‘Regularisation’ commonly refers to the situations whereby someone obtains a residence permit after previously living in Belgium without legal documents, or when someone obtains the authorisation when abroad to come to Belgium in a specific humanitarian context.
Usually, a non-European citizen who wishes to apply for a residence permit in Belgium for more than 3 months must do so when abroad, in his country of origin or in the country of legal residence.
However, there may be exceptional or medical reasons that prevent the person from beginning the application process to obtain a residence permit before setting foot on Belgian territory.
The same exceptional or medical reasons may also be cited while in the country of origin.
The practical outcome of this subject matter depends strongly on the practice of the administration and therefore requires, before starting the process, verification of the chances of success of such a request, and sound knowledge of the legal remedies in case the application is rejected by the authorities.
Application for regularisation on humanitarian grounds
In order to apply for a “humanitarian” residence permit (9bis) from Belgium, one must first establish the existence of ‘exceptional circumstances’ which prevent or make particularly hard to return to the country of origin in order to lodge the application.
There will be an individual examination for each case. The administration has a large margin of appreciation as to the definition of exceptional circumstances. It is however compelled to motivate in law its decisions and hence to proceed to a complete and adequate examination of all elements presented to it.
During the examination of the application by the administration, the applicant will not obtain a temporary residence permit. Furthermore, the respect of deadlines is not imposed on the administration.
Application for regularisation on medical grounds
A residence permit for medical reasons (9ter) can be requested when it is (temporarily) impossible to travel due to medical conditions or when there is a risk to the life or the physical integrity of the person when the treatment would be withdrawn.
It is incumbent upon the applicant to demonstrate, with the help of their doctor and lawyer, the absence of adequate and accessible treatment in their country of origin. Their illness or condition must be severe in order to give rise to a right to temporary residence. The examination of the degree of gravity is carried by the doctor-advisor of the Immigration Office. It will be, however, the administration of the Immigration Office that will analyse the file in a particularly strict way, and that will make the decision.
Hence, one must prepare the application with great care.
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