Apply for a residence permit if staying longer than 3 months

Nederlandstalige versie

Both an EEA national or Swiss national who can work and reside without a visa or permission for employment; and a NON-EEA national travelling to Belgium with a Single Permit, apply for a registration for residence after arrival in Belgium.

General information

Late registration may result in a fine. New professors and researchers can therefore contact the Welcome Team for guidance and information. They help the new staff member to put these matters in order. If the staff member settles in Ghent, DPO takes care of the entire procedure by collecting the documents and starting the application for registration.

If you are not going to live in Ghent, you have to start the application yourself. Check the city's website (google on city name) and look for the opening hours of the Civil Affairs or Migration counter. The procedure and how to apply can usually be found on the website as well, or an e-mail address to make an appointment.

Procedures take between 3 and 6 weeks on average, but mainly depend on the speed of processing of the city or municipality of residence.

Preparing for the procedure

EEA nationals or Swiss nationals are expected to start procedures within 3 months of arrival. Non-EEA nationals should start procedures within 8 days of arrival.

Required documents to be supplied include the following (the list is not exhaustive):

  • Copy of passport
  • If possible: copy of the identity card of the EEA home country
  • Address of the accommodation
  • Copy of birth certificate is desirable but not mandatory
  • EEA nationals : contract or letter of appointment
  • NON-EEA nationals - employees and researchers:
    • copy of visa
    • annex 46 and authorization for employment
    • (PhD) students with scholarship: proof of registration as a student and scholarship agreement and proof of affiliation to a health insurance scheme

This leads to :

  • The registration in the foreigners' register of the place where the employee resides
  • The application for the issue of an electronic card

Processing times and procedures at the municipality:

The registration procedure takes some time and the electronic registration document cannot always be issued immediately. A number of provisional residence documents are then issued.

  • For EEA nationals, these are Annex 19 and 8b.
  • For non-EEA nationals, this is Annex 49 or Annex 15

These documents are valid and renewable for 45 days, pending residence verification and issuance of the electronic residence permit (ID card). Make your own arrangements to renew these documents if they are no longer valid.

It is important to arrange adequate accommodation in advance. If you do not have a residential address for at least two months, it is best to postpone the registration procedure. After all, the next step is the residence check. This is initiated by the neighborhood inspector (member of the police). Clearly mark your name and surname on the doorbell and letterbox to make the home inspection run smoothly.

After a positive home inspection, an entry in the official registers is made and the application file is completed. In addition to the above documents the following must be provided:

  • Money for the electronic identity card
  • 1 recent passport photo

The Belgian ID card

As soon as the PIN/PUK codes are received at the address of residence in Belgium; the electronic identity card can be collected by appointment. These PIN/PUK codes should not be thrown away as they may reactivate the identity card if necessary.

Validity period of the Belgian ID card depends on the type

  • A type A card as highly skilled staff or researcher is valid for the period of the granted combined permit/single permit for employees and researchers
  • A type A card as student is valid for the period of funding and/or the academic year for (PhD) students with a scholarship or own finances
  • An EU card is valid for 5 years, provided the person continues to meet the conditions of residence.

Provide a copy of the Belgian identity card to for registration in the personnel file.

If the Belgian identity card is terminated without initiating a renewal procedure, the person must leave Belgium at the last day of the valid Belgian ID card.

After five years of continuous residence, a permanent right of residence can be applied for (EU+ card). This leads to an unconditional, permanent right of residence.

All information on the Belgian identity card can be found here.

Rights derived from the identity card

Specific rights apply to non-EEA nationals, which are derived from the type of residence card:

  1. If Ghent University has applied for a single permit, you may work for Ghent University while living in Belgium. You may not change jobs unless the new employer also applies for a combined permit.
  2. Family members of employees may work in Belgium without any restrictions (for any employer and for any employment rate); as long as the partner holds a valid identity card and has the right to work in Belgium.
  3. Family members of students may not work in Belgium unless their status is changed on the basis of an environment permit requested by their employer and family reunification no longer applies.
  4. If the specific term ‘student’ or researcher is mentioned on the Belgian ID card, you have the right to apply for an orientation year to search a (another) job in Belgium.

Additional information

Contact information: