A statement of absence of convictions

General information

A NON-EEA national over 18 years of age who wants to stay in Belgium for more than three months must present a certificate of the absence of convictions for crimes or offenses under common law. Other representative names are a proof/certificate of good conduct and moral behavior or an extract from the juridical record. This type of document must be provided for the Single Permit application.

As a rule, this document should be:

  • issued within 6 months immediately preceding the date of submission of the application,
  • issued by the competent authority of the country of origin or consignment, and
  • legalized, except:
    • when delivered by a authority form an EEA member state
    • when a bilateral or multilateral agreement simplifies or abolishes the formality of legalization (e.g., the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, abolishing the requirement of legalization of foreign public documents, in favor of the simplified apostille procedure)
    • when delivered by one of the following countries: United States of America, Israel

The document must cover the previous year of stay in your country. If you have lived in multiple countries, an extract of each country will need to be obtained. A translation of the document in German, French, English or Dutch is required if it is issued in another language.

The fee that foreign authorities might charge is payable on your own account.

You can get this certificate from the Federal Police or Authority concerned in your country. Sometimes a letter of introduction is required to start the procedure. For this letter you can contact the Belgian embassy in your home country, along with the invitation letter from the University.

If the statement of absence of convictions is delivered in a sealed envelope, this envelope can only be opened by the Belgian embassy in the country of origin.

Delay in the delivery of the document

If the certificate is requested but there is a delay in delivery, the Single Permit procedure can be started on the following conditions:

  • provide a proof of application for the certificate (f.e. a print screen or application receipt)
  • and a confirmation that the request is received (f.e. by e-mail).

The information on the application documents must contain the information that the extract for the name of the employee is requested, if payments to obtain the document are made and to which institution this application is sent. An email with the information mentioned above to the official local authorities can also help to start the procedure.

If you were not able to provide the certificate for the single permit application, the document must be shown when the Single Permit visa D is collected at the Belgian embassy. The visa will only be delivered on the condition that the original certificate is presented.

Already living in Belgium?

If you already live in Belgium, the proof of good conduct can be obtained by contacting the city administration (Counter of Civil registry or on the website of the city).

The certificate may not be older than 6 months at the time the Single Permit application is submitted by Gent University with the Belgian authorities. If your procedural preparation was delayed for unforeseen conditions, you might therefore be requested to provide a new certificate if the validation date outrival the 6 months.

The extract is issued free of charge in Belgium.

Living abroad but require a Belgian criminal record

If you live abroad and wish to obtain an extract from the Belgian criminal record, you need to send a personal request by email to: Federal Public Service Justice - Central criminal record. strafregister@just.fgov.be.