As Belgian or foreigner legally staying in Belgium, there’s a possibility of bringing in some family members, if provided conditions are met. These shall depend on the situation of the person living in Belgium (“the grouper”) and on the family link which exists between the grouper and the person he/she wants to bring to Belgium (“the grouped”). Documents need thus to be transmitted proving that conditions to family regrouping are met.
Generally, the request for family regrouping shall be made abroad. It’s a visa request with the Belgian diplomatic or consular representative, but, in certain cases, it is also possible to file this request from Belgium. It will then be a stay request. In most cases, it’s the Foreign Office (OE) who will take the decision, whether positive or negative, concerning the family regrouping request.
Should the response be positive, the requestor shall receive a D-category visa and/or a stay permit.
Should the response be negative, the requestor can file an appeal with the CCE (French acronym for Conseil de Contentieux des Étrangers – Litigation Council for Foreigners, within 30 days of notification, or shorter delay in case of urgency). In certain circumstances, the requestor can ask for a review of the decision to the Foreign Office (within 3 months of notification). If the requestor cannot prove, with documents, the family link that exists between him/her and the regrouped person, the Foreign Office may order a DNA test. Lastly, another request is also possible.
Upon visa/stay permit delivery to the requestor (regrouped), the Foreign Office also communicates the conditions under which the stay permit can be renewed. These conditions must always be met when asking for renewal of stay permit. If not, the Foreign Office can order the end of the stay. However, the regrouped person has the right to be heard by the Foreign Office and to defend his/her case before the Foreign Office renders its verdict.
In the case of conjugal/domestic violence between the grouper and the grouped person, special arrangements exist to allow the abused regrouped person to keep his/her stay permit even if renewal conditions are not met.
Please note that as a refugee or as beneficiary of subsidiary protection, you have the right to bring your partner and/or your children along with you to settle in Belgium. Be careful though, during the first year of recognition of your refugee status, conditions to bring them to Belgium are soften : you will be exempted from transmitting documents proving you are living in an adequate accommodation, that you are covered by a health insurance and that you have regular and sufficient subsistence means.