Visa Requirements

Belgium Cohabitation Visa General Conditions

The cohabitation before marriage law in Belgium allows that you can apply for a cohabitation visa and residence permit as an immigrant to Belgium if you meet certain visa requirements under their family immigration laws.

You can apply for visas or a residence permit to stay in Belgium as cohabitants if you are in a stable and long term relationship (heterosexual or homosexual) with someone who is one of the following:

  • a Belgian national
  • a national of the European Union
  • a foreigner who is not a EU national, but has a residence permit for Belgium or has the permission to

If you have a United States passport you do NOT need a travel visa to Belgium for the first 90 days. This will allow you to apply for visas in Belgium in person, however I would strongly urge you to try to apply for your cohabitation visa in the US if you can. The Belgian Embassy in New York will no longer do this for you, but you may be able to apply for visas at another Embassy. If you are coming from another country, you may need to apply for a Schengen Visa to enter Belgium.

Both of you must be at least 18 years old to meet the visa requirements. If you are over 21 you might not have to show that you have lived together for 1 year, or your criminal record depending on your commune in Belgium.

Within 90 days of arriving in the Schengen Area you must submit a visa form which called a Declaration of Statutory Cohabitation to your commune in Belgium to declare as yourselves legal cohabitants. You can then request a residence permit on the basis of cohabitation before marriage.

Some conditions of a stable and long term relationship for cohabiting couples:

  • You have been cohabiting (a couple living together) for at least 1 year in any country


  • You can prove that you have known each other for at least 2 years
    • you have had regular contact by phone, mail, or email
    • you have met at least 3 times in the past 2 years for a total of at least 45 days


  • you have a child together

Other Options for Immigrants Who Need a Visa to Belgium

I have heard that it is possible to apply for visas as an immigrant without having lived together for 1 year or without having been together for 2 years but there is some risk involved. Apparently it does not look good to have a denied visa in your passport for future visa requests. Immigrants that do not meet one of the first two conditions of a stable relationship do have some other options for a residence permit.

  • Study at a University in Belgium to obtain a Student Visa. Then once you have been a couple living together in Belgium for a year with the Student Visa, apply for the cohabitation visa and resident permit.
  • Get married

Note: Currently all the information on this web site is based on visa requirements in Brussels, Belgium as a US citizen. The visa application forms and immigrant laws may differ if you are coming from another country.

Read about the documents required for the Cohabitation Visa application.


  1. #1 by Mina on January 29, 2018 - 4:51 am


    I am a non-EU citizen, I have been on student visa now for 5 years in Belgium. I have a Belgian bf and we have been living together for 5 months now. We have been in this relationship for 1 year 5 months now so still not living together for one year. However, before starting dating we have been texting each other on facebook for some time. So basically we started texting each other 2.5 years ago but met each other 1.5 years ago. (The texting has been on and off, like there was 4-5 months that there were no texts). So I’m curious if that counts as KNOWING each others for 2 years or not? what do they mean by knowing? What documents do they need?
    I would like to apply for a cohabitation visa if I have a chance. If not, I need to wait till the end of my student visa and apply then.

  2. #2 by Kim H. on January 25, 2018 - 4:38 pm

    I’m an American citizen living in Belgium for 9 months now. I just got accepted for cohabitation legale, I just need to wait for a police visit. I met business owner in Paris and he signed me a work contract, he needs me so bad to start working right away doing programming, so I was wondering if my carte de sejour that I will get from Belgium (Maybe in two weeks from now) can be able to work in France or do I have to apply for a work permit there? Does this Cohabitation legale give someone a right to work in any EU country?
    Thank you very much

  3. #3 by tahira on January 21, 2018 - 9:37 pm

    hi i m candian pr card holder living in canada before tht i claim rufgee i want to get married in belgium my boy freind live their
    1 what is the procedure to get married their
    2 and which document i need to take with me to go
    3 and how to get marriage date in cummin in belgium

  4. #4 by Ali on January 11, 2015 - 7:24 am

    Hello! thanks for replying my previous Post.

    1)Now my Question is that My Brother is the Citizen of Belgium can he Invite me for long term Visa and Can I get Citizenship also after spending a 6 7 years there..???

    2) Marriage is necessary for getting PR In Belgium or there is any other ways for getting Citizenship there and living there…?

    3)If my Brother Invites me how long it will take to complete the process of the Visa after showing Living together and Showing Bank statement there…???

