Residence in Ghent for more than 6 months

Are you a student in Ghent and a EU Member State, EEA country or Swiss national? Planning to stay longer than 6 months? Apply for a EU card.

Are you a citizen of the European Union, a EEA country of Switzerland who studies in Belgium for more than 6 months?  In that case you need to apply for registration (‘domicile’) with the municipal authorities. You will be entered in the National Register and you will receive an electronic registration document (the EU card) if you meet the requirements. 

Do you have a principal place of residence in France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands or Germany? In that case you can also opt to apply for an annex 33. If you have an annex 33, you will not be entered in the National Register.  More information is available on the page of annex 33.

When to apply for the EU card?

The registration procedure takes some time and the EU-card cannot be issued immediately. That’s why you should start the registration procedure as soon as possible.

The delivery time of the EU card is 2 to 3 weeks (longer in exceptional cases). The urgency procedure (€ 125) takes 1 or 2 working days.  In the meantime, the student will receive a provisional residence document (annex 8ter).

It is important to arrange for adequate housing first. If you don’t have a residence address for at least one month, the registration procedure will be postponed. Also put your surname and first name on the doorbell and the letter box in a clear manner so as to make it easier for the local police inspector to perform the residence check.  If you reside in an officially recognised student residence, the local police inspector will not visit you.

How to apply for the EU card?

You are required to report your presence by means of the e-form within 3 months of your arrival in Belgium. All steps of the form have to be followed in order to complete the application.

Upload a scan of your identity card or passport, proof of enrolment with the educational institution, a passport photo and proof of health insurance. You also need to declare that you have sufficient means of subsistence during your stay as a student.

When we receive your e-form, we will send you a confirmation e-mail.

When will you receive the EU card?

After a positive residence check by the local police inspector, you will receive an invitation by e-mail to register at the counter and apply for your EU-card. 

You need to bring the following documents to your appointment at the counter:

  • Valid passport or identity card
  • Proof of enrolment with a Belgian educational institution
  • Proof of health insurance for all medical expenses (valid for long stays in Belgium)
  • A sworn translation of your birth certificate, if applicable (legalised or endorsed with an apostille if required)
  • The e-mail containing the personal invitation
  • € 28 (in cash or by debit card)
  • 1 recent passport photo that meets the legal quality requirements (there is a photo booth in the City Office)

Any additional documents mentioned in the invitation e-mail.

Collect the EU card

When you receive the pin and puk by post, you can collect the EU card at the place where you applied for it.

You will need to bring:

  • the annex 8ter
  • pin and puk codes

How long is the EU card valid?

The EU card is valid for 5 years provided that you continue to meet the residence conditions for students. 

After 5 years’ uninterrupted and legal residence, you can apply for a permanent right of residence and you will receive the EU+ card (in Dutch).

What if you move?

Always report any change of address (in Dutch) immediately to Migration or to a service centre. If you fail to do so, we will have to remove you from the Foreign Nationals register. Your EU card will then become invalid and you may lose your right of residence.