Tuesday, 31 March 2020

⑲ Long-Awaited F Card Belgium Triumph: Belgian eID Procedure



F Card Belgium: Belgian eID Procedure

What is F and F+ Card?

The F Card (Appendix 9) is issued to family members of third-country nationals in Belgium based on the right to family reunification with a Belgian or EU citizen after the approval of their residence application. The F Card is valid for five years. Subsequently, one can apply for a permanent residence permit (F+ Card) before the F Card expires. Or perhaps a Belgian citizenship if an applicant meets all the criteria.

If the application of the F+ Card (Appendix 9a Stay Decision) is not successful, the F Card would be extended for another five years. The holder of the F Card is in the Foreigners’ Register whereas the F+ Card is in the Population Register.


» How Long Does It Take to Receive the Residence Permit – F Card?

An Orange Card is valid for six months. The commune will request you to submit all relevant documents for their consideration during the first three months of the Orange Card. Following which, the Immigration Office in Brussels will take a decision on whether you will get an approval of the F Card before the end date of the Orange Card.

You will receive a notification within the next few weeks after submitting the required cohabitation documents. In fact, most people that I know of in Antwerp received a positive reply within 6 weeks of receiving after submitting a complete file to the consulate. I received a favourable response by email less than three weeks after my cohabitation documents submission.

My F Card appointment date was on 21 March 2017. One month before collection, Districtshuis postponed the date to 22 March. On that day, I realised that I had to go back exactly three weeks later to collect my Belgian eID on 12 April. Back then, I signed my legal cohabitation contract on 15 July 2016. Nearly nine months of waiting.


» No News of F Card is Good News

In case you receive no reply from the Gemeentehuis about the status of your F Card towards the end of your Orange Card period, do not worry. On the contrary, this is a piece of good news for you. The Belgian Immigration has granted your stay in Belgium if you do not receive any letter of rejection during these six months.

You will receive an appointment requesting you to go down to the commune to make an eID (Electronic Identity Documents) after six months. The reply is a confirmation of your cohabitation visa approval.


Things to Bring for Applying F Card

What to Bring for Registration of your Belgian eID? The process requires two appointments. Bring the following documents below: –

First Appointment

1. Orange Card
2. National Passport
3. 1 x Passport Sized Photograph

 Second Appointment

4. Temporary Paper Identity Card
5. Letter for New PIN and PUK Code
6. €20.70 (for F Card)

In some other cities, the Registry Office may ask for additional documents to be submitted such as the Annexe/Bijlage 19ter. I had to submit this copy in Antwerp.


F Card Procedure

» No Belgian eID Collection on First Appointment

On the first appointment in Gemeentehuis, do not expect to collect your F Card on the same day. The staff will ask you to come back to pick up the eID after three weeks. It is crucial to know for those who are planning to travel out of Belgium immediately after they have a confirmed appointment date for their eID.

Add another three weeks of F Card processing time after the 6-months validity period of the Orange Card.

The estimated time is 30 minutes at the counter while the eID registration process takes place. You hand over the counter staff Item No. 1 to 3 above.


» Passport-Sized Photograph

Take note that the passport photo should have a neutral facial expression and cannot expose any teeth. I handed the same photo used for my Orange Card showing me smiling and exposing my teeth. Consequently, the staff in Districtshuis Deurne told me that the machine would reject the photo once it detected the teeth. I did not have other photos with me then.

Fortunately, there was a machine booth available where I could take instant coloured passport photos for less than €10. One tip is to bring more variety of passport-sized photographs if you are not sure whether it would be of acceptable standard. Alternatively, you can take more coins to make instant photos at the Districtshuis. Refer to the guideline for a quality photo requirement by FPS.


» Temporary Paper Identification

The staff will collect back your Orange Card and replace it with a Temporary Paper Identification to use for the next three weeks. He will screen your photo in the system and later attach it on the paper ID.

» Can you travel with a Temporary Paper Identity during the three weeks of waiting for your F Card?

