Belgian Immigration Office : Processing Applications for Family Reunification

general assembly on January 8, 2020

The Belgian Court of Audit examined how well the Federal State manages the family reunification principle. According to this principle, foreigners may join a family member who al-ready resides in Belgium. The Belgian Immigration Office is the administration responsible for processing such applications, in cooperation with Belgian municipalities and diplomatic offices abroad. According to the Court, the integration conditions stated in the regulatory framework need to be completed. Moreover, the administration is currently not able to process all the applications within the legal deadlines, which results in automatically issued visas and residence permits. Similarly, applications for renewal of residence permits for Belgian and European sponsors are no longer examined due to a lack of resources. Finally, the exchange of information with municipalities is not reliable enough and the monitoring by municipalities and diplomatic offices is not sufficient. The Court recommends to complete the regulatory framework, to process the applications within the legal deadlines and to improve the procedure monitoring and the cooperation with municipalities and diplomatic offices.