Residence permit

Belgium

Country Report: Residence permit Last updated: 16/05/24

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The recognition of the refugee status initially gives access to a “limited right to residence” of 5 years.[1] After these five years, counting from the day a person has requested international protection, the right to residence becomes unlimited unless the CGRS takes a cessation or revocation decision on the status according to Article 55/3 or 55/3/1 of the Aliens Act.  Upon recognition as a refugee by either the CGRS or the CALL, refugees receive a refugee certificate from the CGRS. They should present themselves with this document to their local commune, which will register them in the Aliens Register on the date of their recognition as a refugee. The commune will first issue an electronic “A card” valid for 5 years from the moment of the asylum application.[2] After these 5 years, the beneficiary should again turn to the commune between the 45th and 30th day before its expiration date, in order to request an electronic B card, which gives access to an unlimited right to residence. When the commune cannot issue the B-card in a timely manner, a paper called “Annex 15” temporarily covering the right to residence is issued by the commune.

Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection initially receive a residence right for one year. Unless the Immigration Office is convinced that the situation motivating the status has changed (upon which the CGRS is asked for an examination) or the CGRS starts a re-examination of the situation ex-officio, the residence right will be renewed after the first year and then again after two years. Five years after the asylum application, the subsidiary protection status holder receives an unlimited right to residence, unless the CGRS would apply cessation or revocation of the status according to Article 55/5 or 55/5/1 of the Aliens Act.[3] Similarly to refugees, persons granted subsidiary protection need to go to the local commune with either a certificate of the CGRS confirming the right to subsidiary protection, or – differently from persons with refugee status – with the decision of the CALL granting subsidiary protection. The commune will register them in the Aliens Register on the date of their recognition and will first issue an electronic “A card” valid for one year, renewable twice for a period of two years. Renewal of this card has to be demanded at the commune between the 45th and 30th day before its expiration date. When the commune cannot prolong the card in a timely manner, a paper called “Annex 15” temporarily covering the right to residence is issued by the commune. This document is named an “Annex 15”. After 5 years,  the beneficiary receives an electronic B card, which gives access to an unlimited right to residence.[4]

 

 

 

[1] Article 49 Aliens Act.

[2] Article 76 Aliens Decree.

[3] Article 49/2(2)(3) Aliens Act.

[4] Article 77 Aliens Decree.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation