You need a dependent visa to join a family member in Belgium if your nationality is not in the EU or EEA.

If you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you can join your family members in Belgium without applying for a Belgian visa. Still, you have to go to your local administration office or town hall to register and receive the residence card.

What Is a Dependent Visa for Belgium?

A dependent visa, known as a family visa, allows you to reunite with a close family member who lives in Belgium. Dependent visas are issued to the spouses/partners and dependent children of Belgian citizens or residents.

The Belgian immigration authority will recognize your right to family reunification if you meet the conditions and provide the required documents. 

How to Apply for a Belgium Dependent Visa?

To apply for a Belgium dependent visa, you must follow the following steps:

  1. Find where to apply for the visa. You can apply for a dependent visa at the Belgium embassy or consulate orat the visa application center, such as VFS. If there are no Belgian missions in your country, you can also apply through embassies of other Schengen countries in which Belgium has outsourced visa submission.
  2. Schedule an appointment. You cannot submit your visa application without an appointment, so make sure to make one by contacting the Belgian embassy or consulate in your country.
  3. Fill your visa application form. You have to mostly fill in your data such as name and surname, gender, date and place of birth, civil status, etc.You have to answer questions about your purpose of travel, such as why you chose Belgium, how long you intend to stay in Belgium, with whom you will live, etc.
  4. Gather the required documents. You must complete the document checklist provided to you by the Belgian Embassy/Consulate.
  5. Apply and enter the visa interview. On the date of your appointment, you have to submit the required documents. You may also enter a visa interview, where you will be asked about your relationship with your family member in Belgium.

Requirements for a Belgium Dependent Visa

The documents you have  to provide when applying for a dependent visa are as follows:

  • Valid passport. Your passport must be valid for as long as you plan to be outside your country.
  • Proof of your family relationships. E.g. birth certificate, marriage or civil partnership certificate.
  • Medical certificate.  You need to have a valid medical certificate from a known hospital in your home country.
  • Health insurance. You should purchase health insurance that cover the entire period of stay in Belgium.
  • Proof you have a place to live. You need to prove that you have somewhere to stay in Belgium, and you should mention if you are planning to live with a family member.
  • Proof of your financial means. You need to prove that you have sufficient money for your stay in Belgium and that you are able to take care of yourself.

A certified translator must translate the documents unless they are in Dutch, French, German, or English. In some cases, the documents should also be legalized or apostilled.

How Much Does the Dependent Visa for Belgium Cost?

The cost for a Belgium dependent visa is €180. You have to pay the fee when you submit your visa application. The Embassy/Consulate or the visa application center will let you know which payment method they prefer (usually cash).

 This fee also includes the other types of Belgian long-stay visas, such as student and work visas.

Belgium Dependent Visa Processing Time?

When you apply for a type D visa for family reunification, the processing time for your file may take up to nine months. The processing time depends largely on how busy the Immigration Office is and whether your application is entirely in order.

Which Members of Your Family Can Join You In Belgium?

Family members that are allowed for a family reunion visa in Belgium are:

  • Your spouse or civil partner.
  • Your dependent children who are 18 years old or younger and unmarried.
  • Children of adult age who are dependent on you due to a physical or mental disability.

Can Spouses Work on a Dependent Visa in Belgium?

The spouses of work visa holders or EU Blue Card holders are allowed to work in Belgium. However, you cannot work if your partner (the primary visa holder) lives in Belgium with a student visa. In most cases, to be allowed to work, you will have to obtain a Belgian work permit. 

Can You Join Your Partner in Belgium With a Short Stay Visa?

You cannot join your partner in Belgium with a short stay visa; you can only visit them for a short time as a tourist in Belgium. To join your partner, you have to apply for a long-stay visa (D visa). After receiving your long term visa, you can apply for a residence permit for a family reunion in Belgium. 

Can I Submit The Application For Reunification In Belgium?

In general, you must submit your application abroad. You have the right to apply for family reunification in Belgium in the following situations: 

  • If your sponsor is an adult Belgian and you are a citizen of the European Union.
  • If your sponsor is a Belgian minor.
  • If your sponsor is a citizen of the EU and you are from a country outside of the EU.
  • If you and your sponsor are both citizens of countries outside the EU.

After You Arrive In Belgium

When you arrive in Belgium, to get a foreigner’s identity card, you need to be present at your local administration office or town hall (maison communale/gemeentehuis) within eight days. Then, you will be registered and will receive a Belgian residence permit. Since this residence permit is linked with your family member’s status, the validity of your residence permit is the same as theirs.

What If Your Family Member Leaves Belgium?

If your relative living legally in Belgium decides to leave permanently, the rule is that you must leave Belgium as well. However, there may be exceptions: when your partner leaves Belgium, you have already obtained permanent residency or a work permit of your own. That is why you need to make sure by contacting the Belgium embassy or consulate.