgium, you can apply for permanent residency. Long-term residence allows you to stay in the country indefinitely and enjoy the same privileges as Belgian nationals. It is valid for five years and can be renewed.

Temporary Residence Permit In Belgium

If you intend to stay in Belgium for more than 90 days, you must apply for a temporary residence permit in your home country. This is also known as a D visa. Belgium temporary residence permits are classified as follows:

  • Work-related residency permit.
  • Permission to study in the United States.
  • Permit to stay for a family reunion.
  • Professional workers having a Belgian EU Blue Card may apply for a residence permit.

Documents Required For A Resident Permit In Belgium

When applying for a temporary residence visa in Belgium, you must submit the following documents:

  • The long-stay visa application form: Download the application form, print it, and fill it out.
  • The passport must be valid: You must have a valid passport for the duration of your stay in Belgium.
  • You have two identical passport photos: You must have two current images that meet the Belgium visa photo standards.
  • Health coverage: You should have health insurance for the duration of your stay in Belgium.
  • Civil status: Any civil status documents, such as marriage or birth certificates, should be brought.
  • Evidence of your stay in Belgium: You must bring proof that you have a place to stay in Belgium. It may be something like flat renting. 

An invitation to spend the night with a family member or a friend. Accommodation for students.

  • Evidence of your financial resources: You must demonstrate that you have sufficient funds for your travel to Belgium. It could be:
  1. A private bank statement.
  2. A document proving your employment.
  3. A proof of payment from your employer.
  • Proof of your good conduct from the local police. You must provide documentation proving that you do not possess an

Belgium Temporary Residence Permit Fees

The fees for a Belgian temporary residence permit are:

  • Temporary residence (D visa): The fee for temporary residence is €180.
  • Residence certificate: The fee for residence certificate is €20

How Do I Apply For A Residence Permit In Belgium?

You have eight days after arriving in Belgium to register your residence permit at the Stadskantoor (City Office).  You must bring the following documents with you:

  • Your national ID card.
  • A current passport-size photo of yourself, or you can use the city office’s photo booth.
  • Depending on your immigration status, you may be required to provide documents such as a marriage certificate, birth certificate, and so on.
  • A rental agreement or other proof of accommodation.

Can I Renew My Residence Permit In Belgium?

Yes, you can renew your Belgium residence permit by submitting the following documents, depending on your residency status:

  • If you work in Belgium under a host agreement, you must submit a new host agreement.
  • If you are working in Belgium on a single permit, you will need to renew your residence permission with the immigration office.
  • If you are studying in Belgium, you must submit the following documents:
  1. Your national passport or identification card. They must be correct.
  2. Your university has a new registration.
  3. The university’s standard form for tracking academic progress.
  4. A copy of your academic transcript.
  5. Proof of financial means.
  6. Proof that you have health insurance for the upcoming academic term.

If you are in Belgium for a family reunion, you should bring the following documents:

  • Evidence of sufficient financial resources.
  • Health insurance for the entire family.
  • Proof that you have no criminal records.

Please contact the city office for more information or more documents.

Apply For Temporary Residence Permit

If you are already in Belgium, you can apply to the local municipality office for a temporary residency permit. 

You must call the municipality, schedule an appointment (if necessary), gather the necessary documents, and submit them on the date of your appointment.

Permanent Residence Permit In Belgium

Citizens of the EU/EEA or Switzerland have the right to permanent residency after five years of continuous presence in Belgium. 

If you wish to get your residency card, go to your local municipal office and apply for a document that allows you to live permanently in Belgium. 

This card has a five-year validity period and is renewable.

Non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizens may also apply for a permanent residence visa after five years of continuous residency in Belgium. 

You must, however, apply for it at your local office. They will forward your application to the Immigration Office for review.

If your application is approved, you will be issued a residence card. You can renew your permanent residency card after five years, but you do not need to file a new application.

Belgian Permanent Residency Types

You are eligible for permanent residency if you have resided in Belgium for five years. You can obtain one of the following permanent residency cards, depending on your nationality and status:

  • Cards E+ and F+: Only EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens are eligible.
  • Cards A, B, C, and D: This only applies to non-EU nationals.

You should determine which of the following applies to you:

Electronic residence card type E+.EU, EEA, and Switzerland citizens will receive this card automatically after living five years in Belgium. If you hold the E+ card, you get registered in the civil registry.
Electronic residence card type F+.Family members of EU citizens will obtain the card type F+ immediately after living for five years continuously in Belgium.
Electronic residence card type B.You can receive the electronic card type B if you have lived and worked legally in Belgium for five years. This card permits you to stay outside of the country for a year. You can return to Belgium without losing your resident rights if your absence does not exceed one year. Holders of Type B visas are included in the foreigner’s registration.
Electronic residence card type C.After achieving type B, you can apply for type C, which grants you the authority to establish. As a holder of residence type C, you are no longer required to register in the foreigner’s registry, but rather in the civil registry. The difference between these cards is that they provide access to different types of social welfare support.
Electronic residence card type D.You must have a monthly income of at least €793 (plus €264 for dependents) and health insurance to be eligible for this card. If you have a D permit, you can leave Belgium for up to six years in a row, as long as you stay in the EU throughout that time. The difference between D permission, B permits, and C permits is that it is recognized by other EU member states.

Can I Travel While Applying For A Residence Permit In Belgium?

Belgium’s national visa is a multiple-entry visa. This implies you can leave and return to Belgium while it is still valid. 

However, the Immigration Authorities may require you to remain in the country while your residence visa is being processed. You should inquire about your travel rights when you submit your application.

So, What Exactly Is A Belgian eID?

Residence permits in Belgium are popularly referred to as Belgian eIDs since they contain an electronic chip. Aside from serving as your identity document, an eID enables you to conduct a variety of functions, including:

Verifying your identity online (for example, while checking in to public services or creating a bank account).

Electronic signatures are used to sign papers.


As we tie up the loose ends of our guide on Temporary Residence Permits in Belgium, remember that this journey, though sometimes winding, is a vital step towards your Belgian adventure.

With the right information and a bit of patience, navigating the permit process can be simpler than you think. Embrace the experience, and prepare to immerse yourself in the vibrant life of Belgium.

Happy Settling!

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