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Obtaining residence permit in Belgium


Belgium unlike the majority of the European states provides the foreigners with the official opportunity of permanent residence in the country.

Citizenship obtaining in Belgium is possible in accordance with Belgian legislation after 3 years of living in the country.

Basic requirements for applicants:

  • Absence of criminal past;

  • Financial independency.

The first step for citizenship in Belgium is residence permit obtaining in this country. The terms of getting residence permit are from 8 to 12 months. Having residence permit you have the right for work or running your own business, social defense, medical services, education for children in the school, free movement within the Schengen zone, that’s it all the rights that all Belgian citizens have excluding electoral ones.

There are several variants to obtain residence permit:

  • Contract with Belgian employer;

  • Starting your own business in Belgium.

Employer provides you with job and salary. After conclusion the contract you are an employee of the company and pay taxes. After 3 years of living in Belgium you have the right to submit documents for citizenship obtaining.

Another variant to obtain residence permit is starting your own business. The procedure of opening your own business little differs from the similar procedures in other countries of the European Union, exactly – company formation (in Belgium it is OSJC), obtaining right to work in this company (work card) and, as the result – residence permit obtaining for 1 year.

This company must legally work on the territory of Belgium, regularly paying taxes (according to Belgian legislation – not less than 30%). In this case after 1 year residence permit is renewed for 1 year more. One of the most important conditions in the process of opening the company for Belgian authorities is new vacancies creation. Because of the special Belgian legislation these work places for residents (permanent residents of Belgium and the European Union) in your company must be minimum 2 – accountant and manager.

Immigration politics of Belgium up to the current moment is determined by political decision of 1974, the sense of it – the closing of the state for immigrants, more accurate for immigrants from the countries that are not included in the European Union. However, following all the statements of the legislation of Belgium many of our compatriots got the official status in the territory of Belgium, live and work there.

The possibility to obtain the citizenship of Belgium that’s it Belgian patriality, on the basis of long (not less than 3 years) legal living in the country and integration in the society is fixed in the law of Belgian Citizenship dated 28 June 1984 (taking into consideration the changes made in 1 March 2010) and in fact is the procedure of naturalization. The fifth chapter of this law is titled: “Belgian citizenship obtaining through naturalization”. It should be noted that naturalization is mercy of federal legislative branch – the King and The House of Representatives. For obtaining this mercy it is necessary to comply with exact conditions to meet your application for naturalization.

In the article 19 of the law two basic conditions are stated:

  • 18 years old achievement;

  • Not less than three years to live permanently in Belgium and save this status during the process of all the naturalization procedure (for persons that are refugees in the territory of Belgium and for persons without citizenship this term is 2 years).

Living in Belgium can be equal to living abroad if applicant can prove that during the period of residence abroad he really had a close connection with Belgium.

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