Stricter rules against abuse of student visas

30 August 2018

From the new academic year onwards, foreign students’ results at Belgian university colleges and universities will count towards the recognition of their student visas. In this manner, Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Theo Francken aims to prevent abuse of the student visa. “We notice that students from developing countries sometimes see temporary student visas as an opportunity to migrate to our country permanently,” says Theo Francken. “After numerous attempts, they appear not to succeed in their studies and instead try one study discipline after another without ever obtaining a diploma.”

Insufficient study progress

The immigration law already allows for a non-extension or withdrawal of a residence permit if a student prolongs studies excessively and does not demonstrate sufficient study progress. The “insufficient study progress” provision is now more clearly defined. From now on, the study progress is determined based on the number of credits obtained. “If a student does not obtain at least 45 credits after the first two years of his or her Bachelor’s degree programme, his or her residence status can be withdrawn,” Theo Francken concludes.

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