Belgium is a very popular option for people who choose to move abroad for work, with the number of expats currently estimated at 750,000 of the country’s overall population of 10 million. Our professionals can help make your move to Belgium as smooth as possible. Removals to Brussels are the most popular, but we also offer removal services from the UK right across Belgium.
Do I need a permit to live and work in Belgium?
If you are an EU citizen you do not require a visa in order to travel to, live and work in Belgium. However, you do need to register and apply for a residence permit within eight days of moving to Belgium. Visit the local commune (town hall) with the following items:
• Your original passport and photocopies
• 4 passport-sized photos
• Contract for your house or apartment
• Proof of your ability to support yourself financially in Belgium, e.g. an employment contract or pension documents, and health insurance documents.
You will find it helps if you can speak French or Dutch, so if you are not fluent in either of these languages, try to get someone fluent to accompany you.
Once the police have verified your address, you will be issued with a temporary residence card which lasts for three months. You need to register with a Ziekenfonds or Mutuelle for social security in order to get a permanent resident’s card.
moving to belgium – What languages are spoken?
The northern part of Belgium is Dutch-speaking, making up around 57% of Belgians, while around 42% of the population speak French as their first language, and around 1% have German as their mother tongue. Brussels is officially bilingual, although French is more widely spoken in the capital than Dutch, whereas if you are moving to Bruges or Antwerp you will find yourself in Dutch-speaking regions. Flemish is a variant of Dutch widely spoken in Belgium. Many people in Belgium also speak good English.
removals to belgium – Cost of living
If you are considering moving to Brussels or another city in Belgium, such as Antwerp or Bruges, you may want to take into account costs with the local area. For example, if you are moving to Antwerp, you will find the cost of living is around 7% cheaper than if you move to Brussels, with the cost of housing around 9% lower. In general, consumer prices are higher in Belgium than in the UK, but property rental is the opposite, at nearly 10% higher in the UK than in Belgium.
house removals to belgium – Accommodation
If you plan to rent an apartment or house when you move to Belgium you will find that many rental properties in Belgium are completely unfurnished, so you will need to import as much as possible of your own furniture from home. Whether furniture is provided or not, make sure that a detailed inventory is supplied before you move in, noting the condition of the home. This helps to protect the security deposit you are required to pay, which may be the equivalent of up to three months’ rent. In Belgium, tenants are usually responsible for the upkeep of and repairs to the rental property.
Driving in Belgium
Your UK driving licence is valid for driving in Belgium. It is recommended that you register your driving licence at the local commune so that you have evidence of holding a driving licence in case your licence is lost or stolen. You also have the option to convert your UK licence to a Belgian licence, and you can do this at the local commune too. UK registered vehicles can be driven for up to six months from the date when you become a resident in Belgium. After this time you will need to register the car with the Belgian authorities.
Everyone over the age of 12 needs to carry ID at all times when living in Belgium, and if you are driving you should also make sure you carry your driving licence, car documents, insurance documents and MOT documents (if relevant). You may be required to show these at any time if you are stopped by police while driving in Belgium.
Are there restrictions on items for removals to Belgium?
Household items and personal belongings which you have owned for over six months can be imported duty-free within the EU. So, for as long as the UK is part of the EU, you are free to take these items with you when you move to Belgium. You have up to a year to import your belongings from the date when you arrive in Belgium. You will need to prepare documents to accompany items which require shipping to Belgium. The main requirement is a full inventory of the items which you are importing, and this must be in either English or French. Once filled by our specialist packers, moving boxes Brussels bound or to be delivered elsewhere in Belgium, are packed carefully into our vehicles. When the removals team have finished packing your moving van, we will take care of your belongings until you arrive.
Whether you are moving to Belgium, Brussels, moving to Bruges, or another part of Belgium, you can be rest assured that our experienced professionals will take great care when transporting your cherished possessions to your new home.