The staff strongly advised the applicant to travel only after the collection of the Belgian eID. If any unforeseen circumstance happens while one travels out of Belgium, the Belgian Immigration would be contacted. Hmm, we would not want that to happen. So, try and make plans for your travel only after collecting your F Card.


» PIN and PUK Code of Belgian eID

Within one week after the first appointment in Gemeentehuis, you will receive a letter with the PIN and PUK sent to your house. On the second visit, the Registry Office will take this letter and ask you for a new 4-digit PIN code of your choice. The PUK number is required when one forgets the PIN code. Therefore, store the information carefully for avoiding the inconvenience to reset the PIN code in the Registry Office.


» F Card Payment and Collection

The cost of the F Card is €20.70. You only make payment upon collection of your F Card on the second appointment date. There is a machine which accepts coins and dollar note up to €5o. Some machine may not be able to accept the new €5o note. Firstly, scan the invoice barcode given by the cashier against the machine reader. Then, make payment. Pass the receipt to the counter and exchange for the eID. The staff will take back the temporary paper identification too.


» Fast Method of Collecting the F Card

If you need to leave Belgium and do not want to wait for three weeks, you can ask for an accelerated procedure to get the eID which will take 2 to 3 days on your first appointment date. It costs €125 to get it done in 3 days time.


Bring Forward the F Card Collection Date

Another method to try is to send a request by bringing forward the F Card collection date. I have asked the staff on the day of collecting my F Card whether it was possible to bring the date forward if one has to attend the wedding of a family member. The staff said that it was possible provided that one submits proof of the wedding and the air ticket.

I guess no one would buy an air ticket first without prior approval unless it is an emergency. As I live in Antwerp, that is how the procedure goes to ask a question or to make an appointment to file your application and provide proof.

  1. Go to Stad Antwerpen E-Loket.
  2. Select “Identiteit”.
  3. Then “Identietskaart niet-Belg F vraag (Identity of non-Belgian F question)”.
  4. A small window will appear below. Click on the link – Informatie of afspraak vreemdelingenzaken (Information or foreigner’s appointment).
  5. Select “Ik heb een vraag voor meer informatie” (I have a question for more information).

Alternatively, you can send the request back to the email which you have received the confirmation.



 


Travel with F Card

» F Card is not a Travel Document

F Card is a residence permit to prove that you have a right to stay in Belgium. However, it is not a travel document and cannot be used alone when one travels. Nonetheless, if you need to travel out of Belgium, always carry your passport and your residence card with you.


» Travelling within Schengen and Non-Schengen Zone

The F Cardholder can travel to all the Schengen Countries freely without a need to apply for an entry visa upon presenting their passport and residence card concurrently at the border control. Even without taking a flight, a non-EU citizen should always make it a point to carry a passport in the event of any check that requires further verification.

On the other hand, an entry visa is required for a non-EU national whose passport does not permit a visa-free entry to a non-Schengen country such as the UK. As the non-EU national is travelling with a Belgian or EU partner, the process of the visa application is quick and free of charge. The Europa website provides a clear scenario of Travel Documents for Non-EU Family Members and various examples in the FAQ.


» Leaving Belgium for More than 3 Months

If you plan to leave Belgium for more than three months for whatsoever reason, one is obliged to inform the commune of where they stay. You can do this online via the website of the Stadhuis or go to the office to report this. There is no need to make an appointment in advance for this purpose.


» How long Can You Travel Out or Leave Belgium with an F Card?

One can travel and leave Belgium for a maximum of one year without losing the residency. As reiterated above, please inform your commune if you are leaving Belgium for more than three months.


Working Abroad with F Card

Can you work outside Belgium with an F Card? What if you find a prospective employer in another European country? I have clarified the last few questions above including this with the Foreigners’ Office. Hence, the reply is the holder of an F Card cannot work abroad. The person must request for a D card and make an appointment to do so. Therefore, if you wish to work in other European countries holding and F Card, please check with your local commune for more detail and whether you are eligible to do that.


