Belgium – Enforcement of Administrative Fines for Some Infringements

Pursuant to the Belgian Foreigners’ Act, administrative fines of 200 € can be imposed by the federal immigration office for some, in general, minor infringements.

Some examples of the infringements are:

  • For a short term stay (< 3 months), EU, EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members need to notify their presence to the municipal authorities within 10 working days of arrival in Belgium, upon which they will receive a document “annex 3ter”, valid for 3 months. This obligation does not apply to foreigners who stay in a hotel. An administrative fine of 200 € can be imposed if the 10 working days-deadline is not complied with;
  • For a long term stay (> 3 months), EU, EEA and Swiss nationals must register with the municipal authorities within 3 months of arrival in Belgium, upon which they will receive a document “annex 19” (application for a declaration of registration). Their third country family members must register with the municipal authorities within 3 months of arrival in Belgium, upon which they will receive a document “annex 19ter” (application for residence permit). An administrative fine of 200 € can be imposed if the 3 months-deadline is not complied with.

In practice, these administrative fines are not often imposed, however, effective immediately, the federal government has issued a Royal Decree, implementing the Foreigners’ Act, with regard to the means of payment of the administrative fines for some infringements. Furthermore the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration has issued a circular letter, dated June 16, 2016, with regard to the administrative fines.  Both documents were published in the Belgian Official Journal, dated July 14, 2016.

The following infringements are likely to result in an administrative fine of 200 €:

  • Upon entering/leaving Belgium
  • For all foreigners (EU/EEA/Switzerland and third country nationals): entering or leaving the Schengen area via a Belgian outside border
    • either at a non-authorized crossing point, or
    • at a time outside the fixed opening hours
  • For EU/EEA/Swiss nationals: entering the Schengen area via a Belgian outside border
    • either without a national identity card or passport, or
    • with an expired national identity card or passport
  • For third country family members of EU/EEA/Swiss nationals: entering the Schengen area via a Belgian outside border
    • either without a national passport, or
    • with an expired national passport, or
    • without a long term visa D, if required

Registration in Belgium:

  • For EU/EEA/Swiss nationals and their family members (EU/EEA/Switzerland and third country nationals) whose stay in Belgium will not exceed 3 months: notify their presence, if required (exemption = stay in hotel), to the municipal authorities after the deadline (10 working days of arrival in Belgium)
  • For EU/EEA/Swiss nationals and their family members (EU/EEA/Switzerland and third country nationals) whose stay in Belgium will exceed 3 months: register with the municipal authorities after the deadline (3 months of arrival in Belgium)
  • For third country family members of EU/EEA/Swiss nationals: failure to apply for residence permit type F+ (permanent residence permit for family member of EU/EEA national) prior to the expiry date of their residence permit type F (residence permit for family member of EU/EEA national)

The circular letter, dated June 16, 2016, issued by the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, explicitly refers to the fact that the municipal authorities are legally obliged to trace people with main residence in the municipality, but without being registered.