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Tunahan Hatay


Hello Evelyne,

I am a non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen and soon arriving in Belgium to study my bachelor's degree in Ghent. Since I am a non-EU citizen I am entitled to apply for a student visa, which also allows me to work 20 hours/week in Belgium. My studies, including initial Dutch language course, plus bachelor's and master's degree, will approximately take 5 and a half years.

My question is, after finishing my studies can I apply to a long-term or permanent residence visa? Due to some information on the Internet my student years don't count, although some say they count only half as much. I plan to live in Belgium after my studies and want to have a residence visa so I can find a job better. Do my student years count when applying for a residence permit? Also please note that I will be working and paying taxes in Belgium during this time.

I realize that apart from my residence history I need to fulfill other conditions such as economic participation, social integration etc. Can you also give me information about these criterias? Is working part time and paying taxes enough, for example?

Thanks a lot in advance for your answer,
Kind regards,

by Tunahan Hatay on 23 Sep 2016
Evelyne Van der Elst

This expert is currently inactive and not able to take new questions!


Dear Tunahan,

Thank you for your questions.

I would like to refer you to my latest article on studying in Belgium and securing residency afterwards. This article should answer most of your questions.

If you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Kind regards,
Evelyne Van der Elst

by Evelyne Van der Elst on 27 Sep 2016

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