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Obtaining Card D directly from card A


Dear Expats,

I recently went to the commune in Mons, Belgium (where I stay) to apply for unlimited stay based on my 5 years of stay in Belgium. I was asked for all my salary slips of past 5 years, 6 work permits, insurance details, passport copy and the criminal record to apply for long term resident card. They told me they will be applying for card D and the maximum waiting time would be 5 months.

I saw the immigration office link to understand more about card D

The conditions are below
Vous devez :
(a) être autorisé ou admis à séjourner en Belgique de manière illimitée,
(b) avoir séjourné de manière légale et ininterrompue en Belgique au cours des 5 années qui précèdent immédiatement votre demande d'acquisition du statut de résident de longue durée,
(c) avoir des moyens de subsistance stables, réguliers et suffisants pour subvenir à vos besoins et à ceux des membres de sa famille qui sont à votre charge et éviter de devenir une charge pour les pouvoirs publics,
(d) avoir une assurance maladie couvrant les risques en Belgique,
(e) avoir un passeport national, si votre identité n’a pu être établie au cours d’une précédente procédure, et
(f) ne pas représenter un risque d’atteinte à l’ordre public ou à la sécurité nationale.

I met all conditions except condition (a) as I do not possess an unlimited stay card. When I called the commune about it, they assured that I could apply for card D based on my stay and the documents provided by me above and it does not matter which card I possess (A,B or C) while applying for it.

When I wrote to the help desk of the foreigners office in Brussels, they told me I need to first apply for card B and then only can I demand for card D.

So naturally I informed the commune in Mons and they ASSURED me that it does not matter what card I possess, after 5 years of uninterrupted stay I am allowed to apply for card D. The conflicting replies of departments in different cities has gotten me confused.

Have you had any experience or are aware of anyone who applied for card D directly? Should I apply for B?

Any help is appreciated.


Not quite the same thing but when I applied for citizenship the official list of requirements included an E+ card (i.e. unlimited stay) whereas I only had an E card. In practice, this wasn't a problem and in due course the letter confirming citizenship arrived.

I suspect that the reality is that, provided the totality of documents submitted confirm your eligibility, that is sufficient. The fact that your commune (and a large commune at that who should know the rules) initiated the procedure with a card A rather than a card B suggests that in practice that is true.

Oct 19, 2017 12:57

I went through the same exact thing a couple of years ago in Brussels. Had the same concern as you, as I felt I wasn't really fulfilling the requirement of already being in possession of an unlimited stay card.

But it worked out - I went directly from an A to a D residence permit in 5 months. So don't worry, you're good!

Oct 19, 2017 15:33

Thank you so much @Becasse and @Tan for your replies. It sure does reassure me. :)

I hope there is someone who has applied this year and can come forward with first hand experience. There were some changes in the law last year. Earlier the ID card changed from card A to card B automatically while applying the 6th year. That has changed in recent years and we get a card A again. So after receiving the 6th card A we are advised to apply for unlimited stay as it does not happen automatically.

Since @Tan said that your card D was obtained couple of years ago, I hope things have not changed since making card B obligatory step before obtaining card D. But I assume the foreigners office in Mons should have been aware if this was the case. Any case, the commune has already applied for card D for me. I think I need to wait and hope luck favors me.

Thank you again

Oct 19, 2017 16:00

Dear Gizfernz,
Good day.
Searching for answers pertaining this similar situation that I have, I found yours.

Please am curious to know how yours went and how did you go about it?
I have the 5years F card and its due to end in a few month (this summer) Am abit confused on which to apply for next, is it; F+, D or Nationality ??

My Story is that I was married for three years and separated but my card was not revoked, since then I retained my card and have a steady fixed job.

Please kindly enlighten me or share your experience with me, so as a prepare me.

If any one has a good tip or advice please do share too.

Thank you

Jan 20, 2018 22:14