    • #5 by Alina on January 16, 2015 - 12:58 pm

      to your questions, 1. yes you can become a citizen after living there for 3 years if you are an EU citizen and 5 years if you are non-EU, 2. You can get citizenship after living there for several years under cohabitation too, 3. it takes anywhere from 6-9 months to get your cohabitation visa

  5. #6 by Mika on January 7, 2015 - 3:48 pm

    Very helpful and informative blog. I came here to Belgium with cohabitation visa. We lived here for a bit more than two years now. Unfortunately, we now broke up and she is going to terminate our contract. I am a bit lost now (and I don’t know what to do) since I had no idea if I will be asked to leave the country. Would that be the case? I am learning the language (niveau zes) and working through an intrim job. She has asked me to leave the house with my belongings so now I am outside. Do you have an advice that might be useful for me to be able to continue staying here? Very awkward and unfortunate situation I am in. Thank you in advance for any feedbacks.

  6. #8 by don on January 6, 2015 - 7:13 am

    Hello Alina,if your partner does not meet the financial requirement is it ^possible that a family friend can quarantee us by writing a letter of gaurantor financially.Will it be accepted by the immigration if a family friend decides to support us financially because my gf parent leave in Africa because we both are Africans.

    • #9 by Alina on January 6, 2015 - 8:12 pm

      The commune has the choice to accept or reject whatever they want unfortunately. I think you might have a better chance if your guarantor was a close family member like your parents.

      • #10 by Kim on January 8, 2015 - 11:52 pm

        Hello I have a question, I am under cohabitation visa but our relationship now is in roller coster. We have a son and I am almost 2 years in Belgium…my question is if we are going to separate, can I still stay in Belgium and can I apply a social housing? I work a part time. Thank you.

  7. #12 by Ali on January 2, 2015 - 4:03 am

    Hello My question is that My brother is from Pakistan but now he has become the Belgian Citizen after married now he can Invite Pakistani blood related Brothers and Sisters to live in Belgium…???

    • #13 by Alina on January 6, 2015 - 8:08 pm

      Yes, you can do a cohabitation visa with your brother, but I think that you will need to live with him when you arrive in Belgium.

  8. #14 by Tara on December 29, 2014 - 4:20 am

    I am currently an asylum seeker here in belgium and my partner is a belgian national, its been almost 6 months that we have been seeing each other, recently she started working and we have been planning to stay together, keeping in mind of the 1 year live in together to be eligible for cohabitation visa,
    My question is,
    1)is it only that after one year of live in together that we can apply for cohabitation visa or can we apply even before that time frame like after staying together for 6 months?
    2)And also when my application is still in process , will i be eligible to work here ?
    3)in case if my cohabitation visa is accepted will i be getting a 3 month orange card or a 5 year card ?
    Kindly put some light over my doubts and questions
    Thanking you

    • #15 by Alina on December 30, 2014 - 4:00 pm

      Hope these answers help! 1). you need to live together for one year OR have known each other for 2 years AND have met at least 3 times for a total of 45 days. Since you have only been together for 6 months, I would wait until you have been living together for 1 year. 2). Since your partner is a Belgian National you have a good chance but I have heard it goes both ways. You can check with the foreign employment office as soon as you have your orange card. 3). You will probably get a temporary card for 3 months and then something more permanent when that is up.

      • #16 by Tara on January 2, 2015 - 8:44 am

        Thank you very much for the prompt and an apt response, will definitely keep in mind of your kind suggestions, however do you advice for me to consult a lawyer or its something that i can handle by myself.
        thank you once again
        with regards 🙂

        • #17 by Alina on January 6, 2015 - 8:14 pm

          If you meet all the requirements and have a pretty straight forward case you should not need a lawyer to apply for the cohabitation visa 🙂

  9. #18 by flo on December 25, 2014 - 3:46 pm

    Hello,last year my ex boyfriend and i applied for living together contract but i had been denied because of lack of proofs. after a year of livingtogether we broke up recently. but i was still thinking wat will happen to the contract that we signed in commune as living together.does it still valid since ive been denied?currently im living with my family but i dunno wat will gonna happen to
    ex told me he will sign to end the contract so that im not his responsibility i have do give the adress of my family?if i give it.wats gonna happen.please enlighten me.thanks

    • #19 by Alina on December 30, 2014 - 4:02 pm

      I’m not quite sure what you’re asking, but your cohabitation contract is only valid while you are in a relationship and living with your partner. Technically, once you have broken up and moved out you should report that to the commune, so they can update their records. If you never got a visa based on your cohabitation then ending the contract should not effect your visa at all.

