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Cohabitation or marriage?!

Question

Dear forum members,

I am in need of some serious advice. I'm an Indian national wanting to marry my Belgian partner of 1.7 years. I have been living in Belgium since September 2014 and in September 2017, I moved in together with my partner. I am not a dependent. My dilemma is should I apply for cohabitation or marry my partner instead? I have heard that disapproved marriages have a hard time applying for cohabitation visas. Is this true?

I have a work contract in Belgium until the end of March 2018, and after that I'll be moving to another country for work in any case. Therefore, I would want to have visa-free access to visit my husband-to-be (who might not be immediately moving with me to my new workplace country). Would anybody know how long it takes for a marriage to be official or how long the cohabitation visa process takes in Belgium? What's the best bet for me at this point? Has anybody gone through the same?

Thanks already!
Sana

Answer
anon Oct 28, 2017 11:26

"I have heard that disapproved marriages have a hard time applying for cohabitation visas."

The process for applying for a visa will be the same for a marriage as for co-habitation, as legally they are effectively almost the same thing. If you already have a disapproved marriage, then you're going to have problems either way.

Answer
Sana_2017 Oct 30, 2017 15:34

"The process for applying for a visa will be the same for a marriage as for co-habitation, as legally they are effectively almost the same thing. If you already have a disapproved marriage, then you're going to have problems either way."
@ANON
Not necessarily, are they the same thing. Co-habitation needs fewer obligations for an applicant than a marriage. I do not have a disapproved marriage and was wondering which option is efficient in my case since I do not want get estranged from my partner.

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