Conclusion

Nowadays, one usually has to wait for an average of 8 to 12 months from the day of arriving in Belgium to get the F Card. Therefore, I do not believe one can get the F Card in six months’ time from the date of cohabitation visa submission unless they are converting from a student visa to an F card. The information has been circulating like wildfire on the internet that one can get the F card in six months’ time. On the contrary, indeed it takes more than six months in an entire cohabitation visa procedure. Best of luck to you!




About Live in Belgium

Hello, my name is MissSJ. I am a Singaporean. I am living with my Belgian partner since July 2016 in a cosmopolitan city, Antwerp. However, I had been travelling to and fro Belgium since 2011 as a tourist. The creation of this blog is to document my new journey in Belgium which I would like to call 'home'. Join me in discovering fascinating Belgium from the eyes of an expat.

66 comments

  1. Hi dear, I have F card because of my Belgium baby. First, I was not living with my baby when I applied, so I didn’t get any card. They told me to leave with the baby before. Now, I have the F card for 5 months and have moved out. Am I going to get any problems later?

    My problem now is when I was moving to my baby’s address, I didn’t leave my old house. I didn’t tell my house boss, so I was still paying my rent. I am back to my old house. Can my baby’s mama make a complaint? Can that make me lose my card?

    • Hi Ben, you will not lose your F Card unless the baby mother divorces you, and you depend on her status to live in Belgium within the next 2.5 years. If you have an F Card because of the baby, then you might not lose it that easy. For more information, should seek help from the Stadhuis who can refer you to a more appropriate agency to handle the domestic affair.

  2. I mean marrge Italy women during times 3/5years I have f card during times 3/2 years my wife Apple dove in cote possibly I loving bilgeme no going my f cede and more after take +f card place helps me

  3. Hello! Fist of all I want to thank you for the important information. I am the wife of a Spanish but I am not UE citizen. My husband is studying for 6 months in Belgium and 6 months outside during the 4 years. Could I apply for the F card if he is out of Belgium, I mean do I depend on him for applying to F card? Thankssss

    • Hi Isabel, if you are not an EU citizen, you have to depend on him to get the residence card. Also, he needs to be in Belgium when you apply for it. The police will come and check if both of you are living under the same address. When they come, it may not be necessary that he has to be at home. Let’s say if the police want to do more interview, both of you have to be present. I would reckon that an interview may not be necessary for you as you are already married. But, you never know about their request.

  4. Hallo? We leven met kinderen. Ik woon in Belgie. Ik gaf de advocaat een ander document. We wachten. De oranje kaart stopte eerder. Hoe kun je me geven? Dank u wel.

  5. Hello Madam, I have some questions as I’m constantly thinking about them. I’ve been reading all your blogs, but I could not find the answers.

    During the 6 months after my orange card issuance, do we need to submit something in the Stadhuis or not? if yes, what kind of stuff we’re going to submit in the Stadhuis? Do we need to submit any proof of relationship again? Do you have any tips? Because after we get an orange card approval, we have the plan to get married.

    If we get rejected for the F card, which kind of procedure are we going to apply again? Is that the F card procedure only or the whole procedure of cohabitation? I am afraid our application will be rejected because I don’t have a visa for more than 1 year now. Bedankt.

  6. Hello I have one question. I married a Belgian woman, and now I have a baby of 40 days old. Today, the baby also has Belgian ID. I got negative from my commune in Molenbeek for my f card today. What should I do? They asked me to do it again the same way to wait for another orange card. Is there any easy way to get the F card?

    • Hi Anunaki, there is no easier way to get the F card except to reapply and wait for another 6 months to get the result. When you applied a few months ago, the baby is not born yet. But today, your status may be different from the past. I think you should be able to get the card for the next application as you have a common child with a Belgian. Congratulation on being a father! 🙂

  7. Hi Dear, I have a question. Hope you could answer me. I would like to ask you after getting the orange card, is there any chance or way to receive the electronic ID before 6 months? Could we still travel to the UK after Brexit, accompanied by my partner? Thank you for your time my dear.

