It took me 7 months, 5 physical visits to "La Commune" during working time, 12 working hours, four pictures, more than 20 papers signed by hand, and approximately 29 euros cost.
I am an expat, and unfortunately or not, I do not work for EU institutions or NATO. And I say this because I heard they have special treatment for this.....Anyway, just to let you know, I work for a private company, and as any other individual from other EU country I had to go trhough the nasty and loooong process of getting the Belgian residence card in my "Commune", Schaerbeek.
This below is "La Commune de Schaerbeek". Beautiful Art Nouveau arquitecture.
First thing I did was to call "La Commune", told them what I needed and ask them opening hours. Well the lady gave me the opening hours.....but SHE DID NO TELL ME that inside the building, there is a little glass box where people queue for a number.....and the guy who works there, gives numbers only early in the morning. So there is no chance for you if you go there after 11am....
Can you imagine your life in a glass and wood box???? just go to "La Commune" in Schaerbeek. It is specially interesting to see how happy the guy replies to questions of citizens.
Once you have the number, they you have to wait....there might be 20, 30, 40 or 50 persons in front of you.....who knows. When I went there the second time, at was at the front door at 8am and there were already about 30 people wating. When the door opened at 8am, evertybody started to run like crazy to queue for the glass-wood-box-man.........it was even worse than those scenes you see on TV the first day of sales.
I was taking pictures while wating.....looking around so many people who seemed to have better things to do.
If you live in Schaerbeek....you are very familiar with these picture I am sure. The thing is that I followed an strict timesheet in the whole process of getting my card. I lost 12 hours of my working hour time!!!!!!! multiply that for every worker that followed the same procedure than me and the numbers go crazy. Besides, I had to manage without the card for 7 months.
Finally I was so happy I wanted to cry.
My next challenge will be: Change of address.
May the force be with you.