Monday, 3 August 2020

⑥ Annexe/Bijlage 3bis: Pledge of Financial Support Formal Obligation Form



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:-

  1. Letter from your current employer stating the duration of your employment and your last drawn monthly salary.
  2. Last 3-months salary slips.
  3. Latest Income Tax Assessment.
  4. 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?

  1. Belgian nationality or unlimited right to stay in Belgium (card B, C, D, E, E +, F, F +, Annex 8 or 8a).
  2. He or she has sufficient income.
  3. 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.

Bijlage 3 bis / Annexe 3bis (PDF)


» 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.


Conclusion

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.




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.

24 comments

  1. Hi, My name is Thinkler, a relative wants to invite me to Belgium. May I know after securing the annexe 3bis form for me, is he obliged to add his bank statements to it before posting it for to me, or only the 3bis form will be ok.

    • Hi Thinkler, your relative does not need to submit his bank statements together with the Annexe 3bis as there is no such requirement. During the application process in the city hall, he has to submit his last 3-month salary and then wait for the approval which takes a few weeks. After the document has been collected by him, he will mail you only that form.

      • Thanks a lot for your response, am much grateful. One more question. What about the original certificate of family composition, does he need to send that one too to me?

        • Hi Thinkler, generally no. The Annex 3bis is enough to show to the immigration officer. But if your relative is willing to send you, it can still be a helpful piece of resource to carry with you and show to the officers together with the 3bis document. The family composition is something extra for you, but not mandatory.

  2. Hello there,

    I just applied for my visa from Egypt as I am visiting my friend in Belgium. He sent me Annex 3bis as an official invitation letter with his last 3 salary slips. However, I also submitted my saving bank account to prove that I can finance myself and choose in the visa application that I can finance my stay.

    Would that be confusing as I produced both the formal obligation and my own savings and salary account? The purpose of formal obligation was just to make it an official invitation instead of a formal invitation letter. Would that be ok?

    • Hi Kareem, having both the Annex 3bix and your saving account will not complicate the process as you are just trying to prove that you are self-sufficient. I am not sure of the intention of your visit to Belgium. Are you coming to do a family reunion with your friend or just a simple visit?

      Anyway, no matter what the purpose is, just remember to hold the Annex 3bis and the supporting document in your handbag and not inside the luggage. At the customs, you can show the Annex 3bis to the officers. If they ask for more documents, you can show them your bank account, but I don’t think it is necessary to show them unless they are being difficult with you.

  3. Hello SJ,
    Thanks for the very informative article. How much time does the commune take to sign this document? I know it may vary from commune to commune. I stay in Auderghem and would like to invite my wife.

    • Hi Varun, for you to bring your wife over from your country is considered a family reunion under Visa D – long term visa. I am not sure about your case, but I have read that the waiting time is as long as doing a legal cohabitation or getting married here. In summary, the process of getting Visa D is long.

  4. Is the Annexe 3bis the only document I need to have with me during the immigration check? Especially if I am holding a one-way plane ticket. So if they ask for the purpose of my travel, I’ll inform them that I am applying for a Legal Cohabitation Visa?

    • Hi Zo, yes, you only need to have the Annexe 3bis with you. The form will state the purpose of your visit and bear the seal or stamp from the commune. You can also tell the officer verbally. They should be familiar handling such cases unless they are new.

      • Thank you! So I just let them know that I’m applying for the legal cohabitation and give them the Annexe 3bis? I was a bit worried about this since I will most likely have to go through the immigration check-in Finland since that will be my stopover.

        • Hi Zo, even if you stopover in Finland or any of the Schengen’s airport, the reply is still the same. Of course, the customs officers may ask you more questions, but that is just like a standard procedure for them daily.

  5. Again is me. So, do I have to prove that I have money for the first 3 months? And my financial situation? Well, I have a good job here and some savings. I’m gonna sell my car and was planning to bring that money in cash too!

  6. Hi,

    1-After the Annexe 3bis processing is approved by the commune, what happens next? Do you get a card? a VISA?

    2-Are you allowed to work with the Annexe 3bis approved?

    3-Are you allowed to study with the Annexe 3bis approved?

    Regards
    Wilson

    • Hi Wilson, to all your 3 questions, they are a “no”. It is a form to guarantee financial support for the person who will come to Belgium for a short period. You cannot do anything else with it.

      • Thank you for answering my message.

        1-Must I be a family member to the people who already live in Belgium in order to apply for Annexe 19ter with Orange Card?

        2-Or can I also apply if I am a friend to them?

        • Hi Wilson,

          Hi1) Yes and no. Orange Card applies to many groups of people not just for family members. You can look at this list of those that will get this card.

          2) If it is a normal friend, no. If it is for legal cohabitation purpose, yes.