Sufficient means of subsistence

Who needs a proof of sufficient means of subsistence?

When applying for a student visa or residence permit, students need to prove that they have sufficient means of subsistence to cover their living expenses, study, healthcare and repatriation costs.

This can be proved in different ways:

  1. A document certifying that the student has been granted a scholarship, sufficient to cover the above-mentioned expenses
  2. A commitment that charge has been taken from a Belgian or foreign guarantor (Annex 32)
  3. For students without one of the above mentioned documents, Ghent University can provide a certificate of sufficient means of subsistence. You will need to transfer a specified amount to the account of Ghent University, where the funds will be blocked on a personal account. During the period for which you require a proof of sufficient means of subsistence, these funds will be released in monthly payments to your Belgian bank account.

More information can be consulted on the webpage of the Immigration Office.

Please keep in mind that this given amount is a minimum, you will need more to have some comfort.
To have an idea about the costs of living in Belgium, check this

 

How much do I need to transfer?

You apply for a student visa in your home country:

The required amount is the minimum monthly amount multiplied by the number of months plus 50 EUR (to cover possible bank transfer fees). To know the exact amount, please contact the Belgian or designated embassywhere you will apply for your student visa, since this amount can differ from embassy to embassy.

You apply for the extension of your student residence permit in Belgium:

The required amount is the minimum monthly amount multiplied by the number of months plus 50 EUR (to cover possible bank transfer fees).

  1. If you are already in Belgium, the minimum amount for academic year 2019-2020 is € 666/month.
  2. If you need to prove your sufficient means of subsistence as a family (spouse and/or children), the amount is 1506 EUR/month, disregarding the number of children.

The required amount has to be paid in one single bank transfer. In case your visa or residence permit application is refused, you can contact us to apply for the reimbursement of the amount you transferred.

The payment regarding the proof of sufficient means of subsistence is independent of the required tuition fee or bench fee (if applicable).

What are the conditions to have a blocked account at Ghent University?

If you are still in your home country:

  • You are accepted as a student at Ghent University (Ba/Ma/PhD)
  • You will stay for a minimum of 3 months in Belgium and intend to apply for a D-visa
  • The period for which you request a proof of sufficient means of subsistence, falls within one academic year (start date academic year/ PhD research or exchange mobility period until maximum 31st of October ) and for a maximum of 13 months in total.

If you are already in Belgium:

  • You are enrolled or registered as a student at Ghent University (Ba/Ma/PhD)
  • You have entered Belgium with a student visa type D
  • You will (re-)apply for a residence permit for a minimum of 3 months
  • The period for which you request a proof of sufficient means of subsistence, falls within one academic year (start date academic year/ PhD research or exchange mobility period maximum 31st of October) and for a maximum of 13 months in total.

What is the procedure?

If you apply for a student visa in your home country:

We strongly advise you to start up the procedure at least 3 months before the start of your studies.

1. Download the application form  and send us the completed form by email, together with the following documents:

  • A copy of your passport
  • One of the following documents for the concerning academic year:
    -    a letter of admission or a letter of deferred admission  as a degree student
    -    a letter of invitation as an exchange student
    -    a proof of registration for the Preparatory Year of Dutch at the University Language Center (UCT) along with a letter of admission for the next academic year

Please mention your name and nationality in the email subject line.

2. When these documents are received and validated, we will send you a payment request by email.

3. Once the payment has been received on the account of Ghent University, we will send you a confirmation email.  Take into consideration that it can take up to two weeks before the money has arrived and that the received amount can differ from the original transfer sum, due to bank charges.

4. Within two weeks (following the confirmation email), the certificate proving the sufficient means of subsistence will be sent to you and the embassy/consulate by email.

5. You have to submit the certificate to the embassy/consulate where you apply for a student visa, along with other required documents (to be verified with the embassy/consulate).

You apply for the extension of your student residence permit:

Please note: On top of the letter proving your financial means the city hall will ask for a proof of your study progress.
  • You are a bachelor or master student: the certificate is available in your My Oasis account. You can print it yourself and take a copy with you to the Migration Office.
  • You are a PhD student: your approved annual progress report is sufficient as a proof of your study progress.
You need to start up the prolongation procedure and contact the Migration Office for an appointment at least 1 month before your current residence permit expires.

1. Download the application form for extension of a residence permit and send the completed form to us by email, along with the following documents:

  • Copy of your passport
  • Copy of your current residence permit
  • Proof of enrolment for degree students or certificate of registration for exchange students
  • Copy of the Belgian bank card issued in your name
  • Proof of health insurance

Please mention your name and nationality in the email subject line.

 2. When these documents are received and validated, we will send you a payment request by email

3. Once the payment has been received on the account of Ghent University, we will send you a confirmation email.  Take into consideration that it can take up to two weeks before the money has arrived and that the received amount can differ from the original transfer sum, due to bank charges.

4. Within two weeks (following the confirmation email), the certificate proving the sufficient means of subsistence will be sent to you by email.

5. You have to submit the certificate at the city hall to apply for/extend your residence permit,  along with the other required documents. More information about the procedure for students residing in the city of Ghent (postal code 9000). Consult the procedure

What to do in case of extension or earlier departure?

You can extend the period of your solvency for the duration of the current academic year and for 3 months minimum. Please keep in mind that within the current academic year you can maximum extend your residence permit until the 31st of October. For extensions exceeding the end of October, you need to provide proof of enrolment for the following academic year.

In case of earlier departure, please send a copy of your flight ticket along with the proof of departure delivered by the Migration Office to us by email in order  to apply for a refund of the money that is left. We advise you to contact us at least two weeks before your actual departure.

To which bank account will the monthly payments take place?

Upon your arrival in Belgium you will need to open a Belgian bank account.

Send a copy of your bank card illustrating your name and bank account number to us by email and add your bank details in your My Oasis account. The name of the account holder on the bank card has to be your official name, only then the bank account will be validated by us.

Make sure your bank account details in Oasis are up-to-date at all times. If your bank details have changed, adjust them in your My Oasis account and send a copy of your bank card illustrating your name and bank account number to us by email.

After your bank account details have been validated by us, you will receive a reimbursement at the end of each month for the upcoming month, for the period as mentioned on your solvency certificate. The first payment will include the payments for the past months, if applicable.

Attention:
The processing of a student visa or residence permit application or a demand for a change in status may require payment of a contribution fee to cover the administrative costs. 

It’s likely that the first payment will be made only one month after arrival, because it takes time for students to open a Belgian bank account.
Therefore, students must bring enough money to pay for their accommodation and living costs for their first month(s) in Belgium. Often a deposit of 3 months is asked by landlords. Estimate the cost of living in Belgium.

Contact

International Relations Office
Het Pand
Onderbergen 1, 9000 Ghent
Belgium