The Kingdom of Belgium is a modern highly developed European country. Obtaining a residence permit or citizenship of Belgium is the ultimate dream for many. But its very small territory cannot accommodate everyone. Therefore, the admission of foreigners for permanent residence is limited by legislative norms.
Despite the significant difficulties in obtaining a visa, work and residence rights, immigration to Belgium continues to be popular. Do not stop potential immigrants and high prices, and very strict rules for obtaining a residence permit in Belgium. But, having received the coveted status, after a while you can apply for citizenship. After 2 years, refugees receive it, and all the rest – after 3 years of a residence permit and 1 year of permanent residence.
Residence permit in Belgium
Obtaining a residence permit makes it possible to enjoy all the rights that citizens of the country have. A residence permit in Belgium is issued by the administration of the commune in which the foreigner will live. Usually, unless a period is specifically stipulated, it is granted for one year with a subsequent extension. It can be extended no more than 3 times, after which the residence permit is canceled or replaced with a new one.
You must apply for a residence permit at the Belgian Embassy in your country. During registration, special attention is paid to confirming the legality of income and the absence of a criminal past. Upon arrival in Belgium, a certificate of registration is issued in the commune, and the documents are sent for verification to the Ministry of the Interior.
After a positive response from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the registration certificate is changed to a residence permit. In case of a negative answer, the registration certificate is canceled, and the applicant for a residence permit in Belgium must leave the country within 2 weeks.
The main ways to obtain a residence permit:
- Work permit.
- Professional card.
- Business immigration.
- Assignment of refugee status.
- Reunion with relatives.
- Studying at a Belgian university.
The most common ways to obtain a residence permit in Belgium are work, investment, entrepreneurial activity, and the creation of your own company. The purchase of real estate does not give the right to a residence permit, it serves as a reason for obtaining a multiple one-year visa to Belgium.
Permanent residence in Belgium
It has become much easier to obtain the right to permanent residence and become a Belgian citizen than to issue documents to enter the country. The issues of granting citizenship are dealt with by the House of People’s Representatives, and the final decision is made by the King of Belgium himself.
The easiest way to get permanent residence in Belgium used to be naturalization. It was necessary to permanently live in the country for 3 years and prove the availability of financial resources and real estate. If earlier there were 12 ways to obtain the status of a permanent resident of Belgium, today the most realistic are: by birth and by length of residence.
After Belgium joined the EU, the naturalization period increased to 5 years, although naturalization remains relevant after a 10-year stay, when it is no longer necessary to prove a high degree of integration into Belgian society.
It is possible to obtain Belgian citizenship by birthright with little or no questions asked. It is only necessary to show the degree of integration into society and fluency in one of the state languages. Upon application, persons who have lived for more than 5 years, who have adapted well and during this period have actively participated in economic and social life, can become a citizen of the country.
To do this, you need to provide evidence of continuous work experience, training (if any) and for 5 years work at least 468 working days for hire or make contributions to the budget as an independent entrepreneur.
In practice, permanent residence in Belgium provides the same rights and opportunities as citizenship. Many immigrants after three or four years immediately apply for citizenship, bypassing the intermediate stage of permanent residence. This somewhat speeds up the process of obtaining the status and brings the possibility of becoming a Belgian citizen in the very near future.