Right to return

Are you going abroad temporarily for more than 3 months? Then you must report this to the city. Otherwise, you may be struck from the national register and your residence card may be revoked.

In order to avoid problems upon your return to Belgium, it is best to apply for your 'right of return'. If you report your return to the city before your right to return has expired, your residence card remains valid.

Who can apply for the right to return?

You meet these 3 conditions:

  • You do not have Belgian nationality.
  • You reside in Belgium with a residence card which is still valid for at least 3 months.
  • You are going abroad for more than 3 months.

When to apply?

At the earliest 1 week and at the latest 1 day before your departure.

Are you already abroad?
Then you can still apply for the right to return.
We record the date of your departure as moving date in the national register.

How to apply?

Step 1: Contact us

Contact us. We will check whether you meet the conditions for the right to return.

Step 2: Gather the information for your application

  • Your address abroad
  • Date when you will return (if you already know it)
  • Documents:
    • Your national identity card (front and back) or national passport (biodata page)
    • Your Belgian residence card
    • Proof of the date of your departure abroad
      E.g exit stamp, airline ticket, train ticket, …
    • Proof demonstrating your need to go abroad
      • This is only required if you will return to the same address in Leuven.
        Pay attention: only your housemates may continue residing at this address. Were you living alone? Then no one may reside there during your absence.
      • E.g. proof of medical treatment, marriage, studies, work …

Step 3: Apply for the right to return

You will receive a copy of your application in your mailbox.
Did not receive any email? Contact us.

Are you applying for more than one person?
Complete the application for each person separately.

Apply for the right to return

Step 4: We process your application

  • We process your application.
  • No more than 2 weeks later, you will receive a confirmation by email with official proof of your right to return (an ‘annex 18’ and sometimes a ‘model 8’). Your residence card will remain valid.

How to report your return?

When to report?

Report your return within 15 days of your return.

How to report?

Step 1: Gather the documents

  • National identity card (front and back) or national passport (biodata page)
  • Residence card
  • Annex 18
  • Proof of the date when you arrived back in Belgium:
    E.g. entry stamp, airline ticket, train ticket, …
  • New rental contract
    Only if you return to another address and if you have one

Step 2: Report your return

Are you reporting the return of several family members?
Then also include their name and Belgian national registration number You do not have to complete a separate form for each person.

Report your return

Step 3: We check your address

A local police officer will visit to verify your address. Ensure that your name appears on the doorbell and letterbox.

  • Are you returning to the same address?
    We revoke your temporary absence in the national register.
  • Are you returning to a different address?
    No later than 4 weeks after your report, you will receive a letter by post or a message in your e-box, inviting you to update your address on your residence card.

Do you have a question?

Contact us, we are happy to help you.

Call us

016 27 21 94

Mail us

We will get back to you as soon as possible.
Something wrong or unclear on this page? Let us know.