Belgium Visa Processing Timeline and Documentation

I have been searching the forum for 2~3 days for any information regarding sending the family documents from the embassy to the Government for decision and I can't find that much info. about this subject.
My family's applications is in the government for 1 month since the embassy informed us of the applications transfer and till now I don't know anything regarding their status!
I sent to the Government asking about them 3 days ago and I'm still waiting for their reply.
I don't know if there's a processing time for this issue or the Government is just taking time to monitor my progress in the country such as: having an address, ID card, started working ..., then they can issue the approval of their VISAs!

Oh the forum is full of this information !

it takes around 6 months for your dependent's visa application to be processed once it is sent to DOFI (Ministry) from the consulate.

Aneesh :

Oh the forum is full of this information !

it takes around 6 months for your dependent's visa application to be processed once it is sent to DOFI (Ministry) from the consulate.

The government replied my email today and they are stating that the application processing in 9 months and can take up to 15 months, as I read earlier on DOFI website the 9 months can be extended for more 2 periods, 3 moths each

Government reply :

Dear,

You enquire about the status of a visa application.

We have received the visa application and it is currently being treated. Normally the treatment period is 9 months (maximum 15 months) from the date stated on the proof of submission. As soon as a decision is taken it will be communicated by the diplomatic post which will invite the visa applicant and give the decision.
You may follow the status of your application through the website of the Immigration service through “What is happening to my visa application?” which you can access through this link:
https://dofi.ibz.be/sites/dvzoe/EN/Appl … ation.aspx
For this you will need the visa application number and the name of the diplomatic post where the visa application was introduced.
Infodesk, for all your case-related questions, can be reached by telephone on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9.30 am to 12 noon and on Thursday from 2 pm to 4 pm.

With kind regards,

This is the same email I received. It’s a standard email format they reply to everyone. I applied for my son’s visa. Now the status is ACCORD after 3 weeks of this email.

Palwasha1985 :

This is the same email I received. It’s a standard email format they reply to everyone. I applied for my son’s visa. Now the status is ACCORD after 3 weeks of this email.

Do you know hoe to get the application number to check on the stated website for the applications statues? I used the following and it didn't work:
1. Visa on web number
2. Last 5 digits in application number mentioned on the VISA on web website
3. TLScontact application number which I applied the applications with

Also, whats does it mean ACCORD statues?

When you go to the DOFI link and click on what is happening to my visa application. An app appears where u put your post name from drop down menu and visa reference issued by your post. You’ll know the status of your application in search result if your application is registered here in Brussels. Accord means visa granted

For knowing the application number, email your local consulate.

Thank you very much!

But it varies case to case. Normally they do it within 6 months. I wish your dependents get the visa soon. I understand how difficult it is to cope with this waiting period. My dependant is my 11 years old son.

Palwasha1985 :

But it varies case to case. Normally they do it within 6 months. I wish your dependents get the visa soon. I understand how difficult it is to cope with this waiting period. My dependant is my 11 years old son.

I contacted the embassy and get the application number from them, it was the last 5 digits from the application number mentioned on the visaonweb website but when I use it, it give me the following message by either using the NL or FR version in the tool:

Tool Message :

The fact that your search returns no results may be due to the following circumstances:

-you have entered incorrect data

-you have provided a visa application number that is handled by a diplomatic mission or consular post that does not yet have the necessary means to send a visa application electronically (consult list); at the moment it is not yet possible to check the status of a visa application that is sent to the Immigration Office by diplomatic suit

-the diplomatic mission or consular post did not send the visa application because it has the authority to issue visas automatically

-the visa application was not submitted to a Belgian diplomatic or consular post, but to a post representing Belgium (consult list)

-the diplomatic mission or consular post has not yet sent the visa application or the Immigration Office has not yet received the visa application from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

This msg appears when your application is not yet registered here with immigration. It takes around 3 to 4 weeks after you apply visa.

But actually the applications sent to the government more than 1 month ago and in the government reply, they stated that the application is being processed!

Sometimes it takes longer for the file number to start showing any status in DOFI website. It may go upto 2 months from the date the file was sent from the consulate that handled your application. From the date it starts showing any status it can take 6  (now 9 - 15 as per their latest response) months  for the approval.

Applications of minors to join the mother, will get priority as I have seen in many cases.

