Possible procedures

There are many possible residence procedures. Some of them are listed below. If you have any questions or would like to discuss a procedure that has not been mentioned? Do not hesitate to contact us.

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Are you not eligible for one of the other residence procedures, but you still have a reason for staying in Belgium? Then you have the possibility to apply for a humanitarian regularisation (9bis).

A humanitarian regularization (9bis) is an exceptional procedure which allows you to stay for more than three months. However, there are four admissibility conditions: 
  • First, you must have a place of residence in Belgium
  • Second, you must prove that it is impossible for you to submit your application in your country of origin
  • Third, you must prove your identity
  • Finally, you must pay a contribution to the administrative costs

Only after these admissibility conditions have been met will the authorities decide whether your application is well founded. The law does not provide criteria for the merits of a humanitarian regularization. However, the authorities must assess each application on its individual merits and justify any refusal. And there may be no evidence of manifest unreasonableness or arbitrariness.

When assessing your humanitarian regularisation, account must be taken of, for example, the length of your stay in Belgium, the extent to which you have integrated, what your links are with your country of origin, whether you have family links with Belgium, etc. The government will also have to take into account the best interest of minor children.

You are seriously ill or the life-saving treatment you need is not available or accessible in your country of origin but you have no right of residence in Belgium? Then a request for medical regularisation might be a solution for you.

A medical regularisation (9ter) is a residence permit for more than three months. The application for medical regularisation must be declared both admissible and well-founded by the authorities:

Your application is admissible if you meet at least the following conditions:
  • You can prove your identity
  • The address of your actual place of residence is known
  • You must be in possession of a standard medical certificate drawn up in the prescribed format
  • The application for medical regularization must be based on new facts which have not yet been mentioned in your previous applications for residence
  • Also, your ailment/disease must pass the medical filter and thus present a high degree of seriousness
  • You may not have been convicted of any criminal offence
  • There can’t be no question of fraud
  • The application must be written in one of the three national languages
  • Finally, the application must be sent by registered post and signed to the correct address

Your application is well-founded:
  • If there is a serious illness that either includes a real threat to your life or physical integrity or includes a real threat of inhuman or degrading treatment due to the absence of adequate treatment in your country of origin
  • In the absence of accessible, adequate medical care in your country of origin

Would you like to join a family member living in Belgium or would you like to get married or legally cohabit in Belgium? If so, you will have to go through a family reunification procedure.

Depending on your nationality, the nationality of the (future) family member in Belgium and the family ties that exist between you, there are several criteria that you must meet in order to qualify for family reunification.

You can obtain right of residence in Belgium on the basis of marriage or legal cohabitation with a Belgian partner under certain conditions.

Family members of Union citizens can also obtain residence rights through family reunification. Depending on your nationality (Union citizen or third-country national) and the family ties between you and the reference person, there are several conditions you must meet in order to obtain a right of residence through family reunification.

If you would like to join a third country national in Belgium by means of family reunification, different criteria apply.

Depending on your personal situation, there are several conditions you must meet in order for your application for Belgian nationality to be approved.

Are you fully integrated in Belgium and do you wish to apply for Belgian nationality? This is possible under certain conditions.

For example:
  • 5 years of uninterrupted residence in the Kingdom and having worked a sufficient number of days
  • 10 years of uninterrupted residence in the Kingdom and demonstrate your integration and participation in the life of the reception community
  • You were born in Belgium
  • And so on...

Applications for nationality are often refused because of a criminal past. Under certain conditions, it is then advisable to lodge an appeal with the court. Please note that the appeal periods are short.

Sometimes certain documents, such as a birth certificate, are missing and your application for nationality is rejected. Through legal proceedings you can then try to compensate for the absence of e.g. the authentic birth certificate and still obtain Belgian nationality.

Would you like to work in Belgium as an employee or self-employed person? Depending on your status and period of employment, you will have to meet various conditions. The application for labour migration is in principle made in the country of origin and possibly through the employer.

A right of residence is only granted after a combined permit, work permit (in the case of an employee) or professional card (in the case of a self-employed person) has been issued.

Have you fled your country of origin because you fear for your life on account of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a social group? If so, you can apply for international protection from Belgium.

International protection can take different forms. There are the procedures for asylum, subsidiary protection and stateless people.

Do you want to start an asylum procedure to enforce your right of residence? Then you must demonstrate that you meet the criteria listed in the Geneva Convention. After this, the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons will grant you the status of recognized refugee and you will receive international protection. During the asylum procedure you have the right as an asylum seeker to qualitative guidance and reception.

If you do not meet the criteria listed in the Geneva Convention but you are in serious danger if you return to your country of origin, you can apply for subsidiary protection.

You have the right, just like any other human being, to marry or to cohabit with the partner of your choice. Moreover, the right to marry is a human right. Does the registrar of births, marriages and deaths refuse to perform (or recognize) the marriage or the cohabitation between you and your partner because there are doubts about the authenticity of your relationship? Then you have the right to appeal to the court.

It is very important that before you enter into a marriage or legal cohabitation, you seek advice from a lawyer so that your marriage or legal cohabitation is accepted. Prevention is better than cure.

Have you received a negative decision from the Immigration Department or the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons? Then you can appeal these decisions at the Council for alien law litigation.