This procedure applies to the family members of students, researchers and visiting professors who intend to stay in Belgium for a period of three months or longer. The Belgian Migration Law of 15 December, 1980 has made the procedure for bringing family members into Belgium more complex. As a result it may take a few months before your family members receive the special Authorisation for Provisional Sojourn.
Again, based on your nationality, there are three possibilities for applying for visas for your family members for a long period of stay in Belgium.
For those from EEA countries
Your family members may join you in Belgium immediatelyon account of the freedom of movement of persons who are citizens of EEA countries. Those who will stay in Belgium for a period of less than one academic year need to register at the Town or Municipal Hall and receive an Attestation of Immatriculation. Those who will stay in Belgium for a period of at least one academic year will receive a Registration Certificate after registration at City Hall.
For those from non-EEA countries for which a visa is not required to enter Belgium for a period of three months at most
Your family members may travel with you to Belgium. They will definitely need to bring proof of solvency. If they will stay with you in Diepenbeek or Hasselt for a period of three months at most, they will only need to declare their arrival at the Foreigners Office at Diepenbeek or Hasselt Town Hall with you. They will receive a Declaration of Arrival in Belgium.
If your family members will stay with you in Belgium for a period longer than three months, it is advisable that they also apply for a special Authorisation for Provisional Sojourn, based on the legal principle of the re-unification of families (see no. 3 below). Technically, they may also enter Belgium simply on the basis of their passports, then first register at Hasselt Town Hall as tourists and then apply for a change of status from tourist to ‘family reunion’. However, this is a complicated and time-consuming procedure and is therefore not advisable.
For those from non-EEA countries
If your family members intend to stay with you in Belgium for a period of three months at most, then you will have to apply for Schengen visas for each of them at the Belgian Embassy or Consulate in your home country. With the Schengen visa, your family members will be able to travel with you to Belgium.
However, if your family members intend to stay with you in Belgium for a period longer than three months, then they will have to apply for a special Authorisation for Provisional Sojourn, based on the legal principle of the re-unification of families, at the Belgian Embassy or Consulate in your home country. In principle, you yourself will have to travel to Belgium first while your family applies for the special visa. Afterwards, when you are in Hasselt/Diepenbeek and have found suitable housing for your family, Hasselt/Diepenbeek Town Hall will send a police officer to visit you at your accommodations in order to draw up a report for the Town Hall. Finally, the Town Hall will provide you with the document ‘Annex 7’, which you will need to send to your family as proof that suitable housing is ready. They will need to submit this ‘Annex 7’, along with the other required documents, to the Belgian Embassy or Consulate when they apply for their visas.
On their arrival in Diepenbeek or Hasselt, the spouse and children of regular students will need to register at the Town Hall. Afterwards, the Town Hall will send a police officer to visit you at your residence in order to see that all your family members are together with you. When this procedure is complete, they will receive the Certificate of Entry in the Register of Foreigners.
The spouse and children of researchers and visiting professors will need to register at the Town Hall on their arrival in Hasselt/Diepenbeek, after which they will first receive an Attestation of Immatriculation for the period of one year. After this first year, they will receive the Certificate of Inscription in the Register of Foreigners.
- valid passports
- a legalised copy of your marriage certificate
- legalised copies of your birth certificate and those of your spouse and children
- medical certificates for each member of the family
- certificates of good conduct for each adult member of the family
- proof of solvency that is sufficient for the whole family
- document from the Town Hall attesting to suitable housing in Diepenbeek for the family
Translation of the documents
- if the required documents are not in English, Dutch, French, or German, they need to be translated into one of these languages
- the translation of the documents must be authenticated as well
Authentication of the documents
- Please enquire at the Belgian diplomatic mission in your country of residence which should authenticate the original documents and any translations of them. In certain situations, this may be done by the Belgian diplomatic mission itself, or by your local government authorities themselves, by affixing an ‘apostille’ to the documents.
Note: anyone who is granted a family reunion visa to join his or her spouse studying in Belgium will also have to leave Belgium together with his or her spouse when the latter has finished the study programme. However, if a student’s spouse is later on also accepted for enrolment at UHasselt and will need to stay in Belgium longer in order to complete the study programme, she or he must apply for a change of status of their residence permit at the Foreigners' Office at the Town Hall.