Cohabitation Visa Process (Wettelijk samenwonen)

Hello all,

I applied for a cohabitation visa in the Belgian Embassy in the Philippines and I am now currently living in Belgium. I have declared legal cohabitation here in Antwerp with my boyfriend. I currently have my Orange Card and I am waiting for my F card. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to help.


Hi, I know this is a bit late after you posted. I do have a few questions about how you got the cohabitation visa and what is required. What kind of proof did you need to submit of your relationship?

Thanks in advance :)

@gokimy Hello, what are the requirements and terms?

How long did the process take?

Any proof of relationship:

flight ticket, hotel booking, visa stamp, pictures (many with printed date at the rear is better), whatsapp/signal/messenger/email history, phone call history, gift, money transfer, teacher to learn NL/FR/EN...

by any means that you know each other for at least 2 years the date of the visa request.

You'll find the full list of required document on our embassy's website of your country of origin (visa C legal cohabitation) (and if you can't find it, check Vietnam / Philippines version of the Belgian's embassies, there at least the doc is up to date and is common to all countries)

Few years ago, the full process was one month the day it arrives at immigration in Belgium.

This kind of visa is handled by the long stay department even if it's a visa C and has priority over visa D for decision.

Nowadays I believe the timing should be around 2 months, but to be confirmed by the embassy.

My Vietnamese partner and I just went through the process of obtaining a cohabitation visa and registering the cohabitation in Belgium. The required documents are listed on the government website and/or will be stated by the embassy. (as mentioned by @alexfrombelgium)

Timing-wise though, the process was quite frustrating. From the date to submitting all the documents, to notification of the visa decision took 4.5 months, much longer than the timeline given to us by the embassy. And of course there is no feedback in the meantime, so all you can do is wait.

Then, at city hall, we were asked to submit another set of documents despite the fact that legally, we had all the required documents already. So it was a bit of a back and forth, and me getting written legal advice to show at city hall before they accepted our application. Perhaps if you apply in a larger city, where the civil servants are familiar with the procedure, you get more lucky. In our case, we were told that just the registration of the cohabitation would take anther 5 months, because the application needs to be better by the police. Luckily, by following up ourselves with the police we managed to get registration done in just over 3 months and apply for an f card. (which is now being processed)

we were told that the F card will take another months, which means that from time of submitting the visa application to receipt of the F card will have taken a total of 14 months, with at least 2 months lost due to mistakes and incorrect information from City Hall.

Well the visa took a long time, so the international documents are not valid anymore for the commune after 6 months. (7 if they're kind)

Basically you've to redo all the official vietnamese documents IN Vietnam before the departure or if you bring the original, from the Embassy in Brussels.

The registration doesn't take 5 months at all, that is wrong.

Once you get the annexe 19ter (so basically once the cohabitation has been signed), you've 3 months to give your family reunion file to the commune, that will forward it to the immigration which has 3 months to say "No" => 6 months MAXIMUM as you're Belgian.

Exactly 3 months later, your partner will get the F card if you've no news from the immigration. (you just go to the commune together)

@AlexFromBelgium   When i asked for the Cohabitation Legal procedure, they told me the same. They said that it takes aprox. 5 months until they deliver the cohabitation certificate.

The law states: you've 3 months to prepare your file once you receive the annexe 19ter, and then immigration has 3 months to say "no".

What about applying for samenwonen while already in Belgium?.

I have been 'illegal' since 2012. Met a Belgian in 2018.

He proposed early this year.

We now want to do a legal cohabitation before wedding later.

What are my chances of getting my residency if we pass the 'real relationship test'?.

And it is a real relationship, as we have been together since 2018.


as an "illegal" like you're mentioning, I would spend the 75-100€ to contact an advocate specialized in immigration so you would not do any mistake once you go to the commune to start the process of legal cohabitation.

Of course your partner must have a stable job with earning above 2048,53 euros

But you must be prepared of the do and don't do once the police arrive at your home to verify that you live together.

Always remember that opening the door means that you invite the police to go in to maybe arrest you.

==> help yourself with a lawyer to know what is your safe zone and what is not.

I nearly never advice to call for an immigration lawyer, but as you've no resident permit and are currently illegal, don't joke and play safe!

Thanks for your advise Alex. A lawyer has already filed for regularization of my stay in 2021. Still waiting for the government's response.

My partner does have a stable job with a little over 2000 a month and the police has indeed come to confirm the address after I moved in with my partner in August.

We're just waiting to receive some documents from my country before we proceed to the commune for samenwonen.

Hello Alex

i hope you can help in my case

Me and my wife came togther to belgium in August 2019. i am an afghan citizen(living as a refugee in india since 1993) and my wife is an Indian.we both asked for the asylum in Belgium.

I got positive from the CGVS in 2021 and my wife got negative as we married as a hindu tradition and we don't had a marriage certificate.

we did legal cohabitation on 16-12-2022 however on 16-01-23 police came to my house and arrested my wife and put her on the detention centre.she was in the centre for almost 2.5 mnths and then we decided that my wife go back to India and we ask for the Family reunification from there.

my wife went to India in March 23 and we applied for the Family reunion on the basis of our legal cohabitation contract on june 23 and it's now 5 month our file is waiting.

My question is here that does immigration department also takes this thing into consideration that she went back to india and she was here illegal.

we have a strong relationship since 2017 and we attached all the necessary documents along with the file.

looking forward to hear from you or any other member can help to answer will be much appreciated.