Preparing a visa application (visa application for family reunification, student visa, tourist visa, etc.) can be a complex process.
Basic information can be easily found on the website of the Belgian Embassies of, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (specifically in order to identify whether a document needs to be legalised or not), as well as the Immigration Office: https://dofi.ibz.be
The necessary forms and declarations for each type of visa application can be downloaded from the website.
However, it is often very useful, and even sometimes necessary, to add to your file additional documents, other than those mentioned on the website of the Immigration Office.
Indeed, the legal requirements are many and complex. Every file will be subject to an in-depth examination by the public administration. In certain cases, the administration even hold a largely discretionary power: For instance, when evaluating the pertinence of the reasons justifying a short stay or assessing the guarantees of return after a family visit.
With respect to applications for long-term stays, particularly in areas such as family reunification, the Immigration Office does not hesitate – for example - to question the legitimacy of a marriage or relationship. In several cases where this is mandatory, difficulty lies in demonstrating that the applicant has sufficient, regular and stable means of subsistence.
It is therefore crucial to meticulously prepare each visa application and adapt it to the applicant’s situation.
In the event a visa application is rejected, legal action can be taken within 30 days of the notification of the decision. The relevant jurisdiction, the Council for Immigration Litigation, can take time to process. If the Council for Immigration Litigation considers the Immigration Office has breached the law, it will annul the decision. However, the Office has the possibility, for example in the event the judge has found a motivation error, to issue another negative decision in order to be in conformity with the Law.
Depending on the motivation of the negative decision of the Office, legal action may be necessary. In other cases, it is better to refrain from contesting the decision and best to introduce a new visa application.
Altea offers advice by expert lawyers, adapted to your personal situation.
Contact Céline Verbrouck or Catherine de Bouyalski, specialist lawyers in immigration law and international family law, certified by the Order of Lawyers of the Bar of Brussels.