General residence registration procedures

After arrival in Belgium, the procedure to obtain a Belgian residence card for you and your family must be started within 8 days.

General information

All employees and PhD students that arrive in Ghent will be helped by the welcome team to start the residence procedures in Ghent. The welcome team will collect the documents you need to provide to the city hall and initiate the request to get registered.

If you will not live in Ghent, this action must be done by yourself. Every city has a website (google the name of the city in Dutch) and check for the opening hours of the ‘loket burgerzaken’. Normally you can also e-mail them to ask for general information or make an appointment.

Required documents

Following documents must be provided to the city hall.

  • A copy of the valid passport and a copy of the visa D (code B34)
  • The address written by e-mail or on the rental agreement where you will stay in Belgium
  • Single permit decision documents (annex 46). If these documents are requested by Ghent University, we hold them in our own administration and you do not need to resent them to us
  • A photograph with white background
  • If you have it: a validated birth certificate.

If family joined you to Belgium, following documents are also required for the family members

  • A copy of the valid passport and a copy of the visa D
  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • A photograph with white background


Once the required information is sent to the city hall, they will communicate back with a provisional residence document valid for 45 days (extendable) pending the result of the residence check and the issuance of the electronic residence permit.

The city hall will instruct the police to go over to your house for a small meeting. If this is positive, you will be invited for a meeting at the City Hall in person to sign the official application documents. All family members also need to join this meeting. You will receive some codes in by regular mail to activate your Belgian residence permit. This activation will be done in person at the City Hall of your place of residence.

You will receive a residence permit and ID card (general procedure time is about 6 - 12 weeks). A small amount will need to be paid for the card. A copy of the new Belgian ID card is requested to sent back to the HR department.


If a single permit was requested by Ghent University, you are allowed to work for Ghent University whilst living in Belgium. You are not allowed to change jobs, unless your new employer also request a single permit for you.

If you stayed in Belgium as a student (student status for residence purposes) and change to a status as employee in Belgium, you have to inform the city hall of this change by providing the proofs: approval of the single permit procedure or a host agreement and contract issued by the University HR department.

Family members of employees are allowed to work in Belgium without any restrictions (for every employer and for every employment percentage); as long as the partner holds a valid ID card and right to work in Belgium.

Family members of students are not allowed to work in Belgium, unless their status is changed based on a single permit requested by their employer and the family reunion is no longer applicable.

Once the residence card expired, you must leave the country immediately.