    • Hi Ledio,

      It is almost impossible to receive the Orange Card before 6 months unless there is a valid reason to do so. Even so, your request to get the card earlier can be ignored. After the 6 months, you have to add another 2 to 3 weeks to receive the Orange Card. If you want to have it within 3 days after the first F Card appointment, you have to pay €100+ to have an express service.

      As for the Brexit, there might be no change yet for travelling to the UK according to this article. It is always better to check with your embassy, the immigration office or even the commune and see if they can provide you with any latest update.

      • Thank you for your help, very kind of you. Could I ask you some more question, please? My orange card for 6 months that the commune gave to me will expire on 10 April. I still have no answer from the commune or immigration yet. I went down to the commune, but the office was closed. They work just by phone, but my French language isn’t that good to sort out things by phone. Could you tell me what I should do, please? I have an orange card from my European wife. Thank you.

        • Hi Ledio, in fact, I see that it is good news that you have not received any letter at the moment because it means that your stay in Belgium is granted. Do note that the commune does not typically send a letter or email to tell people that they have been approved. After 11 April if you still do not receive any notification, you can proceed down to your commune to make another appointment for your F Card.

          However, this period is unusual as most people can choose to work from home. So, I anticipate that the collection of your F Card may be further delayed since the commune may remain close even after 5 April. My advice is to do nothing and not even call them as I’m sure you will not get any answer to whether your F Card will be approved or not. Just wait patiently for 11 April to come and keep yourself safe during this period.

  8. Hello madam please answer my questions I am Mosa, a student in the university and 23yo. I am a Moroccan citizen. My question: is there is a way that can enable me to get residence in Belgium as a non-EU citizen. For my case, is there a hope to have residency? Please help me because I don’t know Residence laws and stuffff….and thank you ?

  9. Hi,

    I think you reply me, but I can’t read it. There is no text showing, so I’m sure your reply is very important for me. Can you send me one more time, please? I just came back from Stadhuis. One of the specialists on my case told me that since I’m not anymore 5 years with my Belgian partner, I don’t have any rights to stay in Belgium after 2020 December (F card expiry date). I can apply to renew the card with 386 Euro, but it will be worth it. I’m very upset. Help me. Do you have any other more information about it?

    • Hello, I’m not sure how the interface looks like on your email. You can read the reply on the same page here.

      If you can renew your F Card by paying €386, then it is still a piece of good news. At least, you do not have to go back and can continue to live in Belgium. If you are asked to go back next year for whatever reason, you can appeal. There is a good chance you can stay. But you need to get a job now and lasts until next year so the city hall knows that you are independent and can grant your stay. If money can solve the problem, then it is not really a problem. Start saving up now! 🙂

      • Hi, Still I can’t read your 2nd last reply. Anyway, I have a full-time job contract and I live at the seaside of Belgium. So here is normally 3 months many people live here without a job, but they have social money.

        So that from October, my boss put me in the economic section for 1 day per week but my full-time job contract is still running then after 3 months my boss gonna finish my economy support.

        Yesterday I was in ACV and one of them told me it did not matter about renewing my card because my boss has not finished with my full-time job contract. So, I can stay in Belgium.
        Please, I hope you gonna understand, what I really want to say.
        Thanks, have a good day.

        • Thanks for sharing more detail. Since you have a full-time job now, just make good use of the time to work until next year, when your card is due for renewal, check with the commune again. I can see it positively that you will be able to stay in Belgium! Good luck and all the best… 🙂

  10. Hi my name is May. At the moment, I have my f-card, but I already separated from my ex 1 year ago. When I went to Indonesia, I didn’t report to the town hall that I will be away for 2 months. I came back to Belgium 2 months later, but I also didn’t report it. It’s almost a year that I don’t have an address in Belgium. Do you think I can still live in Belgium? And can I actually live alone without somebody sponsoring me? And the F card. It’s not 3 years old. Thank you.

    • Hi May, there are a few issues that need to be addressed separately. Firstly, you do not need to inform the town hall if you leave Belgium for less than 3 months. Anything more than 3 months out of Belgium, you need to inform the city hall. I have also returned to Singapore for 3 months before. When you broke off with your ex, is the cohabitation contract cancelled in the town hall?

