Did you know that Belgium’s secret weapons for attracting visitors are beer, fries and chocolate?
Belgium has a current population of 11.6 million people. It is linguistically diverse and has three official languages being Dutch, French, and German. The national anthem, the Brabançonne, is even written in all three languages. Nonetheless, it is simple to live in Belgium without speaking one of the three official languages, as English is widely spoken.
Belgium is a popular destination for expats due to its central location. Its geographical location, in the middle of Western Europe and embedded between France, Germany, and the Netherlands, makes it easy to travel around. Another big advantage is that Belgium has numerous different large historical cities within a short distance of each other. The cultural landscape in these cities is extremely attractive.
Furthermore, Brussels is not only the capital of Belgium but also of Europe. It is home to a number of international organizations and most importantly, European Union institutions.
Expat Management Group is here to assist in making sure that integration will be as smooth as possible.
Immigration in Belgium
In Belgium, there are different categories of permits, such as permits for highly qualified employees, intra-corporate transferees, bottleneck professions, specialized technicians… each with their own set of rules and conditions. The matter has also become more complicated as a result of the sixth state reform, which states that the regions, in addition to the federal government, are competent for the employment of foreign workers. The applicable regulations now differ significantly from one competent region to another (Walloon, Brussels-Capital, Flemish).
Foreign workers who want to work as employees (i.e. with an employment contract) in Belgium for a maximum of 90 days need a work permit. This application is done in one procedure, but sometimes separate conditions and procedures apply for each category.
A single permit must be requested for employment of more than 90 days. This is an electronic residence permit that contains both the permission to work and the permission to stay.
If you are an entrepreneur who is not a citizen of the EU, and who wishes to work in Belgium as a self-employed person, as a physical person or within an existing company, you must first obtain a permit, the professional card.
Relocation in Belgium
Finding a house or apartment to rent is less competitive than in other European countries. In fact, you often have the time and ability to visit a property more than once before actually deciding. We recommend to always try to find temporary accommodation for the first weeks or months so we can take our time to find appropriate permanent housing for our clients.
Due to the decentralized organization of education and registration, enrolling in a school can be competitive and requires forward-planning.
Belgium has a culturally diverse population and is home to many international governmental organizations. This is particularly the case in Brussels, which is the seat of many European and global institutions.
More than 10% of the population is non-Belgian. As a result, there are a lot of international schools that focus on culturally diverse education and expats in particular. Most of these schools are located in Brussels, but there are also options in Antwerp, Mons, and others cities.
We also offer assistance in finding the best school suited for your child, with options such as local or regional schools, and public or private international schools.
Are you considering relocating to Belgium, or do you have one or more employees moving here? We understand how much planning goes into such a large relocation, and we are here to help you every step of the way!