Belgian law requires all foreigners to register their long-term stay (i.e. of more than 90 days) at the town or city hall of the municipality where they reside, and to carry a residence permit valid during their stay. The information herebelow outlines the administrative steps required for registration at the Leuven Stadskantoor (City Office).
Upon registration, a national registration number ("rijksregisternummer") is created. It is a unique registration number based on your date of birth, which identifies you in your communication with Belgian authorities, such as the tax office, and is useful in daily life, for instance to register with your employer, Belgian health insurance schemes and Belgian banks.
First visit of the Stadskantoor: registration
- You must report to the Stadskantoor within 8 days of your arrival in Belgium.
- Make an appointment to come to the Stadskantoor for registration, either online or by phone.
- Submit the following:
- Your national passport (with D visa when relevant) and/or ID card
- 1 recent passport-size photo (maximum 6 months old). The photo must comply with international specifications. (There is a photo booth at the Stadskantoor. Children under the age of 3 must have their photo taken by a professional photographer)
- The documents which are relevant for your particular registration, such as your host agreement or work permit, university registration, birth/marriage certificate etc.
- The lease contract of your permanent address in Leuven
- You will receive the document “Annex 15”.
Subsequent visits: application for and collection of residence permit
- Following this first step in the registration process, the police will check whether you actually reside at the address you provided. They have up to one month's time to do so.
- Once the Stadskantoor has processed the police report, it will invite you by post to make an appointment (online or by phone) to apply for your electronic residence permit (with chip). The invitation lists the required documents.
- About two-three weeks after the application, you will receive the PIN codes of your electronic card by post. Subsequently, you may collect it at the Stadskantoor (A-counter), without having to make an appointment.
- You must physically reside at your permanent address in Leuven before you can start the registration process.
- Non-EU/EEA nationals who do not reside in Leuven must register in the town or city hall of their municipality, and contact the latter for information regarding registration.
- Though the official language at the Stadskantoor is Dutch and all documents provided by the city authorities are issued in Dutch, you may address staff in English or French.
- If you are exempt from a visa for Belgium or if, prior to arrival in Belgium, you resided in another EU member state which issued you with a residence permit, you are first registered as a tourist and receive a document authorizing a stay of maximum 90 days. During this period, you must submit the necessary documents for your registration, as outlined above. Furthermore, you must also provide the residence permit of the other EU member state, as well as a criminal record issued by the authorities of the country where you lived before coming to Belgium (issued maximum 6 months before arrival).
- Some documents which have been issued abroad (e.g. civil status records, documents issued by a local authority, …) require a legalisation, as well as a Dutch translation by a sworn translator.
- If you require your residence card urgently once your registration procedure is completed and approved, you have the option of paying a higher fee upon application, so that you will receive it after maximum three working days.
Supplier, channels and tools
- Stadskantoor (City Office)
- appointment by phone: 016 27 28 29 (also in English)
- opening hours A-counter: Mon & Thu 9h00 -20h00, Wed 9h00-16h30, Tue & Fri 9h00-12h30
- address: Professor Roger Van Overstraetenplein 1, 3000 Leuven (next to the train station)
- Federal Immigration Office (only limited information in English)
- Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs Ministry
- Flemish Integration Agency (only available in Dutch)
- All non-EU/EEA nationals who intend to stay in Leuven for more than 90 days for the purpose of work or study, and who will reside at private lodgings during their stay (i.e. not in hotels and B&Bs).
- For Swiss nationals, the registration procedure of EU/EEA nationals applies.
- In case you have started an application procedure for a European Blue card for highly-qualified employees, this procedure does not apply.