TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Sufficient Personal Means of Subsistence
• Financial Preparation Tips
2. Pledge of Financial Support
• Mail Bijlage / Annexe 3bis to Foreign Partner
• At Arrival Airport of Europe
3. Who can be a Guarantor / Sponsor?
4. Types of Formal Obligation Forms
• Annexe 3bis Form – Purpose of Family and Friends Visit
Download Annexe 3bis Form
• Annexe 5 Form – Pledge of Support for Cohabitation
• Annexe 32 Form – Pledge of Support for Student
Bijlage 3 bis/Annexe 3bis
For legal cohabitation purpose: When applying for a Type C Short Stay Visa of not more than 90 days in Schengen, one requirement of the Belgian Immigration Office is to ensure:-
d) the documents indicating that you have sufficient personal means of subsistence, both for the duration of your stay on the SCHENGEN territory and for the transit to a third country in which your admission is guaranteed, or a commitment that charge will be taken (Annex 3 bis).
Sufficient Personal Means of Subsistence
On the other hand, the French language of the Belgian Immigration Office site provides more detail. The applicants have to prove that they can take care of themselves financially for three months in Belgium.
The reference amount is €45/day when one stays with an individual and €95/day in a hotel. So, using a simple calculation, the applicants should have at least €4,050.00 if they live with someone for 90 days. In addition, one has to produce the supporting documents: –
- recent bank statements indicating movements over a certain period (at least the past three months), and/or
- a credit card and a bank statement corresponding to that card, and/or
- cash in a convertible currency, and/or
- traveller’s cheques, and/or
- pay slips (at least the last three months), and/or
- an attestation of employment, and/or
- a supporting document attesting that charge will be taken and/or accommodation with an individual.
» Financial Preparation Tips
Very complicated, isn’t it? Ok, maybe I did think too much. I was not sure if the authority would ask me to show proof of my bank statement later. I also wondered how much money was considered enough to stay for more than 90 days?
Consider the following measures as part of the financial preparation before going to Belgium:-
- Letter from your current employer stating the duration of your employment and your last drawn monthly salary.
- Last 3-months salary slips.
- Latest Income Tax Assessment.
- Latest Bank Statement.
- Make sure that the bank account has ‘enough money’ to prove that you are financially independent during your stay in Belgium.
- If the bank account does not have enough money or does not look presentable in figures, pump up the figures of your bank at least four months before applying for a visa:
- By selling some of the assets you have on hand (you are going to migrate anyway).
- By getting some financial help from your close family members who are willing to lend you the money temporary.
Usually, the last three months’ bank statement is asked. If there is a reflection of an influx of money in the recent bank statement, it may look suspicious. So far, I have not read or heard much about people asking to show proof of their bank statement. I prefer not to show my bank statement. It is rather sensitive to show others your assets. We decided to go for the second option with “a commitment that charge will be taken”.
Pledge of Financial Support
The official website states it as another alternative to providing “sufficient personal means of subsistence”. As a result, I did not have to prepare my financial statement at all. Everything seemed so easy and took away part of my stress then. It is an advantage for the partner in Belgium to submit this Bijlage/Annexe 3bis form. Indeed, it is a practical method to demonstrate the authenticity and strength of the relationship.
Bijlage/Annexe 3bis (a.k.a 3a) is a Formal Obligation form which is a pledge of financial support for the foreigner. This form is valid for a maximum of 2 years. The foreigner, also referred to as the third-country national if he/she does not come from an EU country.
The guarantor or the sponsor has to commit to the Belgian State with a letter of guarantee to account for the cost of health care, accommodation and repatriation of his/her non-European partner while living in Belgium.
» Mail Bijlage / Annexe 3bis to Foreign Partner
After the legalisation of the Bijlage/Annexe 3bis form by the commune, take a photograph or photostat the copy before mailing over to the home country of the foreign partner.
I recommend using a registered mail to prevent lost document during the transit. In the event of loss, there is still a tracking form from the post office. Furthermore, the duplicates created by photos and paper are proof that the partner in Belgium has already processed the application.
» At the Arrival Airport of Europe
Do not place this document in the check-in luggage at the departure airport!
At the arrival airport of Europe, it is important for the foreign partner to carry this Bijlage/Annexe 3bis form during an immigration check. The Customs Officer at the control gate may ask to show proof and intention of staying in Belgium/Europe.
For a one-way ticket holder, especially when a passport holder does not need to apply for a Schengen travel visa, this is the only document that one can explain the unique circumstance to the Customs Officers.
The Bijlage/Annexe 3bis form states clearly – “to be submitted by the third-country national during checks at the external borders”.
There is a likelihood that the customs would ask the women from non-EU nationalities to show proof of their return air ticket and accommodation at the checkpoints of Europe. Isn’t the statement obvious?
Who can be a Guarantor / Sponsor?
- Belgian nationality or unlimited right to stay in Belgium (card B, C, D, E, E +, F, F +, Annex 8 or 8a).
- He or she has sufficient income.
- A power of attorney is necessary if the guarantor is not a family member.
With a duly completed Formal Obligation Form printed on both sides of the paper, attach the following documents below and submit to the commune for approval:
- Last 3 months payslips
- Income tax assessment
- A document from Government Body stating the gross or net income
The processing time taken by the commune to approve this document is 4 to 5 weeks’ upon submission. For me, my boyfriend only submitted the last three months of his payslip with the Bijlage/Annexe 3bis Form. It took four weeks to process.
Types of Formal Obligation Forms
» Annexe 3bis Form – Purpose of Family and Friends Visit
The validity of this pledge of financial commitment is valid for a maximum of two years on the duration of stay with the foreigner. However, one has to produce the Bijlage/Annexe 3bis within 6 months following the date of the legalisation by the commune to be effective. After the dateline, this form is rendered invalid as a proof of sufficient means of subsistence for the foreign partner involved.
» Annexe 5 Form – Pledge of Support for Cohabitation
Do not mix up Appendix 5 with Appendix 3bis required to declare a legal cohabitation. It is for information only. Annexe 5 is a letter of guarantee for cohabitants living under the same address taken care off by the Belgian citizen or a legal foreign national residing in Belgium. Both have already obtained a right to stay and remained in Belgium under Article 11 – Removal of Aliens. This commitment is valid for 3 years/an unlimited period.
» Annexe 32 Form – Pledge of Support for student
The Annexe 32 form is a letter of guarantee for foreign students wishing to study in Belgium.
It is in the best interest of everyone to apply for an Annex 3bis Formal Obligation Form. Even if the foreign partner is financially self-sufficient, use it as a good reason for showing the Customs Officer at the arriving airport.