Moving to Belgium from USA: some help please

Hello everyone,

I'm a Belgian Citizen living and working in Antwerp.
My girlfriend is a US citizen (CA) and we're looking into getting her to move in with me without getting married straight away (I'd like to marry her for the RIGHT reasons one day, not for a permit..)
I have done a lot of research but am finding so much information it's starting to get discouraging (contradicting info, official websites that cross-link, etc)

So I thought the best thing to do was ask people who have actually gone through the same experience.

I have read about the resident visa, needed work permit and other needed documents, but then I came across this voices.yahoo.com/moving-united-states-belgium-sure-328794.html, which has the following info at the bottom;

"You can also be approved for a resident visa if you are coming to Belgium to marry or live with a Belgian citizen, or simply someone that is already legally residing in Belgium. You will just have to show documentation that proves that you will be living with this person and that they can financially support you."

So how does that work, is it true? (again, she'll be moving in with me, but we won't get married yet)
How would we go about it? Anyone had experience with a similar procedure?
The goal is for her to find a job, but if we can get her a resident visa without one, she could come over and then start looking for work. I can easily provide for her until she finds a job.

I highly appreciate anyone taking their valuable time to read through this and give their advise/feedback. Thank you in advance.

Hello ndefossez.

Welcome to Expat.com! :)

Wish you good luck in your projects.

Aurélie

ask the Belgian embassy, not here, only the Belgian embassy can advice on visas and residency in Belgium.

Be very careful when "shopping" for a Visa, its very easy to get sent round in circles and still ending up with no correct papers.
Go to the Embassy or try your local Council.

I think the above is probably a reference to a cohabitation agreement which you would have to make. Best to read up about cohabitation and your rights and responsibilities when you make such an agreement. Your ability to get residency based on this cohabitation is entirely dependent on the official in the local commune / gemeente which you plan to live. You pay NO-ONE any money for this, only a small fee to the commune / gemeente. Again the Belgian embassy can advise you further. I am rather surprised though if you are Belgian, you do not know more about procedures in your country.

VinceUK :

its very easy to get sent round in circles and still ending up with no correct papers.

It sure is. Even the official governmental websites cross-link in circles..

schoolmum :

I am rather surprised though if you are Belgian, you do not know more about procedures in your country.

Why would I be familiar with immigration procedures if I've never had to deal with them?
I can read dutch, french, english and german and went through a lot of official websites on this matter, but the more I read, the more confused I get.
If anything, our country is known for it's ridiculously complicated   bureaucracy. I'm finding that out first hand now..


Thank you all for replying though. I contacted my local commune for an appointment, hopefully they'll be able to clarify the procedures.

In case anyone here had experience with a similar situation, I'd be very interesting to read how they went about it.
The reactions I've gotten so far are rather discouraging and most people advise me that the only clear and easy way is to get married..

I tried the same thing in Antwerp... it's a long story. turned out it was too complicated, authorities had no clear answers, and in the end, not enough time to get it done by the end of my schengen visa.

the current plan is to get married in the US which is easier and much much faster.

I'm wondering what the differences between following options are:
A) She can find a job out here before she comes over
B) She comes over and we apply for a cohabitation contract

In case of A) Do we still need to go for B? How long can she stay?
In case of B) Can she apply for jobs? Can she leave the country to visit home?

hello,,am prince from ghana ,

Congratulations and I wish you all the best.

If she is not here yet, contact the Belgian consulate or Embassy in her " US borough" and she can apply there for a "fiancée visa"

If she is already in Belgium with a waiver tourist visa valid for 90 days, you make an appointment with your "gemeentehuis" city hall and ask for documentation and application.

Belgium allows its citizen to "try legal cohabittion" with a foreigner to avoid getting married for the wrong reason.

She must show motivation of learning the language and to attend the civic integration course +/- 50 hours at her own pace.

de cursus maatschappelijke oriëntatie
http://www.inburgering.be/inburgering/MO

It helps also to walk at the American Embassy in Brussels and to ask for advice.

Do not be discouraged.

don't dream your life, live your dream.

Regards,



Surf dan nu naar vtm.be of mail Merel en schrijf je in. Wie weet staat Mathias Coppens binnenkort wel voor jouw deur!

http://gostrange.be/LeesMeer/ArticleId/506/Artikel.aspx

I'm wondering what the differences between following options are:
A) She can find a job out here before she comes over
B) She comes over and we apply for a cohabitation contract

In case of A) Do we still need to go for B? How long can she stay?
In case of B) Can she apply for jobs? Can she leave the country to visit home?]
Ok I've been through this recently...

You only need a Cohabitation visa... I would suggest you go through a lawyer... There is a firm in Nivelles that specialises in this area.... I believe the name of the firm is CASABEL...Their phone number is 067/88.80.92... Not sure of the charges as my circumstances made it so I did not incur any fees... your situation might be different.

Lawyer for cohabitation? Why? You only engage a lawyer for residence issues if you've had residence refused, completely unnecessary for straightforward cohabitation.

I have been through this and I have never paid any penny or cent for anything.

The only thing that I spent is  my time to learn both of the national languages of Belgium, took the civic integration course in order not to be a burden on the Belgian Society.

here I am living, working and paying taxes in Belgium, going back "home sweet home" whenever I want and having the best of both worlds.

Cheers,

In a sense the marriage process between a European citizen and a non-European citizen is easier but it's very much a similar process for co-habitation. From my experience I would highly recommend hiring a lawyer who specializes in these cases; I can recommend a great one in Brussels.

Just why do you recommend a lawyer? I know plenty of people who have done cohabitation, not a single one of them used a lawyer.

Yeah no layer is needed a unessary expanse

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