I know it is hard, but keep checking DOFi website for status and be mentally prepared to wait the waiting time they mention in their (auto) response !

OK, thanks Aneesh for your reply, but I was wondering - if I may ask - if I tried to apply for my son in a school here, will this fasten the process as he could arrive before the start of next educational year?
Also, if I sent either my rental contract or my ID copy to the Government to be included in their files, will this be helpful?

The catch is, you cannot register your kid to school without he being here (part of your family composition ).ie, he needs a national number (for this he needs to be here and be registered).

Any additional documents you received after lodging of your dependent's application, you are free to send those to DOFI to be added to your file. Better send those after your file starts showing up in DOFI website.

Hi everyone

After searching extensively the forum I could not find people in my exact situation either because they were applying from countries where VFS processes the application (e.g. India), the local consulate can make independent decisions about visas or the D visa was being requested with an employment contract rather than a Professional Card.

So here are my simple questions for the experts:

Background:
I am applying via a consulate in South America that sends all requests directly to the Foreign Office, so no decisions are made locally and there's no VFS.

Having just obtained a Professional Card as an independent professional I will now apply for a D Visa for myself together with my family of 2 children. We are preparing the dossiers with the documents listed on the consulate's website.

Question 1: Is this a case of Regroupement Familal? We're not "re-grouping", we're already "grouped" and emigrating together.

Question 2: If answer to Q1 is yes, should I expect the advertised 9 months + 2 possible 3 month extensions for visa processing? If answer is no, what is the usual expected timeframe for processing?

We're hoping to arrive for the school year that starts in September but if that's not realistic we'll need a plan B.

Thanks in advance and apologies if there is an answer for that particular situation buried somewhere I haven't managed to find

Question 1: It is still a "family reunion" (that is the visa type your dependents will apply for, no matter they are applying along with you or later on).

Question 2: If all the files are sent to DOFI, you can expect the standard family reunion timelines for your family (in a normal scenario). No one knows if the dossiers come at the same time to DOFI, they may process it at the same time.

Aneesh :

Sometimes it takes longer for the file number to start showing any status in DOFI website. It may go upto 2 months from the date the file was sent from the consulate that handled your application. From the date it starts showing any status it can take 6  (now 9 - 15 as per their latest response) months  for the approval.

Applications of minors to join the mother, will get priority as I have seen in many cases.

I know it is hard, but keep checking DOFi website for status and be mentally prepared to wait the waiting time they mention in their (auto) response !

Well, as I asked them before you tell me the info. and for spreading the information, the Government replied with steps of receiving the application and when the data appears on the DOFI website

Government reply :

Dear,

You’ve asked a question about the state of affairs in a visa application.

We’ve not received the application yet. Only after receiving the diplomatic suitcase will the application be processed and visible. Or it is still in progress of digitalizing.

Only after receiving the diplomatic suitcase, and going true the process of digitalizing, can you follow the progress of your application via the website of the Immigration Department via 'How about my visa file', which can be found via this link
https://dofi.ibz.be/sites/dvzoe/NL/Page … vraag.aspx

You must have the visa application number and the name of the diplomatic post where the application was submitted.

Hi Aneesh
I have a question. After we arrive in Antwerp on a family reunion visa and leave in a months time and return after say 6 months (due to my sons school), Will there be any issues regarding the visa, residency etc. Or is there a time limit by which you must re-enter Belgium?

Appreciate your response.

Many thanks, Aneesh

Violetkm :

Hi Aneesh
I have a question. After we arrive in Antwerp on a family reunion visa and leave in a months time and return after say 6 months (due to my sons school), Will there be any issues regarding the visa, residency etc. Or is there a time limit by which you must re-enter Belgium?

Appreciate your response.

It is better to go back once you get your residence permit. You need either a valid residence permit or a valid visa to enter back Belgium.

Thank you Aneesh.

is there a time limit by which one must re-enter the country (residence visa holders)? like some countries have a rule that you cannot stay out for more than 6 months.

I think that is more for permanant residents. For residents permit holders, I think you can re enter before your RP expires, but do inform the local townhall about your absence.

Thank you

You must tell the commune that you're leaving for more than 6 months, or your status will be set to: "do not want to settle in Belgium => cancellation ongoing)

it will also reset your counter of 5 years to become permanent resident.