      Maybe your ex has not cancelled it. In this case, you still have a ‘rightful’ address to your name. If your F card is less than 3 years, you can’t live in Belgium after the cohabitation contract is withdrawn. If you have the F Card for more than 3 years and a stable job to prove self-sustainability, you can appeal a right to stay in Belgium without any sponsor.

  11. My name tariq I have f card I am three years whte wife living bilgeme but I am sick the apatec c livr porbilm my wife askd me give a dovis but after I get card f+

  12. Hallo MissSJ,

    it’s nice to read your blog. I just wanna help to answer. I’m foreigner married to Belgian man. I got my F card less than 2 months after I moved out of my home country. I had the same question when I was in an integration course. Conclusion: the F cardholder can travel to all Schengen countries (except the UK) with/without EU partner. If you want to travel to the UK, you have to always bring ‘the reason why you got the F card’. In my case, I have to always accompanied by my husband to enter the UK 😀

  13. Hello,

    I have questions regarding card F:

    1. can I apply for citizenship three years into having a card F given that I have lived in Belgium as a student some years before marrying my wife. But there is a gap between my student years and marrying my wife though I was in the country all these period ( 8 years all in all )

    2. if not can I apply for card F + at this point, officially we have been together + married for three years.

    Additional information: I have a four year PhD contract fully funded but as you may be aware I don’t pay taxes on it. I don’t know how this fits into the whole scenario.

    Thanks and I hope to read from you.

    • Hi Tim, check out on the comments before you which may answer your questions. I do not know how your PhD status would affect your status to apply for an F+ Card or citizenship. If you do not have to pay taxes because of certain privileges granted on you, then I reckon it would not hurt your application.

      If you have a job which the Belgian labour market requires, I think you will have a higher chance to get your naturalisation approved if you apply it in the third year of your F Card, given that you have lived in Belgium for 8 years. For F+ Card, you have to wait for 5 years. Some people apply for F+ Card instead of citizenship because their countries do not allow dual citizenship.

  14. Thanks for the great job you are doing attending to people’s queries. I have some pressing questions and need your advice/response.

    1. I came here as a student and later got a partner but there is a period between the end of my studentship, and officially living with my partner when I had no valid residency. My question is, does my five years in Belgium start counting when I officially started living with my partner (ignoring all the years I spent as a student)?

    2. Can I apply for card F+ three years into being together with my partner or must I wait towards the expiration of my card F?

    3. I don’t know if this is true, someone told me I can apply for naturalization while still having card F, is it true and if yes under what circumstance can one do that? Thanks.

    • Hi Dave, from what I have read and understood, if you want to apply for naturalisation, it would count from the day that you live in Belgium as a student. If you want to apply for an F+ Card, it will start from the day of your Annexe 19ter. Therefore, you have to complete at least 4.5 years on an F Card before applying.

      Applying for citizenship is much harder than applying for an F+ Card. Belgium is a country that is hard to get citizenship, but yes, you can apply for citizenship with your F Card without getting an F+ Card. One criterion of both the cards are 5-years of non-interrupted stay in Belgium. You have to check with your municipal on the requirements for an F+ Card or naturalisation process.

  15. Hello, I am Azad. I want to ask what the requirements are for F+ card? Is it possible to get your GSM or office number for any kind of help? Thanks.

    • Hi Azad, this is a personal blog independent from any government office. You can convert your F card to F+ at the city hall of where you stay. As far as I know, you need to have completed the Level 1.2 Dutch and attended the integration course if you are living in the Flemish region. For more info, make an appointment in your municipal office.

  16. Hi, I hope you’re ok. I just want to ask if I need my national passport for my second appointment when my orange card expires?

  17. Hello, my name is Hanif. I am married to an EU spouse. I have 5 years F Card Belgium. Me and my wife + my son, we go to the UK and live there for 3 months. We don’t inform our commune that we were going to the UK. We also leave our house where we live for more than one year.

