Wednesday, 21 July 2021
Cohabitation Visa Belgium - Archive, Q&A, Table of Contents

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Cohabitation Visa Belgium Questions and Answers Archive

Cohabitation Visa Belgium Q & A section is a recap or archive of all the articles and the table of contents written for my entire series of Legal Cohabitation Visa Survival Series for a Well-Prepared Battle. Click on the link for any question and answer that you would like to know. The link will jump directly to your area of concern.

1) Introduction to Legal Cohabitation Visa Survival Series for a Well-Prepared Battle

Introduction – Legal Cohabitation Visa

1. Brief Relationship History
2. Objective of the Website
3. Research on Cohabitation Visa Process
4. Why is the Procedure So Long and Difficult?
5. Main Referencing Official Website
6. Cohabitation Documents Requirement
7. Cohabitation Visa in Belgium
8. Disclaimer

2) Legal Cohabitation: An Alternative to Marriage

Legal Cohabitation: An Alternative to Marriage

1. Is Marriage Every Girl’s Dream?
2. Long Distance Relationship is always a Honeymoon Stage
3. High Divorce Rate in Belgium
4. Legal Cohabitation on the Rise
5. Who can Enter into Legal Cohabitation Contract?
6. How to End Legal Cohabitation Contract?
7. Unlawful Act
Sham Marriage and Bogus Cohabitation
Forced Marriage

3) Timeline Events Overview of Cohabitation Visa Process

Timeline Events Overview

1. 2014
2. 2016
March to June
i) Arrival in Belgium
ii) How I Kill Time with the Orange Card
3. 2017
4. Miscellaneous Notes

4) Register Record in the Commune Database

Creating Impression on First Enquiry Visit in Commune for Cohabitation Visa Process

1. Legal Cohabitation Questionnaire
2. Make Appointment to Visit Commune during Holiday
3. How to Handle Different Answers from Commune?
4. Not All Documents will be Submitted

5) Schengen Type C Travel Visa to Declare Legal Cohabitation

Travel Visa Type C and Long-Stay D Visa: Legal Cohabitation

History, Facts and Benefits of Schengen Area
1. Type C and D Visa: Which is the Correct Visa to apply for Legal Cohabitation?
2. Type C Visa to Declare Legal Cohabitation in Belgium
How to Fill in the Schengen Visa Application Form?
3. Non-EU Citizen who wants to join Non-EU Citizen
4. One Way / Single Trip Air Ticket
5. What is a Type D Visa?
6. General Schengen Information
The European Union Explained

6) Pledge of Financial Support – Annex 3bis Formal Obligation Form

What is Bijlage 3 bis / Annexe 3bis?

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
5. Conclusion

7) Legalisation of Documents: Certificate of Celibacy & Birth Certificate and Sworn Translator

What is a Legalisation?

1. How to Legalise Documents in Your Country?
2. What is an Apostille?
3. Sworn Translators
4. Certificate of Celibacy
5. Birth Certificate Extract
6. What if I do not have a Birth Certificate and not able to get one in my country?

8) Certificate of Good Conduct – No Criminal Record

Certificate of Good Conduct

1. Getting a Certificate of Good Conduct in Your Home Country
2. Getting a Certificate of Good Conduct in Belgium
3. Other Advantages of Possessing a Certificate of Good Conduct
• For jobs involving domestic work
• For the benefits of your future employment

9) Do You Need International Travel Health Insurance Instead to Apply for Cohabitation Visa?

Difference between Travel Insurance & International Health Insurance

1. Travel Insurance (Single Trip)
2. Travel Insurance (Annual Plan)
3. International Health Insurance
4. Claim Issue for Travel Insurance
5. How many Months of Health Insurance to Submit?
6. Cost Analysis between AXA Schengen Visa and IMG Hopper
7. My Health Insurance Plan
Extension of Health Insurance
Cost of IMG Hopper
Visa Letter
8. Can I Be Covered under My Belgian/EU Partner’s National Insurance Plan?

10) Is Medical Certificate Necessary?

Do You Need a Medical Certificate?

1. Leaving the Medical Certificate Behind
2. Making Health Screening Appointment in Belgium
3. Why Go for Medical Checkup?
Download Medical Certificate Form

11) The Day of Declaring Legal Cohabitation in Stadhuis

Declare Legal Cohabitation within 8 Days Upon Arrival in Belgium

1. Newcomer Online Registration
2. Documents Required to Bring When Declaring Legal Cohabitation
3. Stadhuis Keeping My Visit Record For 1.5 Years
4. Signing Legal Cohabitation Agreement
5. Informed of Police Visit after Legal Cohabitation Declaration
6. No Problem Going for Holiday before Receiving Orange Card
7. Call to Districtshuis Deurne
8. Conclusion

12) What are the Cohabitation Requirements and Process from Commune Letters and Email?