Thank you :)

I forgot to mention that ID card MUST still be valid when you come back or it's game over and you start from the beginning.

However I already did explain everything here: https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.p … 89#4757652

Thank you so much, this helps

Hi Shivam,

Thank you for listing the documents and process very clearly ,it's really helpful.I wanted to know that how did you arrange the registered rental agreement .My husband's work permit is under process and we wanted to keep all documents ready for the visa for him and myself.So ,I wanted to know how did you arrange the rent agreement and how not to get scammed.

The landlord has to scan the contract and send it to myrent.be
or he can still goes physically to the registration department of the province.


It should be the landlord job to do it. But you can also do it as some point.

If you (or your partner) are not in Belgium yet, I would recommend to book an initial accommodation for your initial stay (airbnb or hotel or serviced apartment). FOr visa D application, initial accommodation proof is enough. You can mention in the cover letter that you are booking this one for your initial stay and you will find a rental once you are in Belgium. Dont sign any long-term apartment contract without physically seeing the place and the area.

Hi Aneesh,

Thanks for replying. Actually we thought of the same option as you mentioned but Belgian Embassy in Finland(since we are currently in Norway) said that temporary accommodation proof won't be sufficient and that they won't consider that .And so they will need a registered rent agreement.

Thanks to information I received in another thread/question I was able to attempt a Visa D application online...only to discover that it couldn't be started until 3 months before the date of arrival. 

While this makes things a wee bit tight, as we have to give notice to our current landlord that we wouldn't be renewing our lease around then (joys of Rent Stabilization in NYC), as well as employers/clients (we are looking to retire to Antwerp for a variety of reasons, including having family there), I'm hoping that the narrow window is more than enough (or they wouldn't have it so small).

As we've already researched what is needed for the application, and have verified what hypothetically at least we meet all the criteria, I'm wondering how long it takes to get an appointment from the moment of submitting the application online. Reading through this thread it seems that the approval/delivery of Visa can take anywhere from 4 days to 2 months (or more if there's a serious issue).

As we will have:

Plane ticket in hand
Proof of insurance set up
Family members (niece and her Belgian husband and children) writing letters to vouch for us and providing us with an address until we have an apartment set up
Proof of retirement income, investments, etc. that accountants on both continents have crunched and found to be enough

plus the necessary FBI report and medical report

And as we are in NYC and can go directly to the Consulate here...

hopefully it will be relatively issue free and speedy.

Leaps of faith are healthy, right? :)

niharika_19 :

Hi Aneesh,

Thanks for replying. Actually we thought of the same option as you mentioned but Belgian Embassy in Finland(since we are currently in Norway) said that temporary accommodation proof won't be sufficient and that they won't consider that .And so they will need a registered rent agreement.

Normally it is ok,  because logically thinking, no one can find a long rental before being in the country. That is why other consulates accept the initial accomodation and additionally a letter from the employer stating that you will be finding a long term rental using the time of initial stay. Anyway, if the consulate in Finland is not accepting that, then the only way is to rent something and get the landlord to register the agreement. And watch out for a lot of scams in the area of remote apartment renting.

Okay, thank you for the reply .Much appreciated 😊

Hi Alex
How long does it take to get the ID card once we register at the local commune? can we leave the country while the card is still under process?

As I said earlier, my issue is:
I cannot move there for next one year due to my sons school. But I was thinking of applying the family reunification visa (it takes 6 months for it to come through), then enter belgium process the ID card and leave. It took long time for me to get all the documents, apostile them and they wont be valid after 6 months. Is it wise to go this route or wait for one year, get all the documents again and apply when we are ready to move? Your suggestion is appreciated.

Thank you,

How long does it take to get the ID card once we register at the local commune? 

-> It depends on the workload of the commune and the ministry. Normally 1-2 months I would say.

While your residence permit application is in progress, you are (normally) not supposed to leave the country for long absence.

Dear Aneesh
So i presume its best to process the visa when we are ready to move to avoid any future complications with the visa.

Indeed, that will be the cleanest and least-risk way of doing it. Start the process 6-7 months before you can move here.

Thank you for your guidance Aneesh. It takes a lot of effort to make all the documents again as they want them not older than 6 months:((

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