  10. #20 by Jessie on December 23, 2014 - 10:24 am

    hi there ,

    Im a Belgian i was born and raised here , im now in a 2 yr relationship with a filipina ( yes we are same gender couple in long distance relationship ) we have met 3 times already. The thing is im wondering if this is enough to apply for cohabitation visa ? And would it be an issue concidering its the philippines?

    • #21 by Alina on December 30, 2014 - 3:56 pm

      In order to meet the requirements you need to prove that you have known each other for at least 2 years and that you have had regular contact by phone, mail, or email AND that you have met at least 3 times in the past 2 years for a total of at least 45 days.

  11. #22 by Stella on December 21, 2014 - 11:51 pm

    Hello and thanks for the helpful information even though i still have some questions and would love some help.. I am Greek so i am from EU and my bf is Belgian. We have been together for 3 and a half years and for more than a year we are living together,first at his parents home now we rent our own apartement. Fitst time we applied for samenwonings contract they said that it got declined for “not enough proof”. 2nd time we applied we even showed them sms messages and they said the proof was enough but the money is not enough now. Which sounds like bad excuse to me. My bf works every day but he doest have a vast contract even though his payment is enough for the money requirements you said above and i am searching for job but cant work anywhere because they need me to speak good the language. Even though i go to school to learn rhe language for a year now. What should i do? Please help me i love my bf so much and now that we finally live together they dont let us from Brussels. Please help me!!!

    • #23 by Alina on December 30, 2014 - 3:55 pm

      If you don’t meet the income requirements, you might be able to submit a letter from one of your parents if they agree to be your guarantee and support you financially. Good luck!

      • #24 by Stella on December 31, 2014 - 6:54 am

        Thanks for your reply and your help again. Do i ask for this form from the gemeente and then parents just sign it or do they have to come themselves at the gemeente and sign it? At the gemeente they never mentioned for something like that. They pretend they try to help me but they dont advice me to do anything. Once i called a lawyer to tell me that i could apply for 2nd time since the 1st time it got rejected because at the gemeente they said i couldnt do anything and i should go back to my country. So really thank you. Your advices are really helpful to me!

  12. #26 by stella on December 18, 2014 - 7:20 am

    hello, my bf and his ex bought a house together,so both their names are on the house title. however both have decided to wait until its the best time to sell the house and share the profit.
    now we will apply the cohabitation visa. will that affect our file? we met all the other requirements.thanks

    • #27 by Alina on December 18, 2014 - 11:46 am

      That’s a good question and honestly, I’m not sure. I would make sure that your name is on the doorbell with his, but on your police visit they still may ask to see who owns the house. If the police says it’s a problem, maybe you could buy her half from her now?

  13. #28 by wimm on December 15, 2014 - 5:07 am

    Can you change job or move to another address while you’re case is being processed? I found another job that pays alot more but I have no clue if i’m allowed to change job

    • #29 by Alina on December 15, 2014 - 11:22 am

      Yes, you should be able to, but you will need to let your commune know and submit a new proof of income. If you change address you may need to arrange for another police visit as well.

  14. #30 by Batu on December 14, 2014 - 6:35 am

    Thank you for the informative website. I was just wondering about the “proof of long-term relationship” for visa application. It says “you have to know each other at least for 2 years” on this website, however on the official website for immigration in Belgium it is indicated that “you must know each other at least 1 year” (jullie kennen elkaar tenminste 1 jaar* en hadden regelmatig contact met elkaar per telefoon, via briefwisseling of elektronische berichten; EN voorafgaand aan jullie aanvraag, hebben jullie elkaar ten minste 3 keer ontmoet, EN deze ontmoetingen betreffen in totaal 45 dagen of meer).
    Can you please enlighten me about this?

    official website link:

    • #31 by Alina on December 15, 2014 - 11:21 am

      It is my understanding that you can either have lived together for 1 year or be in a relationship for 2 years with the required contact. The Belgium Embassy in the US still states this as a requirement. It could be different for different countries, so I would always double check the Belgium embassy site for your country.

