BELGIUM Immigration Updates
A mandatory “contribution to administrative costs” with regard to certain foreigners’ requests for residence authorization took effect on March 2, 2015.
The Belgian federal government has introduced a mandatory “contribution to administrative costs” for certain foreigners’ requests for residence authorization. The government said this measure, effective March 2, 2015, was justified due to a continuous increase in the number of such applications and the resulting workload.
A related law was approved on December 19, 2014. Before the levy could take effect, it had to be implemented by means of a Royal Decree. The Royal Decree was approved on February 16, 2015, and took effect on March 2, 2015.
Most foreigners must pay a fixed amount to file a first (not renewal) application for residence authorization, either abroad through a Belgian embassy or consulate (visa D application), or directly in Belgium, without prior visa D (residence permit application). Several types of foreigners (e.g., those from the European Economic Area, Swiss citizens and their family members, and minors) are exempt.
The levy must be paid by, e.g., work permit holders (€215) and most of their family members (€160), students (€160), some researchers (€215), and Blue Card applicants (€215). The levy must be paid before filing the application. The communication must note the last and first name(s) of the applicant, his or her date of birth, citizenship, and the motive for residence in Belgium.
Proof of payment of the levy must be submitted as part of the residence application. If no proof of payment is submitted, the application will be declared inadmissible. If the payment was only partial, the applicant will have 30 days to pay the full levy.