In this event, your family members will receive proof of submission of your application (Annex 15quinquies) from the embassy or consulate. The file will be forwarded to the Immigration Office for examination. 

The file number appears on the proof of submission. This number makes it possible to follow up on the status of the visa application via the website of the Immigration Office.

The date mentioned on the proof of submission determines a period of 9 months within which the Belgian authorities must take a decision on the visa application. In particular circumstances in connection with the complexity of the case, or when an inquiry is being carried out in the context of a marriage of convenience, this period can be extended twice by 3 months by a reasoned decision of the Immigration Office. If no decision has been taken within this – possibly extended – period, the visa will be granted automatically (art. 12bis par. 3, 5 and 6 of the Law of 15 December 1980).

If, based on a valid reason, a person is not capable to submit a certain document, the diplomatic post can send the file in an incomplete state to the Immigration Office. This should be raised with the diplomatic post and the Immigration Office. In this case, there is no proof of submission and the term to process the application does officially not start running. 

Cost of the family reunification procedure

The family reunification process is an expensive one. In addition to the fixed costs set by the Belgian authorities, there are the fees imposed by local authorities which can vary greatly.

A visa application for Belgium costs €180/person and the legalization of a document by the Belgian authorities costs €20 (fixed cost, regardless of the country where the application is submitted, rates on 1 September 2019). Costs that need to be added, and vary greatly from country to country:  cost of passports, the issuance, translation and legalization of documents, possible DNA tests, physician’s honoraria (for the medical certificate). Finally, there are the travel costs to the embassy, the costs of accommodation in the country of residence and the airline fares.

For a humanitarian visa application for a  family member aged 18 or older, the cost of the administrative fee has to be added (rate at 1 September 2019: €358).