  15. #32 by Yang on December 11, 2014 - 5:00 am

    I am from asia.i been here in belgium for few years illegal and i have a belgian boyfriend and we have almost 2yrs relationship and u live with him now.we will apply for living in it possible for my part that i am illegal here?thanks..would be happy if you will help me with this..thanks

    • #33 by Alina on December 11, 2014 - 10:49 am

      If there is a way that you could leave and come back legally or become legal now, you will have a much better chance on your application.

  16. #34 by Shan on December 9, 2014 - 2:39 am

    Hello- your blog is helpful, thank you!

    My partner and I applied before we moved to Belgium and we were denied, mostly because we hadn’t been dating 2 years. We will have been dating for 2 years in February and will reapply (she has also been back in the States so to not overstay her tourist visa). Do you think we have a good chance? I have a residence visa and a work permit here and we both are on the lease together, and have joint bank accounts. Thanks for your help!

    • #35 by Alina on December 10, 2014 - 9:32 am

      If that was the reason that your first application was denied and you now meet the requirement, I think you have a great chance!

  17. #36 by Han on November 28, 2014 - 9:21 pm


    I am an au pair now and I have a Belgian bf here. Wve been together since I arrived here. So that will be for 1 year by next month. Then I still have one month extension to stay. I’ve been staying most of the time in his apartment during weekends and some days of the week that I dont have work. Is it counted as 1 year of being together. I cannot live with him totally because I am an au pair and I am staying with the family. Thanks!

    • #37 by Alina on December 2, 2014 - 4:47 pm

      Sorry sleeping over at his apartment does not count, your name also needs to be on the lease.

  18. #38 by jimmy on November 14, 2014 - 6:40 am

    my wife is dutch national ,we are in relation for 2 and half year and got married in august 2014 and moved to belgium since my schngen vist visa was expiring we apllied for family reunion , the only problem is she doesnt have job now she was working and had nice job but now she is only getting alimmony from her ex and child support from govt , in the municipaity they said she needs to proove income but she only has savings …. what shall we do ?

    • #39 by Alina on November 14, 2014 - 9:22 am

      We only deal with the cohabitation visa which is for unmarried couples but I would guess that if she doesn’t meet the income requirements, that she could have her parents or you write a letter in which you guarantee to support her financially.

  19. #40 by RAJ on November 13, 2014 - 3:09 am

    I am an Indian and my Girl friend is Colombian.
    We have been in relationship for more than 2 years now. We have been living together for more than 6 months.
    I just moved from France to Belgium due to change of Work. She also moved with me. But as i shifted here in September and somehow we were not able to get any university registration for my Girl Friend, so she was not able to apply for some student visa to stay in Belgium.
    Now the problem is her visa expires within2 weeks(5th Dec to be precise) and we have not yet applied for cohabitation.
    Only 2 weeks, what should we do: any advice? (

    It took me and her more than 2 months almost to get all the documents from India and Colombia( well Apostilled, Notarised etc).
    Finally we have them all, just giving them for translation in french. Now next week (by Wednesday we will have translation back) we will go with these documents to ask for Cohabitaion. So with 14 days left for her Visa to expire, do you think is it possible in any way. What are the odds of her staying in Belgium with our cohabitation demand.
    I don’t want her to go back and then start the process in her country (it can be very long).
    Will the commune not allow her to stay here after her visa expires? can she get a visa extension?
    Or will they accept the cohabitation application and give her temporary stay until she gets the Cohabitation Visa?
    Please give me some information.
    Thank you so much in advance.

    • #41 by Alina on November 13, 2014 - 5:50 pm

      Once you have turned in your Cohabitation Visa application she will be given a temporary visa that will allow her to remain in Belgium while the decision is being made, or until she receives the visa. If you don’t think that you will be able to apply before her current visa expires, you could always try to apply for a visa extension for this reason at your commune.

    • #42 by RAJ on November 14, 2014 - 2:36 am

      Thanks for the response.
      So you think , it is certainly possible and there is hope.
      Just a question with 14 or 15 days remaining from the day I go file a cohabitation application: do you think within 14 days they give temporary visa. Can you please tell me a bit in detail the TIMELINE like what happens say on 20th November I file the application of Cohabitation. What exactly should I expect (as I have countable number of days: just untill 5th Dec).
      I hope you can shed some light on the timeline.
      Thank you sooo much.

  20. #44 by Alex on November 8, 2014 - 9:56 pm

    Hello, I have a question regarding the cohabitation visa. My boyfriend is a Belgium citizen but he was born and raised in Switzerland but he is currently holding only Belgian citizenship. I was wondering if this type of visa is still applied to my case if I want to live in Switzerland? or it’s just for living in Belgium. We are now living in the US together so it would be more than a year once we go back to Europe.
    Thank you very much in advance for your response.

