Are you a non-Belgian in Ghent who is going abroad? Read here what you have to do before you leave Belgium.
You must report your departure to the municipality. We will register the end of your stay in the foreigners' register.
Make your declaration only after you have left Belgium. After your declaration, you will receive a proof of departure by e-mail (model 8 - Proof of removal from the national register). We will cancel your residence permit. Your file in Belgium is then closed.
If you need the 'model 8 - Proof of removal from the national register' before your departure from Belgium, you can also exceptionally receive it at the counter. Call 09 266 71 50 to make an appointment. We will then retain your residence card. You will receive annex 37 and a copy of your residence card.
Why do you have to report your departure?
- For Dutch nationals, because Dutch municipalities often ask for this proof to be re-registered in a Dutch municipality
- Sometimes this model 8 - Proof of removal from national register is needed to arrange customs formalities for the export of goods on departure at the airport
Copy of residence card important for non-Schengen
It is best to return the residence card only after having dealt with all matters for which the card is needed (e.g. bank transactions).
This return is especially important for non-Schengen nationals. They have to be able to prove at the external borders of the Schengen area during controls that they were legally residing in Belgium.
Model 8 and annex 37 are insufficient proof of legal residence, which means you risk a fine and an alert for illegal residence. For this reason, you should in principle be able to present a copy of the residence permit along with the model 8 and annex 37.
You do not have to report your departure and return.
Please note! If you are not an EU citizen and you have an expired residence card, you risk not being allowed to re-enter Belgium.
Does your residence card expire during your absence in Belgium? Renew your residence card before your departure!
You must report your absence to the municipality before departure.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line 'TEMPORARY DEPARTURE' - your full name and your national register number.
What information do we need?
- Indicate whether you will live at your address again after your temporary departure.
- The date of your departure.
- The date of your return.
- Your address abroad.
What documents do you attach to your email?
- A copy of your residence card.
- Proof showing the date of your departure, e.g. a bus, plane or train ticket.
Can't manage to e-mail?
- Go without appointment to the Stadskantoor. Take a ticket 'Ik heb geen afspraak'. A staff member refers you to Migration.
- Or make an appointment at Dienstencentrum Gentbrugge, Dienstencentrum Nieuw-Gent, Dienstencenrum Sint-Amandsberg, Dienstencentrum Wondelgem or Wijkkantoor Rabot.
To make an appointment, call Migration at 09 266 71 50
You will receive proof of the declaration (annex 18 - Attestation of departure) and you will keep your residence card.
Exceptionally, you can also report the departure via e-mail from abroad. You must then always be able to prove the date of departure (e.g. with an exit stamp in the passport or a stamped ticket).
When returning to Belgium, you must re-register within 15 days with the annex 18. This can be done without an appointment at the counter.
Please note! If you are not an EU citizen and you have an expired residence card, there is a risk that you will not be allowed to re-enter Belgium.
Does your residence permit expire during your absence in Belgium? Renew your residence card before your departure!
Why do you have to report your departure and return?
If you do not report your temporary absence and upon inspection we do not find you at your address, the municipality must delete you from the foreigners' register.
This deletion makes the residence card invalid and you may lose the right of residence.
Fedasil is responsible for the voluntary return programme. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) organises the return flight or return journey. In certain situations, IOM and Caritas International provide post-arrival assistance. The migrant does not have to pay anything. Fedasil pays for the plane or bus ticket and transport to the airport or station.
For information, the migrant or aid worker can also contact the voluntary return operation of the City of Ghent. This operation comprises two sections: the 'Tussenverdieping' as an emergency reception centre and a knowledge and expertise centre on voluntary return.
The 'Tussenverdieping' offers temporary, conditional and limited emergency accommodation and guidance to candidates for voluntary return, while waiting for the departure date. A maximum of 10 places are available. Conditions for reception are both the declaration of intention to return to the country of origin signed at the Fedasil return desk and the lack of another reception option.
The reception is limited in duration (max. 3 months) and runs in cooperation with Fedasil.
Knowledge and expertise centre on voluntary return
- provides information on return options
- organises the Urban Consultation Platform on Voluntary Return (SOVT)
- gives information sessions on the Voluntary Return Programme
- identifies bottlenecks in (access to) the voluntary return programme and contributes to improvement actions