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I am a American married to a Belgian citizen, I have a Belgian

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I am a American married to a Belgian citizen, I have a Belgian Identitiy Card. We may get a divorce and I was hoping to stay in Belgium after the divorce. Is that possible? I have been here for 11 years. I do not work in Belgium as I have a company in the U.S. I do not collect welfare of any type, nor does my wife. My wife says I must leave Belgiium if we get a divorce. I speak French, but not fluently.

Abogado3044 :


Abogado3044 :

You could ask now or once diverced the permanent residence in Belgium because you could prove you have been there longer than 5 years

Abogado3044 :

Long-term resident status

EU countries must recognise long-term resident status after five years of continuous legal residence. Absences from the EU country for periods of less than six consecutive months (and not exceeding ten months in total within the five-year period) or for specific reasons provided for by national law (e.g. military service, secondment for work purposes, serious illness, maternity, research or studies) will be regarded as not interrupting the period of residence.

In order to obtain long-term resident status, non-EU nationals must prove that they have, for themselves and their family (if dependent):

  • stable resources sufficient to live without recourse to the social assistance system of the EU country concerned;

  • sickness insurance.

EU countries may require non-EU nationals to comply with further integration conditions (such as sufficient knowledge of a national language of the EU country concerned).

EU countries may refuse to grant long-term resident status on grounds of public policy or public security.

The competent authority must take a decision on whether to grant long-term resident status no more than six months after the application is lodged. Decisions to reject an application must be notified in writing to the person concerned, in accordance with the procedures under national legislation, stating the reasons and indicating the redress procedures available and the deadline for action on the part of the applicant. Long-term residents will receive a permanent residence permit that is standard for all EU countries, valid for at least five years and automatically renewable.

Long-term resident status may be withdrawn only on certain grounds that are set out in the directive (absence from the EU territory for more than 12 consecutive months, fraudulent acquisition of the status or adoption of a measure to expel the person concerned).

Persons who have acquired long-term resident status will enjoy equal treatment with nationals as regards:

  • access to paid and unpaid employment, conditions of employment and working conditions (working hours, health and safety standards, holiday entitlements, remuneration and dismissal);

  • education and vocational training, recognition of qualifications and study grants;

  • welfare benefits (family allowances, retirement pensions, etc.) and sickness insurance;

  • social assistance (minimum income support or retirement pensions, free health care, etc.);

  • social benefits, tax relief and access to goods and services;

  • freedom of association and union membership and freedom to represent a union or association;

  • free access to the entire territory of the EU country concerned.

In certain cases, EU countries may restrict equal treatment with nationals with respect to access to employment and to education (e.g. by requiring proof of appropriate language proficiency). In the field of social assistance and protection, EU countries may limit equal treatment to core benefits. They are nevertheless free to add to the list of benefits in which they grant equal treatment with nationals as well as to provide equal treatment in additional areas.

Long-term residents enjoy enhanced protection against expulsion. The conduct on which expulsion decisions are based must constitute an actual and sufficiently serious threat to public policy or public security. Such decisions may not be founded on economic considerations. EU countries undertake to consider specific factors before taking a decision to expel a long-term resident (age of the person concerned, duration of residence, etc.).

The provisions of the directive do not prevent EU countries from issuing permanent residence permits on terms that are more favourable than those set out in the directive. Nevertheless, such residence permits do not confer the right of residence in the other EU countries.

Abogado3044 :

This right does not depend on her its a right of you because you have been there longer than 5 years

Abogado3044 :


Is speaking the language fluently a must to stay in Belgium? It looks like i can stay though, because i have been here 11 years? I do not need to work in Belgium? I can prove I have a steady income from my company based in Texas.

José M. and other European Law Specialists are ready to help you
You do not need to work there, you need to probe you got money enought to stay
Thank you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your reply. I guess we can still get a divorce in Belgium if we were married in the U.S. in Las Vegas?

Sure, this is not a problem.
Thank you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She insists that i have to have 400 hours of French courses and speak the language fluently, plus have a job here to stay. Under some new law they just passed. Hear anything about that?

Hi Sir

There is no way to a CEE country to make different rules than others countries in CEE
European law does not forces to learn the language of the country as you can see in the link provided
They does not care about you got a job or not
For they its enought you got a way of living and you could probe it
I think she tries to avoid to be divorced scaring you with lies, that all in my opinion
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Where is the link you mention above? Now, she says if we divorce she can force me to pay her a pension of 600 euro per month. She has all the money not me. Her boyfriend had a divorce, he is Belgian also and he was forced for awhile, until the judge threw it out, to pay her 600 euro per month. The wife was also Belgian. I am living in her house. If I move out, she will file for divorce and the authorities will eventually throw me out of the country and she will file for me to pay her a monthly payment. Her family has money, but she does not use it.


In order to get a pension she will need to probe that she now gets money from you, that she has been wasting time in your home for you, and that she needs the money to live.
So it will be not easy for her without minors of you two ( Sons )

She is scaring you, do not her to do so
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks! Now the Health Care - do you know if i can keep my plan with her or that i can get another plan if we divorce. She says i am under her Health Care (becaus she is Belgian) and if we get a divorce it is finished. Because obviously the Health Care here is much cheaper than anything i can find in america at the age of 62.

In order to get your residence visa you will have to contract a private health insurance
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Back to the pension, i support the household by takin money from my company in the U.S. She does not work and we have no children. Her family has money, so she really does not need me to support her. But she asks anyway, becuase she invested money in our business in the U.S. She owns 50% of that with me. So, she still would need to show the court that she cannot support herself. But, her family has money and quite a bit of it.

If she has her own money she could no probe that she lives or needs money from you
So the judge will no give her any right to get money from you
In order to get money from you she needs to probe that she do not have it., you have it, she needs it, and she can no work to get it...
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



Today she tells me that the tax people in belgium called her to say that even though i have my business in America i need to pay tax here as well as america. Because i operate my company from here, but everything is based in texas. I did not think they can double tax a person? i travel back to america every few years for a month or so to check on the business.

You could declare taxes in Belgium as you resides there but the taxes paid in Texas are deductible there
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So bascially, Belgian law states that anything we bought during the time we are married is split 50% correct? Like the car and furniture and such? What about before the marriage and anything brought into the marriage?

I can no tell you about Belgium law, its not european law...
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

But under european law what is the answer? European law has the authroity over Belgian law?

In marriages law each country has its own rules
This question mus be answered by a belgium attorney
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

can you give me a name of an attorney in belgium that speaks english possibly that handles divorce and immigration matters?

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