    • #45 by Alina on November 10, 2014 - 9:03 am

      I’m sorry I only know about the Belgium Cohabitation Visa. It’s very possible though that Switzerland has a very similar visa, but one of you would need legal permission to live there.

  21. #46 by Angela C on November 8, 2014 - 2:10 am

    My situation is a bit difficult…I got married march 2013 to the complete wrong guy but I now have a family visa from that but we are now almost officially divorced. I did however find a nice belgian guy hear and we have since started a relationship and have been officially living together since February 2014. My question is…what are my options for me to stay here? I figured my f card will expire once my divorce is final (which will be probably in the next month or so). My boyfriend has a full time job and I have a part time job here also. We haven’t been living together legally for a year yet. We have no idea where to go from here. Any info would be great because I don’t want to be sent out of the country and lose my job over this. Thanks so much!

    • #47 by Alina on November 10, 2014 - 9:07 am

      This is a tricky situation. Sometimes visas are extended after a divorce, on a case by case basis. If you get your visa extended at least until February 2015, then you could apply for the cohabitation visa with your boyfriend after living together for one year. This also might be tricky though because you were officially married to someone else for most of that year that you lived together, which could make your relationship look less strong. I would also have a backup plan to the cohabitation visa. Maybe a visa through work, or you could go back to school?

  22. #48 by Jennifer on November 4, 2014 - 5:19 pm

    I am applying for a work visa to live and work in Belgium. However, I am coming in as a researcher on a stipend with a guest agreement, rather than a work permit. Does this affect my boyfriend’s ability to get a cohabitation visa upon our arrival in Belgium? Is there some minimum salary I need to prove in order to support us both? We do not yet have a permanent apartment set up. We have a one month temporary rental and plan to find a more permanent place once we arrive.
    Thank you.

    • #49 by Alina on November 4, 2014 - 10:04 pm

      Your boyfriend should still be able to apply for the cohabitation visa as long as you are legally allowed to live in Belgium, even if it is temporary. His visa will be valid as long as your contract allows you to stay in Belgium. I have heard all kinds of things about minimum salary from 1000-1500 euro a month, otherwise he could get a letter of guarantee from his parents possibly.

  23. #50 by joseph on November 3, 2014 - 7:51 am

    Hey Alina,please is it possible for my partner to submit the proof of her monthly income of last year , because currently she is doing part-time job and also opleiding because she use to have a full time job before her company close down.Presently she is working but her income is not enough to the amount stipulated by the immgration that’s why i ask if she can also submit the proof of her old income of the year 2012 and 2013 couple with her present part-time job income.Please advice!!!

    • #51 by Alina on November 3, 2014 - 8:12 am

      Unfortunately, I think it needs to be a current income statement from the last month or so. She could also provide a guarantee letter from someone like her parents who could pledge to support her financially.

  24. #52 by Peters on October 30, 2014 - 1:16 pm

    her name is on the lease is just that my name is not on the i need to attach my name on the lease or is ok like day?

    • #53 by Alina on October 30, 2014 - 3:45 pm

      Both of your names need to be on the lease to be able to use it to prove that you lived together. You could also always ask your landlord for a letter saying that you both lived there together for a year too.

  25. #54 by Peters on October 29, 2014 - 2:10 pm

    Becuase the police came inside the living room and she did not bother to check if my things are there or not because my girlfriend told her to come into the sleeping rpoom to control by herself but she said is ok that she don’t need to cole into the sleeping room to check if my things are truly there.But we went to the stationsome hours later to look for the police woman but she was not on sit but her collegue told me and my girklfriend that everything is ok that they will have to send us the letter we will take to the commune.Do we have to go and look for her again in the office or you think she will come around the second time to control the address again the second time,because is as if she was ok with the control even if I was not at home but my girlfreind was home.Her collegue told us the control was ok even if I was not home.Please advice me will there be any bad report about our living together because I was not home or we should wait for the letter the police will send in few weeks time to make appointment for us in the commune to enable us apply the second time.

    • #55 by Alina on October 30, 2014 - 7:52 am

      It sounds like the control was OK and I would wait and see if the police send you the letter to take to the commune. If they, I would ask again at the police station in a few weeks.

