Personal registration procedure

Short-term stay (less than three months)

All foreign nationals must notify the local authority (municipality) of their presence within ten working days following the date of arrival, presenting their passport or identity card (with or without visa depending on the nationality). They will then receive a specific document entitled 'declaration of presence'.

In principle, a 'declaration of presence' is sufficient for a stay on Belgian territory for a period of less than three months.
In some cases, you will still be obliged to follow the procedure for obtaining a certificate of registration, called Annex 19. For example:

  • If you come to seek work in Belgium, Annex 19 is required in order to register at the public employment office.
  • If you come as a salaried worker, your employer may ask for Annex 19. Enquire at your local authority.

Long-term stay (more than three months)

Foreigners staying in Belgium for more than three months are classified as 'residents'. As such, they must obtain a residence permit.

This involves satisfying various conditions, which vary considerably from person to person, depending upon factors such as nationality and profession.