Are you a beneficiary of international protection in Belgium (a recognized refugee or beneficiary of subsidiary protection)? Some members of your family have the right to join you in Belgium. This procedure is called family reunification. It applies to some members of your family who stayed behind in your country of origin or who live in another country and who want to join you in Belgium. The Belgian law determines which family member may benefit from family reunification. If your family members meet the conditions set by the law and can produce the necessary evidence, they can join you in Belgium “as of right”. In practice, however, the process of family reunification may be complicated and may take a long time.

If you submit your application for family reunification within the year after your recognition of protection status and if the relationship with your family member (i.e. child, parent, spouse, …) existed already before your arrival in Belgium, the process will be easier: you will not have to provide evidence of sufficient, regular and stable means of subsistence, adequate accommodation and sickness insurance for your family.

The main legal basis for the family reunification procedure of beneficiaries of international protection is Article 10 of the Law of 15 December 1980 regarding the entry, residence, settlement and removal of foreigners (further “the Law of 15 December 1980”). Article 10 has been modified inter alia by the Law of 8 July 2011, of 4 and 17 May 2016 and 1 June 2016.

Recognized refugees who became Belgian citizens

This brochure is addressed to recognized refugees or beneficiaries of subsidiary protection who have not obtained Belgian nationality. If you have become a Belgian national, your situation is different. Your application does not fall under Article 10, but under Article 40ter of the Law of 15 December 1980.