Cohabitation Requirements after Declaring Legal Cohabitation

1. First Letter (18 July 2016) – Delayed Registration of Legal Cohabitation
2. Second Letter (18 July 2016) – Proof of Relationship for “Legal Cohabitation Declaration”
3. Email (22 July 2016) – Proof of Relationship for “Investigation of Fake Relationship”
• How do you send your documents?
• How much should you pay?
• How do you pay?
What happens after receipt of the documents?

13) Proof of Relationship Cohabitation Visa: What to Submit for Belgian Immigration Office?

Proof of Relationship: What to Submit for Legal Cohabitation Visa?

1. What is Considered “Proof of Relationship” for Cohabitation Visa?
2. Different Stage of Document Submission
3. Make Your Presentation Format Clear and Easy to Read
4. Email File Size Limit
5. Do Not Compress The Photo Size
6. Manipulating Photo Dates
7. Submission of Tickets and Receipts
Air Tickets
Train, Bus and Paid Carpool Trip
Hotel Reservation
8. Other Proof of Relationship and Method Used
Screenshot of Emails, Facebook Photos and FB Messenger
Generated Chat History
How to Generate Chat History from WhatsApp?
Retrieve Backup Message of Skype and MSN
9. Merge Documents into a Single PDF File Online
How to Combine and Merge Documents into a Single PDF File Online?
10. My Proof of Relationship Submission
11. Presentation Format

14) What to Expect from Police Visit: Prepare Mentally to Handle Challenging Questions

Manage Your Expectation of Police Visit for Legal Cohabitation Process

1. Why is there a Police Visit?
2. Definition of ‘Resident’
3. Police Visit after Signing a Legal Cohabitation Agreement
4. What to Expect from a Police Visit?
5. What If the Police Did Not Come and Visit?
6. The Long-Awaited Dreadful Police Visit
7. My Police Visit Experience
8. Questions to Ponder for the Police Visit: Opportunity to Know Our Partner Better

15) Legal Cohabitation Approval and Orange Card Appointment: What to Bring

Approval of Declaration of Legal Cohabitation and Things to Bring for Orange Card

1. Declaration of Legal Cohabitation Approved
2. First Obstacle Cleared: Appointment Given for my Orange Card
3. What are the Things to Bring for Orange Card?

16) Orange Card + Annexe / Bijlage 19ter: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

Orange Card + Annex 19ter: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

1. What is an Orange Card?
2. Validity and Extension
3. No News is Good News
4. Purposes of Orange Card
5. How Long Does It Take to Receive the Orange Card after Arriving in Belgium?
6. Is it Illegal to Stay in Belgium after the Visa Expires and Orange Card not Received Yet?
7. Can I Travel with Orange Card?
8. Suggestions to Reduce Travelling Risk
9. Return Visa (Terugkeervisum) – Exceptional Cases to Leave Belgium
10. When Can I Travel Out of Belgium?
11. Can I Study Dutch and Attend Integration Courses with Orange Card?
12. Can I Work with Orange Card?
Working with Orange Card and Annexe/Bijlage 19ter
13. What is Annex 19ter?
Bijlage 19ter Listed Cohabitation Documents Requirement

17) Belgian/EU Partner Proof of Income, Health Insurance and Housing

Belgian/EU Partner Proof of Income, Housing & Health Insurance for Legal Cohabitation Visa

1. Adequate Housing
2. Adequate Health Insurance
3. Proof of Income
How to derive the minimum salary needed to apply for legal cohabitation?
Regular or Irregular Income for 12 months or Less
4. What if my Belgian/EU partner does not fulfil the minimum income of €1,555.092 for one year?
Favourable Benefits as Remedy for Lower Income
What Kind of Benefits are Not Taken into Consideration?
5. Case Studies
Scenario 1
Scenario 2
6. Get Someone to be a Sponsor / Guarantor

18) Legal Cohabitation Visa Template for Documents and Proof of Relationship

Legal Cohabitation Visa Template for Presenting Proof of Relationship & Required Documents

1. Submit a Complete File
2. Upload Photos and Documents in Cloud Storage
Pros and Cons of Cloud Storage
3. Divide Presentation Template into Rows and Columns Table
4. Introducing Your Relationship
5. Description of Activity
Activities Highlights
Cohabitation Documents
6. Air Ticket Record
How to Label Air Ticket Record?
7. Photo (P) / Document (D) Link
How to Link Activities to External Photos and Documents?
Document Test Link from Google Drive

