Change of Status from Employee to Student or Dependent

Hello, I work here in Belgium for 1 year and I currently hold a work permit B.

My husband started to work here 1 year before I did and he holds a work permit B as well.
We have non-EU citizenship.

We have declared that we are married but we did not do family reunification. This means that I am not his dependent.

I can start working as a Phd student meaning that my status will change from an employee to a student. I have two questions.

1. Will my stay reset to 0?
2. If I become his dependent (either while I work in my job or when I become a Phd student), my stay resets to 0?

I have found this threat but it is not actually summarizes my situation.

https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=560329

Hello,

There are inconsistencies in your statement.

Family reunification does not mean that you are necessarily dependent on him. But that you are together on a visa and / or a work permit. However, if each of you works, everyone can assist the other for an administrative problem.

Regarding the resetting of your residence visa, the answer is yes and no. Yes, because a new file is opened each time with the issuance of a new work permit. No, on your attendance history, it will just be recorded that you are in order on the basis of each work permit.

Thank you phipiemar,

I am a bit confused about the difference between family reunification and being dependent. We gave a paper after I moved here to declare that we are married. But I was told that for example if I want to benefit from my spouse's work permit in case I quit my job, we have to do "family unification" which might take several  months. Also to become Belgian after he becomes one, I need to be his dependent at least three years (5 years of uninterrupted stay is another requirement, this I know). That is strange because I am already his legal spouse. So if my status changes to student, this means that I have to then change it to dependent - to apply for citizenship via marriage.

I will ask these to the town hall, but you know, they are sometimes relunctant or they do not know the details.

Thanks,

ElifA :

Hello, I work here in Belgium for 1 year and I currently hold a work permit B.

My husband started to work here 1 year before I did and he holds a work permit B as well.
We have non-EU citizenship.

We have declared that we are married but we did not do family reunification. This means that I am not his dependent.

I can start working as a Phd student meaning that my status will change from an employee to a student. I have two questions.

1. Will my stay reset to 0?
2. If I become his dependent (either while I work in my job or when I become a Phd student), my stay resets to 0?

I have found this threat but it is not actually summarizes my situation.

https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=560329

1. Yes
2. Yes

If your end desire is for both of you to get PR and Belgian citizenship then you have to be very careful with the Belgian system. Once you become his dependent your status resets to 0 but then once he completes 5 years on WP B then he and you both get PR because you both fulfill the 5 year residency stay requirements and by then you also automatically complete the 3 year dependency requirement (confirm again if its still 3 years or has it also changed to 5 years) since you're already declared that you are married from the start.

Then also he has to ensure that he continues to maintain employment for 5 years without a break to qualify for PR and Ctz. For PR he can have a break in job contract (changing employer) as long as it does not interrupt the residence permit. For Ctz, there should not even be a gap of a week between 2 jobs but if there is then it can be compensated by Integration classes..see link below for details:

https://www.thebulletin.be/5-year-work-nationality

Thanks again for this long explaination.

If I become his dependent in a couple of months, by the time he gets his PR, I would be here for more or less 3 years assuming that the clock will set to zero (even though I lived here as a highly skilled worker for 1 year now). I do not understand why changing status from student to worker or worker to dependent has an impact on uninterrupted stay. I know that on top of uninterrupted stay, working for 2 years plus taking integration courses, plus A2 level of dutch should do. But how can you stay here without changing your status and work for only 2 years as you cannot stay in the country if you do not work. The only way of being eligible to PR in 5 years is through either uninterrupted work (or very little break plus integration and so on) or being dependent of someone from the start. Any changes will only affect things in a negative way.

No, you're not getting the point. For Ctz there are 2 options:

1. Work 5 years without a break in contract, or if there is a break then contract A that ends this friday and contract B that starts next Monday  (basically no break) + PR card + rest.

2. If your husband loses job A and he gets his next job after lets say a week or more then thats a break in 5 year job continuity which then he uses option B of 468 working days (2 years) + PR card + social integration  i.e. social classes and A2 language + rest.

get it?

Forgot to mention: This above info is for your husband. In your case at the end of 5 years you will get PR but for ctz for you please ask the city hall what would be the procedure after 5 years. Maybe you will need to wait total 10 years uninterrupted stay for ctz.

Also note that changing status is not interruption of stay but a reset of your current status to 0.

This is why we always advise to check with the official services concerned first. In this case, it is with the Foreign Office (DOFI).

Because although there is a department of foreigners in each municipal administration, the employees (as in many countries) do not always fully know all the points of detail of each law.

So I repeat, the family reunification procedure allows a person to take care of his or her family directly. And the spouse can if he wants to work under the tutelage of the work permit of the head of the family. Or take the steps to get your own work permit.

Which is what somehow for the Belgian law, you are two heads of families ...

And being dependent on someone does not mean that you can not work.

As a European and / or non-European student has the right to work as long as it does not exceed the number of hours permitted by law.

So do not worry, manage your future to your choice. It's just an administrative facility offered by the Belgian laws. And also in some cases, it reduces the tax burden because we merge salary income ...

solexhonda :

No, you're not getting the point. For Ctz there are 2 options:

1. Work 5 years without a break in contract, or if there is a break then contract A that ends this friday and contract B that starts next Monday  (basically no break) + PR card + rest.

2. If your husband loses job A and he gets his next job after lets say a week or more then thats a break in 5 year job continuity which then he uses option B of 468 working days (2 years) + PR card + social integration  i.e. social classes and A2 language + rest.

get it?

You are right and wrong at the same time.

That's why it's best for everyone to keep their work permit. However, with administrative simplifications being put in place, the transfer of an employer's license to an employer may have a longer waiting period as long as the demonstration is made that the procedure is well underway by each of the parties.

The premise of my explanation is that she has already indicated that she wants to become his dependent. Of course the best course of action is that she continues to work on WP B for 5 years and then she gets PR + ctz on her own merits.

To wrap up,

If I become a phd student and quit my job, my time here as an employee does not count for citizenship?

By the time my husband gets the citizenship, I would be here for 5 years, would I be eligible for citizenship even though I am a phd student and not his dependent?

I know that the best for me is to continue working with my own work permit but I am not planning to, that is why I ask these questions.

vbatandsivi :

To wrap up,

If I become a phd student and quit my job, my time here as an employee does not count for citizenship?

By the time my husband gets the citizenship, I would be here for 5 years, would I be eligible for citizenship even though I am a phd student and not his dependent?

I know that the best for me is to continue working with my own work permit but I am not planning to, that is why I ask these questions.

"If I become a phd student and quit my job, my time here as an employee does not count for citizenship?"
Yes that is correct. But see my next point.

"By the time my husband gets the citizenship, I would be here for 5 years, would I be eligible for citizenship even though I am a phd student and not his dependent?"
But I would recommend that you work for 468 working days and then quit. By doing so you will get PR after 5 years as a dependent on your husband but then you can qualify for ctz because you worked 468 working days in the preceeding 5 years of ctz application.

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