EEA+ nationals

Your family members may join you in Belgium thanks to the free movement of citizens of EEA countries. Family members will have to apply for a residence permit upon arrival in Belgium.

Non-EEA nationals

Family members who intend to stay with you in Belgium for a period longer than 90 days will have to apply for a visa type D family reunification at the Belgian embassy in the country of residence.

We strongly advise against travelling to Belgium with short stay visa because it is a long and complicated procedure to apply for a change of status.

Family of students (degree and PhD students) will not be able to apply for a visa at the same time.

You will have to take the following steps before the application of the family reunification visa can be started:

  • You need to travel to Belgium first, register at the University of Antwerp, apply for a residence permit and register with a health insurance provider.
  • You need to find suitable housing for yourself and your family. The rental agreement needs to be registered.
  • You need to obtain a document from your health insurance company stating that you are covered and that your family members will be covered by health insurance in Belgium.

Family of staff members (researchers on a host agreement or staff with a single permit) can apply for the family reunification visa together with the staff member.

Some embassies are not aware of the possibility. If this is the case, please contact the International Staff Office for further assistance.

Required documents

  • Valid international passport (with at least one year of validity remaining)
  • Two copies of the visa application form, completed and signed 
  • Copy of the ID card, residence permit and passport of the person to be joined in Belgium (not necessary for family member of staff member travelling together)
  • Medical certificate:
    • The medical certificate has to be completed by a doctor appointed by the Belgian diplomatic or consular agent nearest to your official place of residence and stamped for approval by the same agent. The completed original certificate (in Dutch, French or English) is needed to process your visa application.  This certificate must not be older than six months from the date of issue. 
    • Applicants who are already residing in Belgium can contact any GP (general practitioner or family doctor) in Belgium to obtain the medical certificate
  • A marriage certificate for your spouse, translated and legalised
  • Birth certificates for your spouse and children, translated and legalised
  • An extract from your criminal record dating from no more than six months prior to the date of application and covering the previous year
  • Proof of payment of the consular fees and the administrative fee
  • Proof that the person being joined has sufficient accommodation: copy of the registered rental agreement
  • Proof that the person being joined has stable, regular and sufficient income to meet his/her own needs and those of the members of the family:
  • Proof of registration with a public (i.e. Belgian) health insurance provider or private health insurance provider (Schengen medical insurance for a minimum period of three months)

Official documents issued abroad might need to be legalised or apostilled, depending on the type of document and country where it was issued.
Documents issued abroad in a language other than Dutch, English, French or German must be translated by a sworn translator.
For more information on legalisations and translations of documents, please check the website of Foreign Affairs or contact the Belgian embassy in your country of residence.

Family members will also have to apply for a residence permit upon arrival in Belgium. The International Staff Office can assist the family members of staff members (no PhD students or PhD scholarship holders) with this application.

  • In case of family reunification with a staff member, the residence permit will automatically mention the right to work.
  • In case of family reunification with a student or PhD, there is no automatic right to work in Belgium. A separate single permit will need to be requested by the future employer.