Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Moving to Belgium

Belgium is a small country in Western Europe, that is politically and economically stable, and is a grounds for international business and meetings. It is divided into the French-speaking Waloon region in the South, the Flemish-speaking region in the North and the central Brussels area. Brussels has a huge international airport with people coming in and going out from everywhere. People from the EU can be in Belgium up to 90 days as a tourist without any registration.

Visas in Belgium:

Work permits:

EU nationals do not need to get a work permit to work in Belgium.

Otherwise, in order to work in Belgium, you must have a work permit or proof that your employer is in the process of getting one for you. Your employer is the one who does most of the work; he or she must file the application, and prove that no EU national can do your job.

There are different types of work permits in Belgium. The C Permit is valid for a year, and the employer is allowed to work multiple jobs. It generally isn’t renewable, and is usually for migrant agricultural and domestic workers. The B Permit entitles you to work for one employer for one year, and can be renewed, so long as it is for the same employer. An A Permit allows you to work for any employer in Belgium for unlimited time. You can obtain the A Permit after having a B Permit for four consecutive years.

There is also the Professional Card, in which you can become self-employed to work in Belgium. They last for five years, and you are limited to your specified practice, but renewal is usually easy. You will need to provide a passport, medical certificate and police certificate, as well as proof that you have special talents to obtain this permit.

Click here for more information.

Student Visas:

In order to apply for a student visa, you must submit to a consular office:

  1. One passport
  2. Two application forms, signed
  3. Three recent passport photos, signed in back

And three copies (1 original, 2 copies) of the following:

  1. Criminal background checks from the FBI (if you are over 21)
  2. Medical certificates
  3. Financial support declarations
  4. Proof of solvency (W2 slips, form 1040, last 3 months’ pay slips, letter of employment with length of contract)
  5. Attestation from the academic institution
  6. Application fee

Click here for more information about applying for a student visa from the US.

Moving Pets:

There are different requirements depending on which country you are bringing your pet in from. If you are bringing a cat, dog or ferret from another EU country, you must have an EU Pet Passport. This passport requires vaccinations and a micro-chip or tattoo to identify the animal.

If you are bringing your pet in from outside the EU, it must be vaccinated against rabies, in addition to the EU Pet Passport requirements. It also may have to undergo an additional blood test at least a month following the rabies vaccination, and three months before traveling. You can bring up to five pets to Belgium.

Other Information:

Click here for some questions and answers about moving to Belgium.

Visit Immoweb for information about Belgian real estate.


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