Essential Guide to Obtaining a Residence Permit in Belgium

Table of Contents


What is it?

A residence permit is a document providing a foreigner the legal right to live and possibly work in a country for a specified period. It can be temporary or permanent, depending on various factors.

Who needs it?

Ideal applicants may include employees relocating for work, students pursuing schooling in the country, family members reuniting with their loved ones living already in the country, or anyone intending to reside in Belgium for a prolonged time.


  1. Apply for a long-term stay visa to enter Belgium.
  2. Once in Belgium, you’re required to register with the foreigner’s department of the municipal administration within eight days.
  3. Provide all necessary documents to the municipal administration.
  4. There may be other processes, determined by your specific case. Stay informed by visiting the local immigration office or website.

Required Documents

  • A passport, valid longer than 12 months.
  • Appropriate visa for your reason of stay.
  • Proof of means of support - e.g., employment contract, bank statement.
  • Proof of accommodation – e.g., property lease, proof of property purchase.
  • Medical certificate issued by approved doctors.
  • Police clearance certificate.
  • Additional documents required may depend on your specific situation and reason for stay.

Providers that can do it for you

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Additional details

The process of obtaining a residence permit can be lengthy and requires many steps. There may be an official inspection of your residence, and often the permission isn’t given before your visa expires. It is recommended to start the process as early as possible. For people who have already been living legally in Belgium for five years, they may apply for long-term resident status. Beyond this, they may be able to apply for Belgian nationality.


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