DO NOT FORGET TO DOWNLOAD THE "Settle Down Guide" for Expats below (at the end in the "media" section)
Settling down in Belgium will entail a number of steps. Although the chronological order of some steps might vary, we propose the following roadmap.
Before arriving make sure to inform yourself at least thoroughly about schools, work permits, entry papers, the equivalence of your diploma, housing and health insurance. You will find all basic information and useful links on those subjects and more on this website.
Take along the right documents
Before you come to Belgium, make sure to dispose of the right documents when arriving. The type of documents will vary according to the duration of your stay, more or less than 90 days, and whether you are an EU-citizen or a non-EU citizen.
Find a place to live
Find a place to stay as soon as possible, since presenting your lease contract will be important with a number of administrative procedures. You will also need to conclude a mandatory house insurance. Buying a prepaid card for your mobile might also be very useful at the beginning!
Go to the commune and start your official registration in the national register. If you are an international civil servant, you can choose to take a special identity card.
Join a Belgian healthcare insurance
All citizens will need to get a mandatory health insurance by enrolling in a so called ‘mutuelle’. International civil servants however will be covered by their institutions’ insurance.
Enroll with Actiris
If you wish to work on the Belgian labour market, we advise you to register with Actiris, the Brussels Employment Agency. They will help you to find a job and develop a personal action plan. Settling down in Belgium will entail a number of steps. Although the chronological order of some steps might vary, we propose the following roadmap.
Register your car
If you already have a car you will be able to import it once you have a Belgian residence permit. This procedure is quite complex.
Once the most urgent administrative duties are done, you might want to follow language courses, choose your way of transport but also take a number of insurances and a bank account. Don’t forget to sort your waste! If you haven’t done that already, check out a number of essential Brussels websites and apps.
Start your life!
Enjoy Brussels social and cultural life! Numerous associations and cultural and social events will help you with that. Visit.brussels, the Brussels agency that is responsible for the image of Brussels and its touristic development, will provide you with all necessary information via their newsletter ‘Sized for Expats’ and website.
Be part of Brussels
Once settled down, you might want to go a step further and really anchor yourself in the city. Maybe you want to apply for a permanent residence or buy a house. Also don’t forget to cast your vote in local elections and pay your taxes!
If you are leaving Belgium, certainly do not forget to deregister from the city hall and leave a foreign address. Make sure to annul all your subscriptions or utility contracts.