You are currently residing outside of Belgium and you would like to come to Belgium. Depending on your nationality, you will need to obtain a visa prior to your arrival in Belgium. More information on the conditions and the procedures to apply for a visa can be found on the website of the Immigration Office, which is the authority that will take the decision to grant or not the visa. For more information on Belgian embassies and consulates abroad, you can visit this website.
The protection of the family unity is an important human right. If you have been separated from your family members before or during your flight, they may be entitled to join you in Belgium under a more favorable legal regime, and subject to a number of conditions.
1. During the international protection (asylum) procedure
If members of your core family (spouse and underage children) are already legally staying within the European Union or in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Iceland, a reunification with them is possible during the international protection process. If your family members are not in one of these countries, family reunification is not possible while you are still an applicant for international protection.
The Dublin III Regulation determines which European state is responsible for examining your application. There are a number of rules laid down in the Dublin III Regulation.
If you are an unaccompanied child and a member of your family (parent, brother/sister, uncle/aunt, grandfather/grandmother) remains legally in a “Dublin III” country, this country is responsible for the examination of your application. If you are an unaccompanied child and no members of your family remain legally in any of the “Dublin III” states, your application will be examined by Belgium.
If you are an adult and a member of your family is resident in one of the “Dublin III” states as a beneficiary of international protection or as an international protection applicant,if you so wish, the state where he/she is resident will undertake responsibility for examining your application. Members of the family are considered the spouse (husband or wife) or the life partner (not in all countries) and the unmarried children.
You are encouraged to contact a lawyer if you wish to apply for family reunification during your application for international protection.
More information on the Dublin III Regulation and which country is responsible for examining your application can be found here in French, Dutch, English, Arabic, Farsi, Dari, Pashto, Tigrinya.
2. After obtaining an international protection (asylum)
Family reunification is only possible for immediate (nuclear) family members who are outside the European Union, if and once the person in Belgium has obtained international protection (i.e. refugee status or subsidiary protection) or Belgian nationality. It is not possible to apply for family reunification when the relative in Belgium is still undergoing the procedure for international protection. However, as mentioned here, if your immediate (nuclear) family members are already in the European Union or in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Iceland, a reunion with them is possible even when the person is still in his procedure for international protection.
More information (including videos and brochures in French, Dutch, English, Pashto, Dari, Arabic, Tigrinya) on the conditions and procedure for family reunification can be found here.
Please note that UNHCR in Belgium does not accept family reunification applications and does not make decisions in that regard. This is the responsibility of the Immigration Office. UNHCR is also not able to financially assist persons who wish to apply for family reunification.
UNHCR does however have an implementing partner, Myria, which provides assistance and support in individual cases of family reunification for beneficiaries of international protection. Moreover, Myria also developed an extensive, regularly updated brochure on family reunification for beneficiaries of international protection, which can be found here.
With regards to financial assistance, reference can be made to Miles4Migrants (https://www.miles4migrants.org/), a charity dedicated to using donated frequent flyer miles to help people impacted by war, persecution, or disaster start a new beginning in a new home.