- Antwerp Approves Steep Increase in Registration Fees; Federal Government and Other Communes Critical of Change
- March 8, 2013
- Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
The commune of Antwerp will increase the initial registration fee for non-Belgian nationals to EUR 250 from EUR 17. The sharply increased fee - expected to take effect May 1, 2013 - applies to all non-Belgian newcomers except foreign nationals with a long-term EU residence permit, students who come to Antwerp within an international cooperation framework, and recognized political refugees.
The federal government, some communal governments and the European Commission have criticized Antwerp’s decision. Leaders in several major Belgian communes will meet to consider taking concerted efforts before deciding whether to increase fees locally.
The European Commission plans to investigate whether Antwerp’s higher fee conforms to EU non-discrimination rules.