How do I get a residence permit for my family?
If you reside in Belgium, your family members may also be allowed to come to Belgium under certain conditions. This is called 'residence on the grounds of family reunification'.
How can your family members obtain such a residence permit?
How can your family members obtain such a residence permit:
- If you are a foreigner from a third country (a country from outside the European Union), the members of your family must go to the Belgian embassy of the country where they officially reside to apply for family reunification. If you are a Belgian or EU citizen, your family members can submit the application to the Belgian embassy or to the municipality.
- The Immigration Department processes applications for family reunification.
- You have to prove that you have sufficient housing and health insurance for yourself and the members of your family. You must also have sufficient and stable means of subsistence. All these documents must be provided by your family members when you apply to the embassy or the municipal administration.
- If you are a foreigner from a third country, you must also provide a medical certificate and certificate of good conduct and morals.
- If your family members get permission to stay in Belgium for a limited period of time, they will receive a residence document. This is often valid for the same length of time as your residence document.
Note that not everyone in your family is considered a family member by law. You can find more information on this under family reunification.
Do I need a lawyer for family reunion?
In recent years, legislation on family reunification has become very complicated and technical. A lawyer will help you avoid certain pitfalls. Sometimes, for example, the Immigration Department judges that your marriage is not real but a sham. Then a lawyer will assist you to make counter-arguments.
A residence application may also be refused if the person residing in Belgium has too little income. Income from OCMW support is not taken into consideration. A lawyer will go over the possible solutions with you.
A lawyer has experience in this field, so he or she can assist you from the beginning to find the best possible solution.