  26. #56 by Vim Iyke on October 29, 2014 - 1:50 pm

    Thanks Alina you are really doing a great job and I must commend all your efforts.But my name is not on the lease is only my Girlfriend Name that is in the lease.So what happend then if my name is not on the lease will it be accepted as a proof to prove the strength of my relationship with my Girlfriend?,because we have officlally be living together for more than one year and half.Should we still go ahead to submit the lease or do i need to add my name to my Girlfriend name on the lease before we submit ti to the commune?Pls advice

    • #57 by Alina on October 30, 2014 - 7:49 am

      I would recommend that you get her name on the lease, otherwise it cannot serve as proof.

  27. #58 by Vim Iyke on October 28, 2014 - 10:51 am

    is it true that if you ones had you cohabitation visa required the the police will also have to control your address if you want to re-apply again.Because my friend and her gf procedure was ones denied because of lack of proofs provided and now they both had live together for one then one year and they had some proofs to show the strenght of their relationship,but the went back to the commune again 5months after their cohabitation visa was deniedfor o,nly the woman they meant thier said that they will have to wait for the police to come and control if her bf still stay there.My QUESTION is why will they have to wait for the police to come again when the police came the first tiome the apply before.Thanks for your reply in advance.

    • #59 by Alina on October 28, 2014 - 2:50 pm

      I believe when you apply again the police will come once again to verify that you are still living together since it has been several months since they applied the first time, and that is what the entire visa is based on.

      • #60 by Joseph Nyaga on October 28, 2014 - 3:04 pm


        Please advise, after i submitted all the documents the officials seemed to be satisfied with them, they did not indicate that the police would come to visit, we have been living together for more than a year and the police came to visit the first month we moved in together, after which i changed my official address at the city hall to the current one, should we request for another police visit? Do the police pop in without notice or we have to have an appointment with them? Thank you for your continued advise, i really do appreciate it

        • #61 by Alina on October 28, 2014 - 3:07 pm

          If the commune wants to arrange a police visit you will first receive a letter in the mail with a number to call and make an appointment. Just make sure that both of your names are on the doorbell!

  28. #62 by Vim Iyke on October 28, 2014 - 10:44 am

    please what happened if you able to provide some of the proofs the commune required of you.Because I am about to cohabitate with my Belgium GF but we have been living together for more than one year.we don’t have email and facebook but we have the receipts of the items we bought together and also the old and recent photos we took together plus some testimonies of friends and neigbours.She also have an income but not up to theamount stipulated by the immigration required.

    • #63 by Alina on October 28, 2014 - 2:51 pm

      All you can do is try to provide as much proof of a strong relationship that you can. If you have lived together already for one year and you can prove it with a lease or something similar then that combined with your other proof should be OK. If you don’t meet the income requirements you will need someone else to write a letter as a guarantee of financial support.

  29. #64 by joe on October 28, 2014 - 10:39 am

    Is so clear now that the cohabitation law has become more tightened under the new government .someone just told me now that the commune no longer give 6months orange card after appying for cohabitation visa.when you apply you will have to wait till 6month until after the immigration take decision whether your procedure will be positive or not.Is so weird to hear this new development.Pls how true is this news,because I have heard from two reliable source.Pls confirm this news.Thanks in advanvce.

    • #65 by Alina on October 28, 2014 - 2:48 pm

      The 6 month orange card is not approval of your cohabitation visa, it just lets you stay in Belgium while the decision is being made. As far as I know nothing has changed and you have always had to wait 6 months for a decision on your cohabitation visa application.

  30. #66 by Laura on October 26, 2014 - 7:26 am

    Thanks for the great information, very useful.
    I’m in Belgium on a working holiday visa in order to be with my Belgian boyfriend. This is valid until September 2015. He is 23, I will be 21 in April.
    Following my visa’s expiry, are we able to apply for a cohabitation visa if we met in January 2014, have been living together since September 2014? Do I need to leave the country again in order to do this? He is a student with no income – would a letter guaranteeing financial support from my/his parents suffice should I not earn enough?
    Thank you in advance!

    • #67 by Alina on October 27, 2014 - 10:01 pm

      After you have been living together for 1 year you should be able to apply with the cohabitation visa without leaving Belgium, just make sure you apply with enough time to get your temporary orange card before your current visa expires. If neither of you meet the income requirements a letter of financial support of your parents should be OK. Good Luck!

