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) for non-EU/EEA students.
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.
- Register at the Stadskantoor (City Office) as soon as possible after your arrival (theoretically this has to be done within 8 days of your arrival in Belgium).
- Carefully read the updated procedure on the website of the city of Leuven (available in English).
- 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 a so-called contact language (usually 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 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). You will also be required to pay the appropriate visa fee. However, it is highly recommended that you apply for a D visa at a Belgian embassy, as applying for your visa after arrival in Belgium may take several months.
- 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
- Flemish Integration Agency (only available in Dutch)
- Flemish Department of Economic Migration (only available in Dutch)
- All non-EU/EEA nationals who intend to stay in Leuven for more than 90 days for the purpose of 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.