Labelling of Photos and Documents
8. Location
9. Total Days
10. Folders in Cloud Storage
11. Miscellaneous Information
Your Blogging Website
Concluding Sentences
Contact Details
12. Final Proof Check of Hyperlinks in Template

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

F Card: Belgian eID Procedure

1. What is F and F+ Card?
How Long Does It Take to Receive the Residence Permit – F Card?
No News of F Card is Good News
2. Things to Bring for Applying F Card
3. F Card Procedure
No Belgian eID Collection on First Appointment
Passport-Sized Photograph
Temporary Paper Identification
Can You travel with a Temporary Paper Identity?
PIN and PUK Code of Belgian eID
F Card Payment and Collection
Fast Method of Collecting the F Card
4. Bring Forward the F Card Collection Date
5. Travel with F Card
 F Card is not a Travel Document
 Travelling within Schengen and Non-Schengen Zone
 Leaving Belgium for More than 3 Months
 How long Can You Travel Out or Leave Belgium with an F Card?
6. Working Abroad with F Card
7. Final Conclusion

20) Cohabitation Visa Denied: What to Do for Visa Rejection? Reapply the Cohabitation Process, Appeal or Hire A Lawyer?

Course of Action: Cohabitation Visa F Card Rejection

1. Reapply for the Cohabitation Process
2. Appeal
3. Hire a Lawyer

21) 9 Tips for Couples Applying for Cohabitation Visa Later

1. Do not rush into a cohabitation contract
2. Use calendar, journal or diary to track important dates
3. Be over-prepared than underprepared
4. Take sufficient photos together
5. Keep air tickets, train tickets and hotel reservation
6. Partner in Belgium to have a minimum income
7. Start keeping all the message threads on your phone app
8. Visit the Town Hall at least once when you are in Belgium for holiday
9. Avoid applying for your cohabitation visa during holiday or festive seasons

22) Family Reunion Checklist: Moving to Belgium for Marriage and Legal Cohabitation

Checklist of Items to Do and Bring for Legal Cohabitation or Marriage Purpose

1. Download the Checklist from Google Drive
2. Checklist
Legal Cohabitation Visa Documents
Things to Bring
Things to Do

23) You Are Wanted! Guest Blogging | Legal Cohabitation Visa

We have come to the end of the “Legal Cohabitation Visa Series for a Well-Prepared Battle”. Are you more confident to fight the unknown forces and to conquer your residence permit F Card successfully? Share your experience and be my Guest Blogger! Hope you continue to follow my post by subscribing to my newsletter for other useful information.

Lastly, thank you for following through the series. Do leave me a comment if you have something to say about the legal cohabitation visa in Belgium!

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.


  1. Hello

    Do you know the process when the cohabitation ends? I am American and my Belgian girlfriend is breaking it off. What is the timeline for me to leave the country? What are my options?

    • Hi SH, sorry to hear that. One can terminate a legal cohabitation agreement in a commune and the cost is between €190 to €225. You will have to leave the country in 30 days. If the relationship is more than 3 years, and you have a stable job in Belgium, you can appeal to the decision to continue staying in Belgium. Otherwise, you will have to leave the country as your right to stay is tied to your relationship with your Belgian girlfriend.

  2. Many thanks for such useful information. We are gathering all the required documents in order to proceed. I will get back to you if we need further information. Appreciated!

    • Hi Al Taf, you are welcome! One word of advice. You do not need to have all the documents ready before proceeding because you will have a lot of time to do that later. The procedure has lengthened now. You may need to go through one or two interviews even before signing the legal cohabitation contract. Therefore, go as quickly as you can.

  3. Hi, Many thanks for sharing this information about the cohabitation process. Currently, I am on visit visa and planning to apply for cohabitation with my girlfriend who is French. We are together for almost 3 years. I shall be very grateful if you can answer my following questions:

    1) Can I apply for cohabitation while staying on visit visa as I have 1-year long visit visa?

    2) My girlfriend is working in France, but we are planning to rent a house in Belgium near the French border. So can we apply for cohabitation while she is working in France and we are living in Belgium?

    Prompt reply will be highly appreciated.


    • Hi Al Taf,

      1) I guess it should not be a problem as long as you have all the required documents especially those needed on the day of declaring a cohabitation which is your first step at the municipal office.

      2) Check with the commune if they can accept salary slips from someone working in France. Also, there might be other consideration such as whether she already has a long-term Belgian residence permit before declaring a legal cohabitation.

      I would not see your questions as a deterrence to declare a legal cohabitation but it is still better to confirm with the commune or the Belgian immigration office.

      • Hi, thank you for your reply.

        Is it ok to apply for cohabitation in a city like Mouscron which is a small city near the French border or better in big cities like Brussels or Antwerp? I need advice on this.

