Waiting for a Decision on your Belgium Cohabitation Visa Application

After your visit to your commune, the commune sends your documents to the Immigration Service who will decide whether or not to issue a visa on the basis of cohabitation. Their decision is based on the length and seriousness of your relationship. This can take more than five months. Now begins the waiting game.

The good news is that at this time you will be given a temporary (orange card), Attestation d’Immatriculation, which allows you to stay and live in Belgium while the decision is being made, even if your old visa expires.

Traveling with your Orange Card

Technically you are supposed to stay in Belgium with your orange card while Immigration Service is making a decision about your cohabitation visa. However, since there is no longer any border control within the Schengen Area, you should have no problems traveling around this area.

If you need to travel outside of the Schengen Area during this waiting period it is a little more risky. I was able to travel to both the US and the UK with my orange card, but I would recommend the following things to minimize your risk if you can:

  • travel with your partner who has legal permission to live in Belgium
  • travel with supporting documentation (legal cohabitation contract etc.)
  • show your orange card with your passport to the border control officer when re-entering Belgium and explain that your application is “still processing”
  • if you don’t typically need a visa to enter Belgium (US citizens), another tactic (although more risky) is to not show your orange card at all and hope that the officer does not check the date on the last time you entered/left Belgium- you might then be let back into Belgium like any other tourist on a 90-day allowance

Receiving you Cohabitation Visa

Return to your commune on the day that your card expires, or when the commune summons you, which ever occurs first. If you have been approved, your commune will ask you to submit your orange card, 2 passport photos, and a small fee. They will then provide you with a temporary ID sheet while your Belgian ID card is being created.


Next post in my journey to get a Cohabitation Visa: Applying for a Belgium Cohabitation Visa: Final Steps


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