  31. #68 by Dorothe on October 14, 2014 - 1:38 pm

    I am from Germany and my boyfriend is from Iran. We are both above 21, both living in Brussels (but not living together) and we have been living in the Netherlands before (also not together, but in the same street, almost neighbours). We know each other since more or less 3 years, but we can just prove (email contact, pictures,…) 1,5 years.
    My boyfriend just finished his master in Brussels and is looking for a job. He has done one short design project, since he finished his studies, but he does not have a work contract and I am afraid, that his work permit will not be extended. It is valid until the end of October (2 more weeks). I just started a second study/course and I am working in the weekends. My parents are supporting me and they would also sign financial support for me and my boyfriend.

    Do you think the cohabitation visa is a possibility for us?

    Thank you in advance,

    • #69 by Alina on October 14, 2014 - 2:09 pm

      There are a lot of factors here. I think you would really need to prove that you have known each other for at least 2 years, that you have had regular contact by phone, mail, or email, and that you have met at least 3 times in the past 2 years for a total of at least 45 days. You should be able to do this with letters from people who know you also. The other aspect is the financial support. If you don’t meet the salary requirement to support him, and he doesn’t have a job currently, maybe his parents could write him a letter of financial support? Obviously you will also need to be living together to apply for the Cohabitation Visa.

      • #70 by Dorothe on October 14, 2014 - 2:24 pm

        Thank you for your immediate response!!
        We are not living together at the moment. We are planning to move together, but only if the Visa will be extended. Then this is probably not an option for us??
        Then we will do our best trying to get his work permit extended, which is very difficult without a permanent job…
        Thank you anyway for helping people with your advice! 🙂

        • #71 by Alina on October 14, 2014 - 2:27 pm

          Probably not since you can only apply if you are living together. Good luck!

  32. #72 by Amy on October 13, 2014 - 4:51 pm


    My boyfriend and I are thinking to apply the cohabitation visa, I think we meet most of the requirements, except the income proof. Since he is a freelancer, he doesn’t have the same income monthly and also doesn’t have a contract. Do you know what we can show instead, proof of a guarantor or proof that I can support myself. Thanks and looking forward to hear from you.


    • #73 by Alina on October 13, 2014 - 4:56 pm

      You might try submitting income reports that show his income monthly over the last year or so. Also, you could try to submit bank account statements to show that you can financially support yourself, or that he can financially support you.

      • #74 by Sam on October 22, 2014 - 4:16 am

        Has anyone had any luck in getting their application approved by submitting a bank statement to fulfill the income requirement? The Belgian Embassy in Washington, DC, informed me this was not acceptable and that proof of the European partner’s sufficient and stable income, such as pay stubs, was necessary.

        • #75 by Alina on October 23, 2014 - 11:49 am

          I think you’re correct in that you can no longer submit bank statements. You must show financial proof through pay stubs as proof of income or a letter of guarantee from someone who has agreed to support you financially.

  33. #76 by Kev on October 13, 2014 - 9:10 am

    I am a student currently still living with my parents and am domiciled at their address, my question is: do i need to get a different domiciled adress for the cohabitation visa to be approved with a Canadian citizen or can we remain at this address at least for the first year for practical reasons.

    • #77 by Alina on October 13, 2014 - 10:08 am

      I would double check with your local commune, but I would guess that as long as your living with your partner and the house is “set-up” for a couple then it should be fine.

  34. #78 by Elam on October 8, 2014 - 4:07 am

    Hi there I’m planing to move and live to belgium I’m british citizen and I want to invite my parents in law they are from Albania what documents do I need and to stay with as for good what do I need ? Thanx

    • #79 by Alina on October 8, 2014 - 10:14 am

      Unfortunately, I believe the family reunification visa or cohabitation visa is only for your: husband, wife, partner, child, grandchildren but I would double check with your commune. Your partner may be able to apply for her own parents in which case she would need to submit similar documents to the cohabitation visa except they would need to prove the relation through birth certificate etc.

  35. #80 by joe on October 7, 2014 - 6:18 am

    i was told that if she can prove it that she is looking for more hours for job thayt it will be fine also.i just need u to guide us on what to do.

    • #81 by Alina on October 7, 2014 - 11:31 am

      I’m sorry, I can’t advise you any further on this very particular situation. If you were told that by your lawyer or your commune than I would trust that advice and apply with proof of that information.