        Secondary, regarding the language in Mouscron they speak French which I know very basic as I don’t speak Dutch at all. Will this be an issue?

        Hugely grateful for your help and advice. Looking forward to your reply.

        Many thanks

        • Hi Al Taf,

          You can only apply for your legal cohabitation in the city where you live because the Town Hall needs to know the population count in the city. You cannot choose to go to other cities for the application.

          After you sign the cohabitation paper and get the approval, your submitted documents will be forwarded to the Brussels Immigration Office to take a decision. So, it does not matter which city you live because only one centralised body is making the decision.

          You and your girlfriend have to register your names under the same address. It would be ideal that the rental contract has both your names on it. If you move house someday in the midst of the application, you have to inform the current and the new Town Hall on the change of address.

          Mouscron is the French-speaking region of Wallonie. Therefore, you do not need Dutch at all. Interviews will be conducted in French. If you cannot speak French well, they may arrange for a translator. You will be informed later if a translator is needed before the interviews.

  4. Hello, we are having our interview date on coming September 26 for cohabitation. We are together since 3 years ago. He is a French citizen working as an engineer here. Any advice for us to face a nice and smooth interview? Thank you.

  5. lindathebosslady

    ooh my God I love this blogger very accurate God bless you.

    • Once you have the F+ Card, you can live in Belgium no matter what happens to your relationship. No one can kick you out. To apply for Belgian citizenship or not is entirely up to your decision. But I must warn you that the process is not easy. Many “qualified” people did not get it. Lastly, thanks for your kind words. All the best to you!!! 🙂

  6. Beste,

    Firstly, I would like to wish you and your family a Happy New Year. Many thanks for your kind response. As far as I know, the minimum salary to get the work permit is about 42000€/year, although I have been working in this company for nearly one year but my salary is less than said minimum income. I will have a try to see how it would work.

    Many thanks and best regards

    Hien Nguyen

    • Hi Nguyen, what I can only say is to try your best to maintain the relationship and find other solution to it. I wish you all the best and hope everything goes well for this new year!!!

  7. Hi there,

    Thank you for your website which is very informative. I come from Vietnam and have been living in Belgium for 1,5 years. I will receive my F card in April and as said above I have got no news from het Stadhuis about the process. I am now working in an American group in Belgium with a temporary contract. They promise to grant me the permanent contract as soon as I have got my F card. Furthermore, I can speak Dutch (one year in Linguapolis, UA)

    The thing is there is a problem with our relationship and it seems to be no hope although we both are trying to working on it. My question is if I break up with him after I receive my F card, wil I have to leave Belgium immediately? or there is any other solution?

    Sorry if it might cause you inconvenience.


    • Hi HN,

      If you do not receive any news from the Stadhuis until the expiry date of your Orange Card, then it is assumed that they have given you the right to stay here. Some Stadhuis will send a letter or email to you telling you that they have approved your application while some will not. If they reject it, you will receive a letter from them within these 6 months.

      Your right to residence is tied to your cohabitation or marriage status. If you break up with your partner within 3 years (starting from the date of the Appendix 19ter), you are likely to leave Belgium unless you have other exceptions such as a custody of a child which has to stay in Belgium or a victim of a family domestic violence.

      If the relationship breaks after 3 years before you get your permanent F+ card, you have a possibility to stay if you can justify that you are self-sustainable by having a job and not depending on the social security system. You can read more information from Agentschap Integratie en Inburgering.

      I have read that there are people who broke the cohabitation contract within 3 years, have a job, seek a lawyer to help and still, the lawyer can do nothing much because the law says so unless you have a valid reason.

      Once you have a permanent residence F+ after 5 years, no one can kick you out of the country even if you break the cohabitation contract.

      The other alternative is to seek the help of your current employer. You can check if the company can offer you a work permit if all else fails.

  8. Armand Donckier de Donceel

    Hello everyone, I currently have my orange card as my partner is Belgian. We applied through the “cohabitation legal” process. We filled and send all the documents they requested and still waiting for an answer. My card is going to expire, and I haven’t heard anything yet. Any advice on what to do next? Would be highly appreciated. Merci.

    • Hi Armand,

      No news is good news in this case. It means that the Belgian Immigration has accepted your family visa application. If they reject your application, you would have received the letter of rejection by now and asked to leave the country in 30 days. Not every commune will give you a letter of approval as some Gemeentehuis do not practise that at all.

      You do not have to do anything from now onwards. Sit back and relax. When your Orange Card expires or closer to the expiry date, you will receive a letter to bring money and photo to the commune for your F card (Belgian eID). Congratulation to you in advance! 🙂