What to Expect from a Police Visit

Once you have registered with your local commune, they will contact the police precinct in your area and request that the police arrange a visit to your apartment or house. The purpose of the police visit is to confirm that you and your partner are actually living together for your cohabitation visa application. Hopefully, within 1-2 weeks after your commune registration visit, you should receive a letter in the mail from your local police. This letter will ask you to call a number and set up a good time for a police officer to visit your home.

You don’t need to do much to prepare for the police visit other than make sure that you have your passport, the declaration of arrival document you got at the commune and both of your names must be on the doorbell. This is very important and I have heard of people being denied the police form because both of their names were not on the doorbell when the police officer visited. Also, make sure to do this as soon as you move in, as the police can stop by to check this at any time.

If you don’t receive a letter from your local police within 2 weeks, first make sure that the letter was not misplaced by someone else living in your building. Then, contact your local commune to make sure that they have actually requested a police visit from your local police office.

When the police officer arrives they may inspect your apartment by looking in the bedroom and closet to make sure that both partners live there together. They may also ask you some questions about who else lives there, and how long you both have been there. If they are satisfied that you both live there, they will fill out some paperwork and ask to see both of your passports. Then, both partners will need to sign the form stating that both partners live together in the same apartment or house. The whole visit should take less than 30 minutes and is relatively painless. Our police officer was very nice and hardly looked around our apartment at all.

The police officer will then send the completed form into your commune. Now, all you have to do is wait for another letter from your commune requesting that you and your partner return to the commune to complete your application. The letter from the commune will list a specific time for your appointment, but remember to allow several hours for the appointment and make sure to be on time, otherwise they may put you at the back of the line. In our case, although our appointment was at 11am and we arrived on time, we didn’t speak to anyone for 2 hours after that. The appointment letter just lets you skip ahead of the line to get your number.

Reminder: Put both of your names at the doorbell as soon as you move in!

Next post in my journey to get a Cohabitation Visa: Getting your Orange Card (Attestation d’Immatriculation) in Belgium


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  1. #1 by Niki on March 25, 2014 - 12:14 pm

    kelvin :
    Hello,I need more info concerning living together in Belgium.I knew my woman for 3years now and we started living together as soon as i came to Belgium 2013 and we applied for the living together since that time.Now the police invited me and they thumb printed me.So, i want to know if that is the procedure please?

    Hello, I am an American Citizen who applied for a cohabitational visa through my boyfriend who is a Citizen of Belgium. I arrived in december and applied for the process in february before the expiration of my 3 month allow time to stay. Since we started the process i have been receiving different information about the process by both the Gemeentehuis and the Immigration Office . They both differ about the time of the process and the requirements, could you please help me with some question;
    1) Is it ok if i apply for the cohabitational process before the expiration of my time here , do they need to place an stamp on my passport allowing to overstay my time here since i begun the process prior to the time due ( As they do it in Holland)
    2) How long after the Police’s visit do i expect to get a letter from the Gemeentehuis to meet with them
    3) Will I get an orange card at the meeting with the Gemeentehuis
    4) I was told by the Gemeentehuis that once I get an orange card (temporary permit) I will be allow to work, today at a phone conversation with an Immigration Officer, he told me that I am not allow to work with the orange card since it is only a temporary residency card. I am confused
    5) I was told by the Gemeentehuis that once you start the cohabitation process you cannot live the country for 6 months not even within the European Union . Is that true?
    6) How long does the whole process takes?
    7) If my boyfriend move to Holland while the cohabitational visa is still in process , do we need to start the process all over again in Holland? Will that cause me any troubles?
    Thank you

    • #2 by Belgium Cohabitant on March 25, 2014 - 3:30 pm

      As to the best of my knowledge:
      1. You absolutely should apply before the expiration of your current visa, because you want to receive your orange card before your current visa expires. The orange card will allow you to remain in Belgium while the decision is being made.
      2. After the police visit it can take several weeks to receive a letter from your commune
      3. You should get your orange card at your commune visit after the police have come to your apartment
      4. Since you are entering into a cohabitation visa with an EU citizen you will be able to work once you have the visa, but with your orange card I have heard different things. The sure way to find out is to speak with the department of employment.
      5. Technically you cannot leave Belgium while your visa is being process, but I did several times while traveling with my cohabitation partner.
      6. It take can as long as 9 months for the entire process, possibly longer.
      7. Since the whole basis for the visa is that you are living with your Belgium partner in Belgium, if he moves and the government found out it would make your cohabitation visa invalid.

  2. #3 by kelvin on March 1, 2014 - 4:01 pm

    Hello,I need more info concerning living together in Belgium.I knew my woman for 3years now and we started living together as soon as i came to Belgium 2013 and we applied for the living together since that time.Now the police invited me and they thumb printed me.So, i want to know if that is the procedure please?

    • #4 by Belgium Cohabitant on March 1, 2014 - 4:32 pm

      In our experience the police came to our apartment to check that we were living together and to look at our paperwork. We did not get finger printed, but I would not be surprised if that was currently the procedure.

  3. #5 by Katie on February 14, 2014 - 1:01 am

    Hello, I was just wondering if it was absolutely necessary to have a place of your own for the visa. Moving to Belgium without the guarantee of getting this visa, my boyfriend and I are trying to not get our own place until it is official. Until then, we would be living with his parents. Does this pose a problem? Thanks!

    • #6 by Belgium Cohabitant on February 18, 2014 - 5:29 pm

      As long as you are living together in the same place it might be ok, but make sure that both of your names are on mail box, as the police check this. Also, just be aware that it could be a very long time, sometimes 9 months or more before you hear anything about the visa.

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