In principle, the immigration Office’s decision is sent the same day as it is taken. It may take a few days, however, for the decision to arrive at the Belgian diplomatic post abroad. As soon as the diplomatic post receives the decision, they will contact your family to deliver the visa.

The D visa entitles the holder to a long stay in Belgium (more than 3 months). With this visa, you can travel to Belgium via other Schengen countries or stay in another Schengen country for a maximum total duration of 3 months within a period of 6 months.

The decision of the Immigration Office to issue the visa is valid for 6 months. It is therefore important to collect the visa before the end of this term. After the visa is placed in the passport, the visa is valid for 6 months, or in particular cases for 1 year.

Period for examination of visa applications (1 September 2019)

  • family reunification visa: 9 months maximum (eventually extended twice by 3 months) from the date indicated on the proof of submission;
  • humanitarian visa: on average more than 1 year.

The examination period for humanitarian visa applications should not be interpreted strictly. It is simply indicative and may vary depending on the complexity of the file. See the site of the Immigration Office.

Rejection of the visa application

Sometimes the visa is refused unless a DNA-test proves differently. In case the DNA-test is positive, the visa will still be granted.

The Immigration Office will refuse the visa if it considers that the applicant does not fulfil the conditions for family reunification. This may be the case, for example, if it considers that there has been fraud, that there is mention of a marriage of convenience, that there is a lack of effective marital or family life, if there is danger to public order, public health or national security in Belgium or if the requirement of sufficient, stable and regular means of subsistence applies but is not met (art. 11 § 1 and art. 74/21, par. 1 of the Law of 15 December 1980).

When you have received the recognized refugee or subsidiary protection status in Belgium, and the family or marriage ties with your family members existed before the arrival in Belgium, the negative decision cannot solely be based on the absence of official and legalized documents that prove these family or marriage ties (art. 11, par. 2 of the Law of 15 December 1980).

The Immigration Office is also obliged to do an individual assessment. When processing a file, it has to take into account all the elements as a whole. (Article 12bis §2, paragraph 3 of the Law of 15 December 1980)

Finally, the decision to reject the application must be justified and notified to the persons concerned.

If the Immigration Office refuses to grant the visa, an appeal may be lodged at the Council for Alien Law Litigation within 30 days of the notification of the decision. In some cases, a supplementary request for suspension can be lodged under an extremely urgent procedure at the Council for Alien Law Litigation.

If the reasons for the rejection are related to the question of recognition of foreign official certificates, an appeal may be lodged at the court of first instance, by virtue of the rules of private international law.

If the visa application is rejected, a new visa application may also be submitted when new items of evidence can be added to the file.