Is it OK to not submit my Cohabitation Visa application right away when I arrive in Belgium?

Technically, you are supposed to register within 8 days of arriving in a commune. This can be a little flexible if haven’t moved into your apartment yet, for example,  but I would strongly recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. I was staying in Brussels for two weeks looking for apartments before I singed an apartment lease and then submitted my Cohabitation Visa application to my local commune. But be careful. Sometimes, it can take a long time just to get your Attestation D’Immatriculation (Orange Card) which allows you to remain in Belgium while the decision is being made which can be a problem if you don’t get it before the end of your visitor visa (US Citizens 90 days).  Plus, the sooner your submit your application the sooner you can get your Cohabitation Visa and Belgium Residence Card.


  1. #1 by Van on September 23, 2014 - 12:41 am

    Hi, I just read on the FBI website that the process for a Criminal history request will take up to 8 weeks because they are having problems with their new system. They are trying to sort it out. I’m sending my request form tomorrow but I plan to move to belgium in 6 weeks. Do I have to have the national criminal history from the FBI right away or can I submit it after being called back by to city hall? I do have my local criminal record.

    • #2 by Alina on September 23, 2014 - 8:58 am

      My commune photocopied everything in my application on my first visit so it’s always best to have a complete application right from the beginning, but you should be OK, because you don’t actually submit all of your application materials until you return to your commune. Hopefully your FBI criminal history report won’t actually take 8 weeks!

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