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Expats in Belgium

Updated on September 21, 2011

One of the top destinations in all of Europe for expats is a small country to the north known as Belgium. Brussels is the capitol and also a thriving place for expats ready to escape there current living conditions. It is a viable option for many expats considering that almost 50% of the population there are not even from Belgium. One reason for this is because it is the host of the Council of the European Union as well as NATO, and European commission. It is also popular among English speaking nationalities since English is the first language spoken throughout the city.

Moving from your current location to Brussels, Belgium is a easier transition then you may think. For most people moving, a work permit or a actual visit to the country are not even needed as a prerequisite. Once you have arrived in Belgium or your city destination of choice you will need to apply for a residency card. This can be applied for after you have settled in and gotten most of your current things arranged. When you go to apply for your residency card there are two documents you want to remember to bring with you. One is that you bring a current and valid passport from your home county as well as a employment contract or other proof that you can take personal responsibility for your family while living in Belgium. If you brought along a husband or wife and children they will all need to also get a residency visa. If they will currently not be supporting themselves you need to show proof that you are able as well as to show proof of kinship. The documents if they are done in any other language except French and Flemish then you need to have them properly translated and apostle prior to leaving your home country. Bringing along someone who speaks one or the other during your transition is highly encouraged.

Of course once you arrive in Belgium you are going to need shelter to live in. There are two possible options for you one is of course renting the other is to purchase a home. Most expats who arrive in Belgium first start by renting that way they can become familiar with the onsets of their location prior to settling down in a home. Housing in Belgium is comparable to suburban American or the UK and are often considered inexpensive for their current location.

If you are bringing a family with you to live in Belgium there is a lot of great educational options for your children. Children can attend a state school which is free and paid for by local taxes. But, in these schools the children are taught in native tongues of Flemish or French. So having your kids exposed to a certain level of it prior is a good idea. There are also privet American and UK schools that are available as options too so make sure you research these options thoroughly. Transportation throughout the major cities is quite extensive and bus passes are transferable between family members. If living out in the country there is limited transportation so make sure you are aware of this.

If your home country is English speaking and you plan to move to Brussels Belgium then there should be little or no mass transition for you or your family. Your credit cards with visa and master card logo will be good anywhere they are accepted. The Euro is the current currency used throughout the city so you will need to get use to conversion. You can open a simple savings account with just a passport in any major Belgium bank. Thus if you’re looking to just escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life in London then it is only a short plane trip back.


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