Residence by pursuing studies

Belgium houses several top universities in the world such as the University of Leuven and the Ghent University, which offer courses in English and apply reasonable tuition fees. Upon completion of your studies, there are ample opportunities to commence an international career by taking up internship in one of the many renowned institutions such as the United Nations, the United Commission and NATO, all of which have chosen Brussels as their home base.

A foreign student who pursues studies in Belgium is entitled to the right of long-term residency in Belgium during the period of his/her education. Such residency right, however, is of a temporary nature. To qualify, the foreign student is required to apply for a Type-D student visa which is valid for 1 year to until 31 October of each academic year. Therefore, every year prior to the expiry date, the foreign student must apply for renewal of the student visa by demonstrating that he/she still meets all eligibility criteria.

In principle, 5 years of legal and continuous residence in Belgium is required in order to qualify for permanent residency (among other criteria). In this connection, it is important to note that any period spent in Belgium on the basis of a student visa is only partially recognised (i.e. 50%) for the purpose of calculating this 5-year period.

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