Family members of EU citizens

Who is it about?


Only certain members of the so-called "nuclear" family are considered "family members". 


- The spouse or equivalent marriage partner of an EU citizen.

- The partner to whom the EU citizen is linked by a registered partnership according to a law (legal cohabitation, PACS, etc...) over 21 years of age.

- The descendants of the EU citizen or his/her spouse or partner who are under 21 years of age or dependent on them, provided that the parent has custody rights and, in the case of shared custody, provided that the other holder of custody rights has given his/her agreement. 

- Ascendants of non-Belgian EU citizens or their spouses or partners who are dependent on them, except for ascendants of EU citizens who are students.


These persons, provided they can prove their family ties and the citizenship of the EU citizen, can enter Belgian territory and stay for a maximum of three months out of six months to accompany or join their family member EU citizen. They must declare their arrival to the municipal authorities of their place of residence in Belgium. 




In order to settle in Belgium for more than three months with their EU citizen family member, these nationals must, in principle, submit an application to the Belgian consulate or embassy in their country of authorised residence (application for a D visa). 


If they are already in Belgium, the application can be submitted to the local authority of their place of residence.


See the ADDE website ( or the Office des Etrangers (


Documents to be produced


In support of an application for residence of more than three months, family members of EU citizens must submit within three months of their application :


- A valid or invalid passport or identity card

- The Union citizen's registration certificate

- Proof of custody rights over minor descendants or the agreement of the other parent

- For descendants over 21 years of age, proof that they are dependent and that they have health insurance.

- For the ascendants of an EU citizen, proof that they are dependent on him/her and proof of stable, regular and sufficient means of subsistence as well as health insurance

- For the descendant of a Union citizen who is a student, proof that he or she is a dependant

- Proof of sufficient resources and health insurance

- Most foreign civil status documents (birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.) must be translated into one of the Belgian national languages and legalised first by the competent national authorities and then by the Belgian embassy.


Consult the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 


Residence permits 


As soon as the application is submitted with the proof of family membership of a Union citizen, the municipal administration must issue a Annex 19ter (temporary right of residence). Once the required documents have been submitted, the municipal administration carries out a residence check and issues a Certificate of Registration The Office des Etrangers must take a decision as soon as possible and at the latest within 6 months of the issue of the annex 19ter. If no decision has been taken by the OE within this period or if the decision is positive, the municipal administration must issue a residence card for family members of Union citizens (Annex 9, Map F). 


In case of refusal, with or without an order to leave the territory, a written and motivated decision must be issued by the municipal administration, which can be contested before the Conseil du contentieux des Etrangers, with the assistance of a lawyer specialised in residence matters.



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