  36. #82 by joe on October 6, 2014 - 11:40 am

    the problem is that i am illegal for the moment and i am not working nor having a financial is it possible for me to write a pledge of financial support for her.pls what can we do now to tackle this situation so that i will have my f card for 5years.

    • #83 by Alina on October 6, 2014 - 11:48 am

      Unfortunately, in order to apply for the cohabitation visa you must meet the financial requirements to support yourself, or your partner must pledge to financially support you. If you don’t then you are not eligible to apply for the Cohabitation Visa and will need to look at other options. Possibly a student visa, or find an employer that will sponsor you for a visa? It sounds like you already have a lawyer involved, so maybe they have some suggestions?

  37. #84 by joe on October 6, 2014 - 11:02 am

    Hello! pls I have a much can your partner be earning monthly before your cohabitation visa can be approved by the immigration?because my gf is working 3 times a week and also is part-time job lawyer said she must be earning 1280euros monthly as part of the cohabitation requirement.

    • #85 by Alina on October 6, 2014 - 11:09 am

      I have heard salary requirements anywhere from 1000 euro a month to 1500 euro a month, so what your lawyer said sounds correct. If she does not meet this requirement another option is for you to sign a pledge to support her financially.

  38. #86 by Diego on October 5, 2014 - 8:08 am

    I’m Italian living regularly in Belgium, my girlfriend from Bealorus is here under a studying visa for one year valid until the end of next August 2015. How long before the studying visa expire shall we apply for the cohabitation visa? considering that only on 19 of August we will be one year registered togheter at the same address shall we wait that time or we can apply before?
    thanks for the Help

    • #87 by Alina on October 5, 2014 - 11:50 am

      If you haven’t done so already I would arrange the police visit now and sign the legal cohabitation agreement if you can. Then you should be able to apply to transfer her status from student visa to cohabitation visa when her student visa expires. Or maybe a week before just to be sure. Otherwise, I would start the process 1 month before her student visa expires, so she can get her orange card in time.

      • #88 by Diego on October 7, 2014 - 4:21 am

        Many thanks Alina,
        one more question in order to sign the legal cohabitation agreement don’t we need to be at list one year togheter as a way to prove our relation?

        • #89 by Alina on October 7, 2014 - 11:28 am

          If you are under 21 then yes, you need to have lived together for 1 year already. But if you are over 21 then you can still apply if you can prove that you have known each other for at least 2 years
          and that you have had regular contact by phone, mail, or email and have met at least 3 times in the past 2 years for a total of at least 45 days. Or,that you have a child together.

  39. #90 by Elma on October 3, 2014 - 4:54 pm

    Ihello I’m british citizen I’m planing to move to belgium and I’m planing to invite my brother for visit but my bother is Filipino citizen what kind of requiment do I need

    • #91 by Alina on October 3, 2014 - 5:01 pm

      If he is just coming for a visit he would need to apply for a Schengen Visa.

  40. #92 by majed on October 2, 2014 - 12:57 pm

    hello i’m Lebanese living in cyprus was married with Cypriot women but i got divorcee 3 months ago i live normally in cyprus now without married i felt in love with my boyfriend last year and i want to Cohabitation with him in Belgium, so i can do it normally or i need to wait sometimes?

    • #93 by Alina on October 2, 2014 - 1:14 pm

      As long as you are not currently married and can prove it with an official certificate of non-marriage, you should not have to wait before you apply. That being said, you must have lived with your boyfriend for 1 year or known him for 2 years already in order to meet the requirements of the Cohabitation Visa.

  41. #94 by Joy on September 28, 2014 - 10:40 am

    I’m now staying in Belgium for 2 years.
    Before I was student for two years and now I just got my orange card.
    Does this 2 year count as the “5 years stay in Belgium” requirement in later requesting the Belgian Citizenship?


    • #95 by Alina on September 29, 2014 - 9:51 am

      I’m not 100% sure because we only deal with the cohabitation visa, but I believe that as long as you were living in Belgium and registered, that your years as a student count towards your 5 years living in Belgium.

  42. #96 by jos on September 27, 2014 - 7:36 am

    i have a gf whose illegal and we’ve been living together for almost 1 yr already. What shoul I do for her, should I marry her so she can stay with me?

    • #97 by Alina on September 29, 2014 - 9:44 am

      This is always a tricky situation. One option is to marry her, another would be to find a way for her to get a temporary visa for Belgium and then apply for the cohabitation visa once she is legally in Belgium. Either way she may have to leave the country first. I would check with your local commune.

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