    Now we want to go back to Belgium. We stay outside Belgium for more than 3 months. So if we go back to Belgium to make address and start work, will our residency permit be suspended?? Please, anyone, tell us. My wife is a Polish national and my son born certificate is from Belgium but has a Polish passport.

    • Hi Hanif, in future you have to inform your commune each time you leave Belgium for more than 3 months as that is a procedure for one who holds an F Card. You will have to fill up a form for your absence and state the reason. That is to protect yourself and not cause you inconvenience when you return from the airport. Perhaps, the Customs officers may ask you a lot of questions before they decide to let you go.

      According to the Belgian Immigration website, if you leave Belgium between 3 to 6 months, there is no consequence on your residence permit – meaning it will not be cancelled. What you can do now is to write an email to your commune where your F Card is registered. Inform them of the duration and the reason of your stay outside Belgium, and when you will be coming back. Provide them all your passport numbers and see whether they have any reply for you.

      Come back as soon as you can since you still have the intention to live in Belgium. If the email from the commune is positive, usually, you will go through the Customs smoothly. You can even show it to the Customs officers if they are being difficult with you. That is the best I can advise you.

      • Thank you for giving me answer. I came back to Belgium but not straight away. First, I went to Poland and then to Belgium. So my visa check-in was at Poland airport. I will register the address in Belgium again. Thank you very much. I was too nervous.

        I have one more question. I have a Belgium card. Can I apply for Polish residency card? Will my Belgium card and address still be valid?

        • Hi Hanif, I’m glad you came back to Belgium smoothly. Take it as a lesson learnt and not repeat the same nerve-racking mistake. As for the eligibility to apply for Polish residency, check with the Polish Embassy in Belgium. They are in a better position to advise you on the procedure.

  18. Hi. I recently got my F card. I was just wondering if you have ever been to the UK yet after you got yours? I am trying to obtain EEA Family Permit but the requirements are just too much for me. I would like to hear your experience. Thank you.

    • Hi B, I had been to Dublin and London last year. However, I do not need any visa or EEA Family Permit to enter as my passport allows me to do that. At the Customs, I just gave my F Card and passport to them.

      Belgian F Card is an Article 10 residence card issued under the EU law. Half of the people have travelled without an EEA Family Permit and only took their marriage certificate and passport, entering the UK with success along with their EU partner with them.

      Even on Facebook Belgium Groups, many people claimed to have done that with success while others warned against not applying for the EEA Family Permit especially when travelling by plane where the Customs Officers are more strict. You can google these conversations under “Travel to UK” where there are tons of discussion there.

      In the UK official website, it mentioned that one could travel to the UK with an Article 10 residence card, a marriage certificate, a passport and your husband accompanying you. On the other hand, point number 2 has two contradicting and ambiguous paragraphs.

      Should you decide not to apply for the EEA Family Permit and take a risk, you can show them the website at the Customs if things get difficult. If you have the time and make an effort to apply for the EEA Family Permit, then you will be on the safe side while travelling to the UK.

  19. Hi, actually I wanted to ask about citizenship. I’m a non-EU citizen and married to an EU person. First, I got an orange card for 6 months, then my F card. My question is when I apply for F plus card later, will those 6 months be counted or not? My F card will expire on Sep 2019. Can I ask for F+ card in March? On 5 March this year marks 5 years of my marriage and stay in Belgium.

    • Hi Riz, the 6-month duration of your Orange Card counts towards the 5-year stay. To be precise, you start counting from the date of your Annex 19ter, which should be the same date as your Orange Card. In March, you can go and apply for your F+ Card. It takes 6 months for you to get the result.

  20. Hi, I was reading most the comments. I found that you are quite clear in every answer, so I have a question concerning my circumstances.

    I am a Serbian citizen, and I am married to a Belgian lady. I am holding an F card. We plan to go next week to the UK for a weekend. My concern is about crossing the border to the UK. So, do I need a visa if I hold a 5-year F card, and being with my wife and bringing a marriage certificate as we plan to go by car?

    I heard many said that they passed without any problem with a marriage certificate in hand if you have an EU partner. I read in UKBA rules that if I HOLD a resident permit that is under Article 10, we can travel but I don’t know actually how this article relates to F card here in Belgium and whether we can travel or not. THANK YOU! I would be happy to hear from you soon.

    • Hi Agron, Article 10 refers to the F Card. I must state first that my passport allows me entry to the UK without a visa. Therefore, I can only give you the info based on what I have gathered from forums and official articles, not from my own experience.

      This topic is controversial as different people will give you different answers. Some will say yes, and some say no. It also depends on how strict the Customs Officer is. Generally, you need a visa to go to the UK if your passport requires you too, especially when taking a plane and not accompanied by an EU family member.

      If you are going by car, it’s a yes and no answer. Some people have entered the UK by car with success accompanied by their EU spouse, their marriage certificate on hand, F Card and passport. Some advised applying for either a visa or EEA Family Permit which both are free of charge in your case to avoid interrogation at the border control.

      I feel that travelling with your EU spouse and the relevant documents mentioned above may be good enough on the road since you may not have enough time to apply the visa or the EEA Family Permit anyway.

  21. Hi, Can anyone advise me please. I am a non-EU citizen residing in Belgium with my wife and minor child. My marriage was registered in Belgium. I got the F card through my child. My wife and child are Belgian national. I am working on a fulltime basis from last two years. If I lost the job and got divorced from my wife. What will happen to my immigration?

    • Hi Raj, If you get a divorce within 3 years of your marriage, your F card will be revoked as your right of residence depends on her. After 3 years, you may be able to stay if you prove that you have a job and can support yourself. The duration of your day starts from the date of your Appendix 19ter.

      On the website of Integration and Integration Agency, it states that you can stay if less than 5 years, provided that:

          • the right of custody of your children with the Belgian spouse or partner has been assigned to you (by mutual agreement or by court decision). The children must then stay in Belgium, OR

          • the right of access to a minor child has been assigned to you (by mutual agreement or judicial decision) and the court has determined that you must exercise this right of detention in Belgium and this as long as necessary.

      Divorcing after 3 years and having a stable job will be your best weapon to continue living in Belgium. Your wife may be able to accommodate this request if you can ask her to help you delay the divorce date.

      • Hello dear,

        Hope you’re going to help me about my situation.

        1. I have an F card, valid from December 2015 until 2020 December
        2. I’m not anymore with my Belgian partner from March 2018.
        3. I had a full-time job from 2016 till 2019 September.
        4. I have my own address.

        In this condition, what must I need to do to keep my residence rights in Belgium after 2020 December?

        • Hi, the question is, have you both already cancelled your cohabitation or going through a divorce proceeding? After 3 years of holding the F Card, you have to appeal if you want to stay in Belgium. The possibility to retain your residence here is high is you have a full-time job.

          One of the rules of the legal cohabitation is that both of you must share the same address. I believe the cohabitation was never terminated which was why you can continue staying in Belgium for more than a year. If your ex is willing to help you, you can hold on to the current status until you apply for F+ card next year on June 2020.

          In conclusion, yes, you can continue staying in Belgium after 3 years of holding on the F Card if you can prove self-sustainability. This request is an appeal and not a guarantee. For others who have a less than 3 years relationship, they have to pack and go. You can also seek help from a lawyer to improve your chance of staying here.

          • Hi,

            Hope you have a great day. Thanks for your reply. Here, I gonna tell you more about my situation.

            The 1st file was submitted in 2013 for the relationship, but they rejected. And then again in 2014 via advocate, I got an F card on 2015 December. So I and my partner were in relation from 2013 to 2018 March.

            We went to Stadhuis and cancel our relationship and address for both. Hope to hear from your side. Thanks, have a great day.

            • Hi, thanks for sharing more information. The length of the relationship will be counted officially from the date of the Annexe 19ter, and not from the date of your F Card. So it is likely that you have already 5 years of relationship counting from 2013 where you have your Orange Card.

