The procedure for family reunification for registered partners has been relaxed as of July

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Date:
19 Aug 2010

<p>Married and registered partners of foreign workers, who accompany their partner to <st1:place><st1:country-region>Belgium</st1:country-region></st1:place>, can obtain a residence permit by following a procedure for family reunification.</p>

Married and registered partners of foreign workers, who accompany their partner to Belgium, can obtain a residence permit by following a procedure for family reunification.

The procedure relates to situations in which case a non-EU citizen applies for a family reunification with his/her partner, an other non-EU citizen with a limited right of residence.

Contrary to married partners, legally registered partners (who are not married) have to prove that they have a long-lasting and stable relationship as defined by Royal Decree.

The Royal Decree of 5 July 2010 relaxes these conditions with effect as from 30 July 2010. But what exactly changes?

  • There is a long-lasting and stable relationship if the legally registered partners know each other for at least one year (previously it had to be two years) and if they prove that they stayed in contact by phone, by exchange of letters or electronic messages on a regular basis, that they met at least three times before the request and that these meetings had a total duration of at least 45 days.
  • The partner who has legal residency in Belgium no longer has to sign a “commitment of cost bearing”.

The two other possibilities to prove a long-lasting and stable relationship (living together for one year in Belgium or in another country or having a child together) remain unchanged.

The relaxation of the conditions is a consequence of the cancellation of the concerned article by the Council of State because of the fact that these (more stringent) conditions are contrary to the Immigration law.