Resident card expiration and moving

I am an American and have been living and working in Brussels for a year with my wife.  We are moving back to the US in 2 months, but I just noticed that my resident eID card has expired.  I was told I would get a letter telling me to come into the commune to renew it, but never got it and didn't notice until after it expired.  Is this a problem or, since I'm moving in less than 3 months, does the free short stay visa automatically kick in?  Will this be a problem when I de-register from the commune before I leave?  Any advice on how to take care of this would be great!


Hi Ben,

And why do not you simply go to the commune to renew your identity card? It takes a week ...

No country makes a visa automatically to compensate for the carelessness of some people ...

And even if you leave in two or three months, it is mandatory to be in order of official documents.

Would you allow me to stay in the US without a green card or visa?


Hi TC,
I understand completely and realize that this is my mistake.  I think simply the fact that I was told it was not a big deal and I am leaving soon made me careless, so I did not check the expiration date of my ID card.  Will they be able to renew my card even though it is expired (it expired June 30)?  What is my best option to make my exit in 2 months as smooth as possible?

Ben Karsin

And on what grounds was your residence permit (id card) to be renewed ? continuing employment in Belgium ?

I would suggest to approach your local commune and present your situation. They can advise you.

Yes, I have employment and a current work permit that is still active.

How serious is this?  I am just concerned that they will deport me on the spot or something.  It is only a couple of weeks expired and I have a valid work permit from my employer, but I don't know how seriously they take something like this.


Till when is your WP valid ?

My work permit/contract with the university is valid until 05/2020, although I am leaving before then (in 2 months).

ok. So, go to the commune/townhall tomorrow :) , I mean at the earliest and request RP renewal based on your work permit. There is a fast track procedure too. They can tell you all about it. It is important you have a valid RP when you leave (to avoid overstay related issues and a clean immigration track record).

Another point: There is certain grace period that you can still leave the country after expiry of the RP. Commune can clarify this.

Ask their suggestion on your situation first.

Ok, I’ll do this as soon as possible!  I was originally told by my boss that whenever the RP expires, you effectively become a tourist and can stay for an additional 3 months if needed.  This is incorrect? Good to know!

Also, I believe I return my RP card to the commune before I leave to de-register, right?  So does immigration check that I had a valid RP and returned it when I’m flying out?

Thanks for all the help!

I think the 3 month thingy is applicable if you enter Belgium using your US passport and it is counted from that day.

When you fly out, you should either have a valid RP or a letter of deregistration (that commune gives you when you deregister). This is where your commune can help you now. Tell them you only have these many days in Belgium and can they give a deregistraton letter now (and for how long it is valid) or do you have to renew your RP and then deregister.

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