              What surprised me was that after cancellation, you were not asked to leave the country. So to me, you are already legally allowed to stay in Belgium, but you may not know of that yet. Furthermore, you also mentioned that you had a full-time job then and your own house to prove self-sustainability, which is an important criterion to stay in Belgium as an independent.

              As you are already staying without your partner and form your life here for many years, there is a high chance to continue staying in Belgium. I think you should seek advice directly from the commune or a lawyer to see how you can get a permanent card in Belgium next year. Good luck to you! 🙂

  22. Hello!

    I’m not sure if here is where I should leave my comment… so here we go. I would appreciate all the information you can provide.

    I have been together with my partner for 3 years. We would like to find a way for me to establish with him in Belgium. He is Belgian, and I’m Colombian. What would be the best way to do it? I’m currently visiting Belgium.

    Also, I am a commercial pilot (already have an American and European license). Would it be possible to work for a Belgium based airline holding an “F Card”?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Hilary,

      Leaving your comment here is fine as I will redirect you to the appropriate post so you can read more in detail.

      Since you are now in Belgium, you can declare a cohabitation within 3 months of your entry provided you have all the documents with you. Even if you do not want to apply now, you can still make an appointment in the City Hall to create a record, on the pretext of asking for the cohabitation procedure and the relevant document submission.

      One important thing to note is after the expiry of your 90 days tourist visa, you are not allowed to travel out of Belgium technically. An Orange Card will grant you a right to stay in Belgium temporary while waiting for a decision to your F Card. You will be grounded in Belgium for 6 – 9 months.

      Your job requires you to fly. I do not know whether you possess any special visa as a commercial pilot that can override this law. If not, you can check with the Immigration Office to see if a Return Visa can help you solve the problem.

      Yes, you can work with an F Card if your partner is a Belgian. You can only work for a Belgium based airline (and not Schengen Zone) with only an F Card. I also think that you can consider applying for a Belgian work permit instead so it will not hinder you to fly frequently. After that, you can declare a legal cohabitation anytime you want.

      • Hello there! Thank you so much for your quick and informative response, is much appreciated!

        I just graduated a few months ago from the commercial pilot career, and of course, I would love to work for an airline. However what worries me is that all the airlines in Europe have as a requirement for the application to have a “Valid EU / EEA Passport or the unrestricted right to live and work in the EU”. Would it be possible to work with a Belgium based airline with the F card then? And if not, is there any other way? (Because it is quite disappointing that I won’t be able to get a pilot job for 5+ years.)

        I know it is a specific case, but I would appreciate any information. Once again, thank you so much!

        • Hi Hilary,

          Yes, you can work in a Belgium based airline with your F Card. However, you will not get an EU/EEA passport unless you apply for Belgian nationality after 5 years of uninterrupted stay. You have unrestricted right to live and work in Belgium. The other information is stated in the preceding comment. Best of luck!

  23. Hello! I’m sure I’m leaving this comment in the wrong section, but I cannot find it right now so please forgive me. I was wondering if you are allowed to travel in Europe after getting your orange card and awaiting your F card. Is it allowed? Thanks so much in advance.

  24. I have f card… but I am separated from my wife…. we stayed 2 years together… how long is the period to living together…. anyone can tell me this?

    • Hi Reehan,

      The duration of an F-card is 5 years. Although you are separated from your wife, as long as she does not divorce you or file for any cancellation of your F card, you can stay. If the period of being together is under 3 years, you may have to leave the country if there is any termination to your marriage. I am not sure whether I understood your question completely. Let me know if you have more questions.

      • If we are separated after 3 years, can I take F+ card without my wife … i.e. after 5 years of completion.

        • Hi Reehan, if you are separated with your wife after 3 years, and still can stay in Belgium being self-sufficient with a job, then you should have no problem getting an F+ Card later. That is provided that you have met all other F+ Card conditions to apply for it.

  25. Hi! Thank you for the information really informative! What if you leave the country with an orange card? Do you need to notify the commune? Can you again re-enter Belgium with a new tourist visa?

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