Fewer family reunions through tighter rules

Stricter rules on family reunions have led to a big drop in the number of immigrants obtaining a visa for Belgium on the basis of family reunions. The tightening up of the law means that up to 400 fewer immigrants are settling in Belgium tanks to family reunions every month.

New legislation became operational on 22 September last year. In the period before the new law was implemented Belgium's Immigration Department gave the go ahead for up to ten visas on the basis of family reunion each and every day. Today this figure has fallen to 4 a day.

Katrien Jansseune of the Immigration Department: "The new law sets stricter financial conditions on family reunions. There are checks to see if people can count on a stable, reliable income and whether this income is sufficient. In practice people need an income of at least 1,130 after tax."

In addition the new law also requires adequate housing to be available.