Effective 18 February 2017, a new law requires certain residence permit applicants to submit a signed “newcomers statement” in support of their application and to provide evidence of their integration efforts in order to maintain or renew their residency status.
[UPDATE] The “Integration Act” was originally published on 16 January 2017, and was due to take effect ten days later, on 26 January 2017. However, it was republished on 8 February 2017, and will therefore take effect on 18 February 2017. The “newcomers statement” is not likely to come into effect on that date, however, as the text has not yet been finalised.
It remains unclear whether the new obligations will apply to first residence applications (“newcomers”) only, or also to renewals (foreign nationals already residing in Belgium). Guidelines from the authorities will have to clarify how the new rules will be applied in practice.
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This news alert was prepared using information provided by Praetica.