Search form

menu menu

Does E card have restrictions?


Can I ask if an EU citizen got issued Belgian E card, is there any restrictions for travel/staying outside of Belgium?
For example, in which scenario, the E card could be revoked or got canceled?
I heard that E card requires 6 months/year physical presence in Belgium, otherwise it will be canceled. However, I can't find any quote.
Thanks for any advises.


I have seen this question asked before on some forums, but no definitive answer. I would like to know, as this situation applies to myself. I have seen it reported that you must visit Belgium at least once every six months, not stay for six months. But if you are still paying tax and social insurance in Belgium (which I do not know if you are or not) I seriously doubt that the Belgian authorities will be too bothered about cancelling your residency status. In any case, if you are in a Schengen area country, they have no way of knowing where you are! I doubt somehow that they have quick access to immigration records for non-Schengen countries, like the UK. Maybe someone else will know the right answer!

Mar 18, 2022 12:00

I would suggest that there are two ways in which your absence could come to the notice of the authorities.
Firstly, if you give up your accommodation in Belgium and that accommodation is then used by someone else, your absence will be formally noted when the police control takes place as a prelude to the registration of the new occupier. That could obviously happen quite quickly, but won't happen at all if you retain the accommodation and don't let it out to someone who has to register (note, for example, that students normally remain registered at their home address).
Secondly, if you claim double-taxation relief on ALL your earned income because it was earned outside Belgium. This will obviously take much longer to come to the attention of the authorities and even then they will have to raise a query with you as this situation can occur legitimately, if you were a frontalier, for example.

Mar 18, 2022 14:06

So, after some checking on-line... I have convinced myself that the right answer is that you must visit Belgium at least one every six months to retain the right to your E card. And even if the authorities suspect you are not doing this, it would not automatically lead to your residency be cancelled; you would just be committing an offense, probably fineable. Minimum periods of physical presence in Belgium seem to be important if you plan on asking for citizenship. As is said, you would have to keep a residence here - friend's spare room, for example. Tax, social insurance, you will have to stay in the system on some level.

Mar 19, 2022 10:46

Remember that if you are using, for example, a friend's spare room as your residence in Belgium, you will have to pass a police check to confirm that you are actually "living" there.

Mar 19, 2022 13:19